The Amelia Project: FINALIST at Austin Film Festival!

Off to Texas!
We have very exciting news that we wanted to share with you right away! Lately, we have been working hard on a new endeavor; an audio drama podcast series called The Amelia Project.

Before summer we submitted the scripts for the first two episodes to the brand new Fiction Podcast category in the Austin Film Festival script competition. We have just learned that we made it to the final round!

We congratulate the other finalists in the Fiction Podcast category, and look forward to learning more about their scripts:

How to Build a Fire by Kat Sandler
The Mystery of Easter Island by Justin Glanville
Target by Jenny Elder-Moke

The winner will be announced on the 28th October. We are super excited, and can’t wait to go to Austin, Texas to attend the festival. Wish us luck!

Excited greetings from
Pip and Oystein

About Austin Film Festival
Austin Film Festival (AFF), founded in 1994, brand themselves as “The Writers Festival”. Their aim is to “further the art and craft of storytelling by inspiring and championing the work of writers, filmmakers, and all artists who use written and visual language to tell a story.”

In addition to an 8 day film festival and 4 day Conference, they offer year round events, a young filmmakers program, a TV show, radio show, podcast and more.

“56 scripts were chosen for the Final Round with one winner to be determined in each of the 13 categories. Out of this year’s group of Finalist scripts, international entries include writers from Australia, Canada, France, Great Britain, and Sweden. The winners will be announced during this year’s Conference at the Awards Luncheon on Saturday, October 28 at the Austin Club. Winners will receive cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, reimbursements for travel and lodging while at AFF, and access to and recognition by some of the most important writers, agents, producers and filmmakers in the industry.”

The Amelia Project
The Amelia Project is a brand new audio drama podcast produced by Imploding Fictions (NO/FR) in association with Open House Theatre (AT) and Bunbury Banter Theatre Company (UK). Launches on iTunes and other podcast players 1st December.

We are not revealing what The Amelia Project is about just yet… But you can follow us on various social media for little hints and clues:

Twitter: @amelia_podcast
Instagram: @ameliapodcast
Facebook: @ameliapodcast

Webpage: https://ameliapodcast.com/

About the writers
The Amelia Project is co-written by Philip Thorne and Øystein Ulsberg Brager. They have previously co-written A Magician’s Death (full length play, rights available for performance) and co-directed shows such as Hamletmachine (international tour), Norway.Today (Southwark Playhouse, London), Flap & Fear (Drachengasse, Vienna) and The Predictions (Cafeteatret, Oslo). Read more about us on implodingfictions.com.

– Oystein

Photo: Ida Oppen
AFF logo © Austin Film Festival

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Definitive Gold Box Inspiration

Right now, most of my artistic energies are directed towards the new, major Imploding Fictions endeavor: The Amelia Project. Pip and I are for the first time writing and directing an audio drama series. I have directed some audio plays in the past, but never a series, and never for the podcast market. We have essentially become show runners, which is an exciting new title to put on my CV, but it means learning a lot of new stuff.

How do you create a concept that can keep a story running for season after season? How quickly do you progress the story? How much content does the audience need before they are hooked on your show?

We have fantastic collaborators at Open House Theatre in Austria and Bunbury Banter Theatre Company in Scotland that help us ensure that the quality of our show is as high as it can be. Despite their wonderful contributions, though, the main bulk of the learning curve belongs to Pip and myself. That’s only right; it’s our baby, and it is our responsibility at the end of the day to make sure this thing happens.

We’re looking at launching a Kickstarter campaign later this year – that’s a whole chapter in our book of new knowledge in itself. And understanding podcasting as a medium for dissemination of artistic content, and a marketplace, could fill a whole book by itself.

There are schedules, contracts, budgets and logistics, and in the midst of this we also need to keep our artistic groove going. We have to find inspiration somewhere to make sure what we write is exciting, fresh and alive… But where?

