I MET VIBORG Begins

Bureau Member Emma Beech is in Viborg, Denmark, asking people here ‘What makes your day worth it?’

There has been much talk amongst the Carte Blanche staff about how the question translates into Danish- it translates as ‘What gives your day value?’.   I am now armed with small fliers which have the question WHAT MAKES YOUR DAY WORTH IT? written in Danish.  Actually, this is mainly so I can speak with Soren.  Soren is one of the towns maintenance men.  We tired to talk, he knew I had a question, but he couldn’t quite understand, and we could only get so far in the conversation.  But we wanted to talk and understand each other.  I will go back to him with the question in Danish. And a Dane by my side.

Despite nerves, I have also talked with:

  • The woman in the show shop down the road.  She didn’t hesitate when I asked her the question: it was her colleagues at work, her family in her personal life. Leave your work at work, she advised.  The more intimate her responses became, the more she physically stepped away from me. She told me she’s never really thought about that question, not really, not in that way.
  • Carl- I met Carl in the Stationen cafe. Carl is retired, sitting at a table, and was drinking strong Black Coffee.  He didn’t think many people would understand the question. He felt that many people here had the baggage of Danish expectation- he felt the pressure to be happy, because he was Danish.  He felt the weight of his ancestors in his daily life.  He had very large hands, and we are meeting again next week to talk more about him and the Danish ways.
  • Alexander- a young dude, 18.  Listening to music in the Square.  It was his girl.  His girl made his day.  The photo he has of his father on his laptop desktop makes his day.  He likes to look and remember him, his father died 10 years ago.  His friends- when his friends are happy, when his friends are doing well, he’s happy for them.  He wants smiles, he doesn’t want frowns.  His answer was a gift that day- and he spoke freely and generously.

The Stationen, a public meeting house, very good looking, has generously provided me with a performance space to give back the findings to Viborg.

COMING UP Next week….

  • My second meeting with Carl, the retired man with plenty to say.
  • A series of interviews with young people in Vibrog who have responded to an email call out.
  • Results from the 2 hours I will spend in the towns most iconic cafe, Cafe Morville.