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This autumn, I was a part of an international group of artists at the ACT theatre company that produced Henrik Ibsen’s play ‘An Enemy of the People’. It is remarkable how Ibsen’s classic, written at the close of the 19th century, reverberates in our time. Ahead of Denmark’s local elections this month, it is an … Continue reading Straight Up: Falling on the vicious double edged sword of democracy
The race debate that refuses to go away re-emerged this summer. This time, prompted by a radio program on public broadcaster DR, which invited listeners to call in with their ‘jokes without borders’, listeners heeded the clarion call. Amnesia about slavery They called in with jokes that were not only racist, demeaning and subjugating to … Continue reading Straight Up: Let’s talk about race
Every few years a debate re-emerges about whether Denmark should take responsibility for its 250 years of colonialism and slavery in the West Indies. The blemishing triangle This year, the islands of St John, St Thomas and St Croix are celebrating, nay, commemorating 100 years since Denmark sold them off to the United States (for … Continue reading Straight Up: Denmark’s shame
The chicken has finally come home to roost. The world’s foremost democracy has settled for a racist, Islamophobic, misogynistic demagogue for president. The country that takes pride in being the land of the free and home of the brave has given in to the politics of fear and hate. Where America leads, others follow. This … Continue reading Straight Up: Denmark and the Trump effect
The empire of the never-setting sun is crumbling and exposing the nakedness of the ‘monster’ that is the EU. More exits Unless you live in an isolated igloo in the remotest edge of the world, you are by now well accustomed to the term ‘Brexit’. You are probably also familiar with the new wave of … Continue reading Straight Up: Brexit: Where is Denmark’s finger-pointing?
A disturbing video recently surfaced online appearing to show three men identified as staff at a Næstved refugee camp manhandling an asylum-seeker, roughing him up and forcefully pinning him to the ground. One of the staff seen in the video assaulting the 34-year-old asylum seeker was the head of the refugee centre. Like the Wild … Continue reading Straight Up: Who will speak for the asylum-seekers?
Truth be told, Danes love their talent shows. And on the first Friday of this month, they were glued to their screens for the grand finale of the 2016 edition of ‘X Factor’. One small (dance) step Many tuned in to root for their favourite contestants, and in the end, the sister-duo of Anilde and … Continue reading Straight Up: What ‘X Factor’ says about Denmark
At no time in recent history has Denmark received such sustained criticism from friends and foes than this January. Villainy and no valuables The so-called ‘jewellery laws’ saw unprecedented international attention being paid to the small Scandinavian paradise (little pun). Some pundits went as far as comparing the new laws to Nazi Germany: “Give us … Continue reading Straight Up: Keeps on kicking the refugees
The Magna Charta Universitatum was a document signed in 1988 by close to 400 university rectors from across Europe. It celebrated the 900-year anniversary of one of the oldest universities in Europe: the University of Bologna. A fundamental pillar The document reiterated a very fundamental pillar of a university: academic freedom. The principle of academic … Continue reading Straight Up: Danish universities should welcome refugees
Like ghosts in the night, they killed, they maimed, they got killed and some escaped. The heartless sons of perdition left in their trail destruction, anguish and anger. Mothers lost their sons, husbands their wives, children their parents. Playing into IS’s narrative In the wake of the attacks in Paris, France has declared war on … Continue reading Straight Up: A war on refugees
A lie can travel halfway around the world while truth is still putting on its shoes; or so they say. The refugee crisis that has unfolded in the last few months brought to the fore a perennial confusion: who is a refugee and who is an immigrant? Lies have been peddled and propaganda traded. Swarm … Continue reading Straight Up: So much noise about refugees: But why?
The reality of a Lars Rasmussen-led government has hit home. The blue coalition, it seems, is back with a vengeance. The stone-faced immigration minister, Inger Støjberg, is taking no prisoners. By hook or by crook, she is determined to make her point – that an increased flow of asylum-seekers to Denmark is detrimental to … Continue reading Straight up: Refugees and the politics of fear
Politicians worldwide have a reputation for being comical, if not utterly ludicrous. They are good fodder for comedians and cartoonists. Matter-of-factly, they are loved, loathed and worshipped. Importantly, we love to hate them. Politicians are two-faced. They kiss and cuddle babies, and then once the cameras have gone, turn around and head-butt them. You don´t … Continue reading Straight Up: The election that was
Less tears and more actions
Zach Khadudu is a Kenyan by birth and a journalist by choice. He is a commentator and an activist with a passion for refugee and human rights. He may share a heritage with a certain US president, but his heart lies elsewhere – in the written and spoken word.