Luckily, I know how to give a boost to my creative nerve. You see, whatever I write or create, there is nothing that makes me quite as excited and creatively awake as what might just be the greatest TV-series ever made, by two of the greatest storytellers I can think of. I’m of course talking about Twin Peaks by Mark Frost and David Lynch.

This summer I’ve been devouring the new Twin Peaks season, being stunned, tickled, frustrated and satisfied in equal measures – just the way I hoped to be. To warm up to that experience, I watched the two original seasons again – for the fourth time. I can guarantee you, it wasn’t the last time.

I’m not claiming Twin Peaks is perfect, I just know that every time I watch the show, I experience something new, because the fabric of that show is so complex that it always speaks to whomever I have become since watching the last time. I also know that the universe of Laura Palmer and agent Dale Cooper never fails to trigger my desire to sit down and create worlds of my own.

Loving Twin Peaks is perhaps a cliché, but I’m not trying to be original. It’s just a fact.

For those of you who have still to discover this masterpiece, or whose shelf of box sets is missing this particular gem, I can heartily recommend the Twin Peaks – Definitive Gold Box Edition.

I hope Frost and Lynch can inspire you as much as they inspire me. Good writing!

– Oystein

Imploding Fictions is part of the Amazon Associates program. That means that if you click on the link above to buy the Twin Peaks – Definitive Gold Box Edition, we will get a cut. As a small, independent theatre company, any income, however small, helps us immensely in creating those new and exciting projects that we have lined up for you; like the new audio drama podcast The Amelia Project which will be available for free on iTunes and other podcast players later this year. All funds earned through the Amazon Associates program go directly towards our artistic projects.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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Complete program for 10 Year Anniversary

Saturday 2 December 2017

PROGRAM

Free entry!

AFTERNOON: WORKSHOPS

12:00 Pen to paper – festival edition
Open writing session lead by poet Leeanne Stoddart.

14:00 Writing workshop
with Darren Lerigo (UK). Lunch included!

EVENING: ENTERTAINMENT
The doors are open all evening.

17:00 PARTYPieces
Experience a route of immersive theatre as you arrive at the theatre!
With iara Solano (ES), Sammy Metcalfe (UK), Daniela Perez (BR) and workshop participants from Norsk Skuespillersenter. A Beaches & Sleepwalk Collective performance.

18:00 Welcome
With Philip Thorne & Øystein Ulsberg Brager

18:15 The Amelia Project: Launch Party – part 1
Wondering what this brand new audio drama is all about? Don’t miss the live launch performance starring Alan Burgon (AT)!

19:00 Guest performances: Comedy
Musical comedy with Johanne Fossheim (NO)
Darren Lerigo (UK) – stand up performer and… gardener?!
Chap-hop with Armitage Spode (UK)

20:00 More guest performances: Music and poetry
Poet Leeanne Stoddart (UK/NO) with Hearts of the city / Hver bydel har et hjerte
Poet Evelyn R. Osazuwa (NO) and musician Olve Flakne (NO)
Singer-songwriter Robert Rustad Amundsen (NO)

21:00 The Amelia Project: Launch Party – part 2
Live reading of episode 1!
Starring Samantha Lawson (UK/NO) and Alan Burgon (AT).
Music by Fredrik Baden (NO).

22:00 Partying into the night!
Shake it all night to wicked tunes from DJ Glyn Phillips (UK)!

Venue: Nordic Black Theatre / Cafeteatret, Oslo
The bar and café is open all night!

We hope you’ll join us to celebrate 10 years of Imploding Fictions and for the grand reveal and launch of our new project: The Amelia Project!

RELATED EVENT:

Workshop at The Norwegian Actors’ Centre
Are you a professional actor, dancer, performer or theatre maker? Don’t miss the workshop in immersive theatre with Beaches / Sleepwalk Collective at The Norwegian Actors’ Centre (Norsk Skuespillersenter) on 29 & 30 November. The workshop participants will perform at the anniversary celebration.

Sign up here before 9 October!

