All posts by johanneswilm

political history

Hehe. Just noticed this one: The Danish minority in Germany page on Wikipedia exists in four languages: German, Danish, French and English. But the contents are not EXACTLY copies of oneanother 🙂 . I guess that says quite something about just how politicized historical knowledge is:

French
German
Danish
English

Guess for yourself which of those I am mainly responsible for (wrote it many years ago)….

Left Party

While everybody got excited about the new “Left Party” growing into being East Germany’s biggest party about two weeks ago with 31% vs. 29% (CDU), this weeks results for East Germany are even more stunning:

Left Party: 33%
CDU: 27%
SPD: 27%

That is 6% to catch up on! Now we’re all waiting for it to hit the 50% mark within the next 10 years and lets sees those western politicians regret that they ever helped West Germany swallow the GDR.
For all of Germany the percentages are:

CDU: 42%
SPD: 28%
Left Party: 12%
Greens: 8%
FDP: 7%

or in other words: 49% for Merkel and 48% against. If it would happen to be that SPD, the Greens and the Left Party got a majority, I am sure that CDU and SPD will find oneanother. They have done that once before (1966-69) and back then CDU and SPD governed together with the FDP as the only opposition party. On oe hand they used that time to make laws that would let the government take away all kinds of democratic rights during “dangerous times” and they were planning on switching to the US election system (winner takes all) which would have meant that they probably would have been the ony two parties left in the future. Luckily they didn’t get that last point through. On the other hand, it was also then that the the Outer Parliamentary Opposition (APO) saw it’s birth. And to a large extend, that was what 1968 was all about in Germany.

In other words: exciting times lie ahead. By now I think it’s close to impossible to squeeze the Left Party under 5% before the elections, although I am sure they won’t be able to get all those 12%.

the end of work

…as we know it. well, that my big hope for right now. Now of course I don’t even have a job, nor a real position or anything, but work piles up nevertheless in some way or another. Now it’s only about 24h until I leave Oslo again. One rather short Norwegian week is about to end, and… oh yeah, I got a new design on this page. It’s not that beautiful and I have a lot of complaints myself, but it’s gonna have to stay that way until I return to my online access. I hope I get enough energy to actually write sensible stuff. I think I should write something about Copenhagen….
Continue reading the end of work

Elections everywhere! – Doing Europe at a S-P-E-E-D

Hey, ho. So I’m back in Oslo. Or rather, I take a tiny little break from my holiday in order to finish up some of my projects here that have been lying around most of this summer. Well, so it never ended up being France I went to. Instead, after demonstration against Bush in Copenhagen and visiting my grandmother and going to see my parents and hang around with my other grandmother in Sydslesvig for a few days, I went on to Berlin on “party business”. After visiting both comrades from Solid and high school class mates, I took the bus North towards Copenhagen to visit the Youth of the Enhedslisten, whom I had met during the Bush demonstration, at their summer camp in Viborg (Jutland). Unfortunately the bus was running late, so I stayed at my grand mothers over night before taking the train the next morning. Four days later, I went back to western Zealand only for a single day to celebrate my birthday (25!) with my parents, my sister, and two couples my parents age at the family’s summer house between Slagelse and Kalundborg, before leaving on the evening of my birthday to Copenhagen and taking the overnight bus back to Oslo. Puh! And now it’s all about getting everything fixed here for the next week, before I dip down into North-Central Europe one last time for this summer.
Continue reading Elections everywhere! – Doing Europe at a S-P-E-E-D

Bushmen & Princes

Ok, so I went to Copenhagen, Denmark for a few days. To celebrate George Bush’s birthday of course. The thing is that my Copenhagen trips have gotten a whol e tradtion to them. The first element is the “de-Norwegination” of my thought process. It’s not something I want to do, but it just always ends up happening no matter how long I have stayed in Norway. This time I hadn’t been outside the country sicne February, but it still somhow happened… luckily I seem to slide back into the Norwegian way once I return.
Continue reading Bushmen & Princes

Summer slump

Ok, so another few days have passed by, another few things have been finished up (see fx KonturDebatt nr.1), but today was the first day for a long time during which I had moments that I didn’t have much use for. Or rather, I chose not to use them for anything productive. I still have quite a lot of computer work that I have to do, but the deadlines are moving increasingly more distant…
Continue reading Summer slump

Another Friday night, and nothing but work…

hmm, so there we are again, it’s Friday night, and I’m sitting in fon tof the computer linign up the various papers I have to do before sunrise. Somehow I’ve ended up with another huge stack of computer related jobs that are not the least bit exciting. And that in the few months that the sun is actually out in this country. And of course, it’s all non-paying, and the current course of history (the no-votes in France and the Netherlands) have transformed my monthly Danish student stipend into a much smaller amount of Norwegian crowns. But oh well, I will survive that as well. And then I’m really not in it for the money, so as long as I survive in some way or another, who cares.
Continue reading Another Friday night, and nothing but work…

Ok, so our action out at Drøbak to try to stop the U.S.S. Saipan from entering the Oslo Fjord got quite some coverage last week, as well as our protests against the visit of “Defense Secretary” Rumsfeld. Head on over to blindernfred.org to see more on the matter, and also the programming of pensjonsomkamp.no as well as the student parliament elections and the setting of this year’s social anthropological yearbook have been taking quite a lot of time.

Other than that, I have been quite busy with school, amongst other things, turning in my master thesis. Now all I wait for is the oral exam that is to come up on the 20th. I have no ida what to expect, so I’ll just have to hope I can answer some of the commision’s questions.

My identity

Ok, could there be a term more self-reflective than “my identity”? I think it would be hard to match. My thought on the subject are therefore mainly not meant as a look into my own personal psychology, but rather as an example of how non-nationals create identity or identities from a person who has tried to get passed the most obvious contradictions.

First and foremost, one of the main problems for non-nationals in reflecting on their identity is the complexity that their status gives them. Most people can cook their identity down to a few attributes like race (in the US) or nationality (in Europe), but multi-nationals can not do that in the same way. Not only is it a matter of adding another word, but as at leats two of the attributes will be defined in opposition to oneanother, so further explanations will be neccesary to communicate one’s identity correctly. Whenever one is stuck in a situation of having to present oneself, one will have to choose between either using a few hours on explanations or cutting out all but one of the attributes within a given category (nation or race).

After having reflected upon it, I have tried to stop letting myself be reduced to one of those categories, however, as the examples in my personal history show, the most common strategy is probably to deny one of the attributes, simply by “forgetting” all about it (language, cultural codes, etc.)

Here we have a few examples of how I tried to handle identity in different ways: In Bisbee, AZ, I managed to use enough space to represent all of Germnay, Denmark and Norway as well as showing my sympathy for US-Americans and dfferentiating myself from the Europan population at large. In Molde, N, I do not manage to have just as broad a profile and for the international press, I choose to be Norwegian. While in this student newspaper in Oslo, N, I am simply a “border person”. I think it is due to the surplus of knowledge on the matter in Flensburg, D, that I can not only give a view that I am from several countries, but also be abl to critisize the “Danishness” that people carry at large.

As we can notice, it is not only about the amount of information that is given, it is also about the way it is presented. Being German and Danish can mean many things, as the above excerpts show.