 

Cheap hotel
We’ve teamed up with Scandic Hotels to offer our festival guests a reasonable hotel deal. If you book a room at Scandic St. Olavs Plass for the festival weekend 1-3 December you can enjoy their set price offer, just email us to receive the booking code! The rooms are available on a first come, first served basis, up until 27 October.

We’re looking forward to seeing you on 2 December!

Thanks to all our supporters and collaborators who are making this celebration possible.

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Line up for Anniversary

Imploding Fictions has been around for ten years. Can you believe it?!
That means celebrating!

Saturday 2 December 2017
ALL DAY!
at Nordic Black Theatre / Cafeteatret
Oslo, Norway

 

Program
A detailed program will be published later, but for now we can reveal that these artists will definitely be present:

iara Solano & Sammy Metcalfe from Beaches / Sleepwalk Collective (ES)
Darren Lerigo – writer, stand up performer and… gardener?! (UK)
Chap-hopper Armitage Spode aka Glyn Philips (UK)
Leeanne Stoddart with Hearts of the city / Hver bydel har et hjerte
Actor Alan Burgon from Open House Theatre (AT)
Actress Samantha Lawson (UK/NO)

More names to be revealed later.

Clear your calendar and get ready for a day full of theatre, comedy, poetry, music and partying into the night!

Workshop at The Norwegian Actors’ Centre
Are you a professional actor, dancer, performer or theatre maker? Don’t miss the workshop in immersive theatre with Beaches / Sleepwalk Collective at The Norwegian Actors’ Centre (Norsk Skuespillersenter) on 29 & 30 November. The workshop participants will perform at the festival.

Sign up here before 9 October!

The Amelia Project – official launch
We are working on a grand, brand new and very secret project! (It’s a narrative podcast… that’s all we’re gonna say!) Our collaborators are Open House Theatre in Austria and Bunbury Banter Theatre Company in Scotland.

Don’t miss the official launch performance of The Amelia Project!

Cheap hotel
We’ve teamed up with Scandic Hotels to offer our festival guests a reasonable hotel deal. If you book a room at Scandic St. Olavs Plass for the festival weekend 1-3 December you can enjoy their set price offer, just email us to receive the booking code! The rooms are available on a first come, first served basis, up until 27 October.

We’re looking forward to seeing you on 2 December!

– Oystein

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Vestre Aker

I have been exploring Vestre Aker to find the heart of this bydel. It seems to be a bydel obsessed with skiing. If you plan to visit a café in one of these areas check the website for the seasonal hours. Some places act as ski lodges and draw more business in the winter months. I am aware that it is now officially summer, but I visited parts of the bydel back when there was still snow on the ground. The ski jump at Holmenkollen is an Oslo landmark that can be seen from most of the city. I think many people would think of it as the heart of Vestre Aker if not the heart of the whole city. Skiing is important to Norwegians. There is a saying that goes, “Nordmenn er født med ski på beina” which translates to “Norwegians are born with skis on their feet”. Ouch, right? Also if you bring up skiing to any Norwegian they are legally required to inform you that the word “ski” comes from Norwegian and they invented skiing and there is a town not far from Oslo called Ski. Luckily for my non-athletic, cold-intolerant self, my husband is not ski mad.

View from a metro line
running through Vestre Aker

Tucked away in a corner of Røa I ran into a place called Miso Café. I was with a friend and we walked around for quite a while trying to find a place to sit at a chain café. (By the way, if you are open to joining me on one of these field trips or you have a suggestion of somewhere that I should visit just let me know via Facebook or Instagram). Just before we became exhausted we passed by Miso and decided to give it a try. We found they had a Korean/Norwegian menu which I am determined to go back and try. On that day we had very nice coffee drinks and the service was exceptional. Røa seems to be mostly a residential area and I don’t know anyone who lives there so didn’t venture to far from the T-banestasjon and shopping centre. I would nominate Miso Café as the heart of Røa, but not go as far as to place it as the heart of the entire Vestre Aker bydel.

Instagram photos from Røa and Miso Café

Another contender would be the Emanuel Vigeland’s museum. Creepy, a little bit weird, but also very cool. If you know anything at all about Oslo you will have heard of Vigeland’s older and more famous brother, Gustav. If you visit me I will definitely take you to Frognerparken where Gustav Vigeland’s sculptures decorate the whole park. (More on this in the forthcoming bydel Frogner blog.) Little brother Vigeland was so sour about living in his brother’s shadow his whole life that he made his own mausoleum. After he died, he was cremated, and his ashes were placed in an urn over the very low framed door as per his wishes. This is specifically so that all who enter his final resting place must bow to him as they come in. The mausoleum is decorated with pictures and murals on every surface. (I can’t stop thinking about Ashley Simpson’s song, “Shadow”. Don’t you dare judge my taste in music based on this admission! I was going through a lot in 2004.) The sound inside the mausoleum is dense, it’s very hard to describe it. The staff there ask visitors not to speak inside. If you promise not to tell anyone, I will admit that once inside I waited until there was no one left except my husband and myself and I made a little peep to see what happened. I would definitely recommend visiting, but even so I wouldn’t call this the heart of Vestre Aker. The heart can’t be in a resting place for a dead person. That would be depressing.

Emanuel Vigeland’s m(a)us(ol)eum

Now to announce the place where the heart of Vestre Aker is in my estimation: I have to go with Korketrekkeren, which translates to the Corskscrew. This is a sled track which was formerly used for bob sleigh and the luge in the Olympics and is now used recreationally. I am a big chicken and was super nervous about sledding, but I did it for the good of the project. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen a video of me on the verge of tears while going downhill and losing control a little bit. Afterwards I pretended to my family who are originally Jamaican (they are also very aware that I am the least athletic member of the family) that I had chanelled my inner Jamaican bobsled team member, made famous in the Disney film, Cool Runnings. Korketrekkeren is place with a lot of life. We were among the few people who didn’t bring children with them. This activity is perfect for a family fun day on a Sunday. Flying down a hill at speed causes screaming. Good screaming, the happy children kind of screaming. To get to the beginning of the track, get off at Frognerseteren T-bane stop. Take a short walk to the sled rental hut (helmets are included). After sledding all the way down, we took the tube from Midstuen and sledded down again. After the second time we returned to Frognerseteren to return the sleds and then had lunch at the beautiful Frognerseteren cafe/restaurant.

The poem this time is inspired by Korketrekkeren.

Hvitt pudder

Melis på toppen av en kake
er ikke nødvendig
Det er bare gøy og søtt,
for moro skyld
Fordi lyden av barn som skriker av glede
er den beste lyden i verden
Og noen ganger må vi huske
å bli barnslige, barnlige

 

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Throughout 2017 poet and blogger Leeanne Stoddart will travel around Oslo searching for the heart of each borough. She will write blogs, take photos, and write poetry from each place she visits. You can trace the journey here, and follow @hverbydelharethjerte on Instagram. The blog posts will be in English, whilst the poetry is in Norwegian.

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The Amelia Project

Exciting news! On 1st December 2017 on iTunes, Stitcher and Soundcloud, Imploding Fictions will launch a brand new narrative podcast called The Amelia Project! We are producing the show in association with Open House Theatre (AT) and Bunbury Banter Theatre Company (UK).

You can follow us across the internet and social media:

Webpage: https://ameliapodcast.com/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/imploding-fictions
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ameliapodcast/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amelia_podcast
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ameliapodcast/

Keep tuned in!

– Oystein

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Associates Alumni

Boundless Theatre (previously Company of Angels) have launched their new website. Joint artistic director of Imploding Fictions, Øystein Ulsberg Brager, is presented among the Associates Alumni. Check it out here!

“The Angels Associates Scheme has been pivotal to my career.”

Associate, Oystein Brager

– Oystein

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Gamle Oslo

Gamle Oslo

I’m sitting at Oslo Mekaniske Verksted’s as I write this. Oslo Mek is in Grønland, which is in the bydel Gamle Oslo. I’m part of a writing group that has semi-regular meetups there. We meet, we buy coffee/tea/beer. We talk about what our writing goals are for the day and then we sit in silence and write for 45 minutes. Then we take a break, sometimes we share, sometimes we ask for feedback. If we’re not too tired we go for another 45 minutes. I often see other groups at Oslo Mek: friends that are meeting up for coffee, there’s a group of knitters that I see regularly, there are other more official looking business meetings (but some kind of artsy business)… It’s a cool space and the drinks are good. They don’t serve food, but allow you to bring in your own. The couches are comfortable. There are plenty of outlets to plug in a laptop or phone. The walls are lined with old maps and botanical drawings.

In case you need to know how to cut up
a side of pork while you’re studying…

There are shelves and shelves of books and also board games. At one point it was possible to find my poetry book, but I haven’t seen it for a long time. I can only hope that someone stole it.

Grønland is one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Oslo. Here was the first place that I found I shop where I can buy food that I can actually afford and that remind me of “home” (which is a wide-ranging concept). When I’m missing the Mexican food/Tex-Mex I grew up with in the states I can find affordable avocadoes and the right kind of chili peppers. When I think of my Caribbean grandparents and long for the British-Caribbean sustenance I learned to cook in my young adulthood, I can find all of the root vegetables I need for “Sat’day soup”. (Saturday soup is a concept that exists in British-Caribbean communities, but not in the Caribbean as far as I can tell.) I even found ackee! (Ackee and saltfish is the national dish of Jamaica.) Lately, I have found other shops that have the same type of imported produce. The other locations are less busy and crowded.

Foreign food to warm foreign hearts.

Also in Grønland there is plenty of culture. Cafeteatret/Nordic Black Teater reminded me of the theatre that I worked at in the UK. I felt at home there right from the start. I don’t get there as often as I like but I LOVE their regular poetry open mic events. I discovered Oslo Mekaniske Verksted for the first time, back when I was a volunteer at Fortellerfestivalen (The Storytelling Festival). They have some of their events at Dramatikkens hus and the bar is right next door (actually, they share a garden, but I understand they are not under the same management).

I have seen the words “Skatt Øst” in spray paint on walls in different parts of the city. I found this strange. Usually graffiti is reserved for the artist’s tag or cuss words, right?

Grafitti found at Løren, bydel Grünerløkka.

So the first time I had to go to the tax office to register it was odd that I had seen the words on their signage before, but in spray paint. Also at the tax office there is a window display of bureaucracy through the decades.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Window displays at Skatt Øst.

I’ve been to Kampen a couple times also. Once was for the Christmas concert of my friend’s choir who rehearse weekly at Kampen Skole. The other occasion was for a book launch which was held at Lille Kampen which has arguably the smallest stage in the city. Lille Kampen has good food and a lovely ambience.

I have come to the realisation that I am obsessed with Tøyen. If you read my first blog post you will know that I addressed the debate in regards to which bydel Tøyen belongs to. The conclusion is that part of it is in Grünerløkka and the other part is Gamle Oslo. Tøyen is currently undergoing a lot of changes. The Tøyen torg has had a revamp of late. I ate a ridiculously fancy meal at a café by day, come swanky restaurant by night a couple weeks ago. In the same area there is a fairly new library which is specifically targeted to children and young people.

My second poem is also inspired by an experience I had in Tøyen, but the other bit, the Gamle Oslo bit. In it I talk with affection about people who sew. My great-grandfather was a tailor. I come from a long line of people who can sew well. There have been several home businesses related to dressmaking and two of my cousins are currently working in the fashion industry. I cannot sew. I own a sewing machine and I am starting to get better. Through my work with oslo soup I became acquainted with Made in Tøyen and attended one of their sewing classes.

Made in Tøyen.

Their new home is at Aktivitetshuset K1 which will have it’s opening week Monday 6 – Saturday 11, March.


Because we will be holding our next oslo soup event there I got to have a preview of the space, but I’ve already decided that the heart of Gamle Oslo is here. For me the heart of Gamle Oslo is specifically with the Made in Tøyen ladies.

Hva syr dere?

Hva sier dere?
Hva ser dere?
Hva syr dere?
Vi sier «Vær så god».
Vi ser alle farger.
Vi syr sammen en verden som er revet i mange stykker.

Hva sier dere?
Hva ser dere?
Hva syr dere?
Vi sier «Takk». «Takk for oss». «Takk for maten». «Takk for i dag». «Takk for nå». «Takk for alt».
Vi ser på kunst og vanlig hverdagsskjønnhet.
Vi syr duker, praktiske og vakre ting.

Hva sier dere?
Hva ser dere?
Hva syr dere?
Vi sier ingenting, noen ganger bare smiler vi og ler sammen.
Vi ser ting som ikke har form. Kjærlighet og familiefølelse.
Vi syr lappetepper, det er et gruppearbeid.

Hva sier dere?
Hva ser dere?
Hva syr dere?
Vi sier «Gratulerer med dagen».
Vi ser overgangsriter.
Vi syr kjoler til bryllupsdager og navneseremonier og bursdagsfester.

Hva sier dere?
Hva ser dere?
Hva syr dere?
Vi sier «Unnskyld».
Vi ser private øyeblikk.
Vi syr gardiner. (Vi hater å sy gardiner, de bruker så mye stoff, men vi syr dem. Vi har tusenvis av vinduer mellom oss.)

Hva sier dere?
Hva ser dere?
Hva syr dere?
Vi sier «Ja vi elsker».
Vi ser barnetoget på Syttende Mai.
Vi syr nye flagg til nye land. Land som er en blanding: Gamle og nye.

Hva sier dere?
Hva ser dere?
Hva syr dere?
Vi sier «Fremtiden er nå».
Vi ser sirkler.
Vi syr sammen fortid og nåtid med tradisjonelle og moderne metoder.

 

wordcloud

Throughout 2017 poet and blogger Leeanne Stoddart will travel around Oslo searching for the heart of each borough. She will write blogs, take photos, and write poetry from each place she visits. You can trace the journey here, and follow @hverbydelharethjerte on Instagram. The blog posts will be in English, whilst the poetry is in Norwegian.

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Bydeler / The boroughs of Oslo

Today I was talking to someone I am close to. She has lived in Oslo for 59 years. (It will be exactly 59 years next month when (let’s call her H) H has her birthday.) I mentioned that some people I had talked to about the #hverbydelharethjerte project were having trouble differentiating between the neighbourhoods vs the bydeler of Oslo. For example, Grünerløkka is a bydel but it is also an area in Grünerløkka. The same is true of Bjerke, Frogner, Sagene, St. Hanshaugen, Stovner, and Ullern. Together we went through the bydeler we could remember from memory and got most of them correctly. I have a few maps and an Excel spreadsheet that I refer to often. It seems that spending so much time looking at them has almost solidified them in my memory. This conversation made me think that I should share these resources that I have as a part of this blog.

Resources:
List from
Wikipedia
Find your bydel: Oslo Kommune’s Bydelsvelger
Map from
Oslo Kommune’s website

The conversation continued and I found myself curious about the thoughts of someone who has lived in Oslo for her whole life. What is the heart of the city for her? We talked about her favourite places in Oslo. Which bydel she likes the most and what is the “heart” of the bydel? This project is from my perspective as an immigrant, but I would love to know what other residents think, both long-time residents and other expats.

So dear readers, send me a message. Tell me what you think answering the following questions. You can contact me via (leeanne.stoddart[at]hotmail.com), Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

  1. How long have you lived in Oslo?
  2. Which is your favourite bydel? (Check the link to Oslo Kommune’s maps or the Wikipedia list if you need to.)
  3. What is the “heart” of your favourite bydel?
  4. What are your top three favourite places in Oslo?
  5. What is the “heart” of Oslo for you? (Is it the same as number one on your favourite places list?)

Throughout 2017 poet and blogger Leeanne Stoddart will travel around Oslo searching for the heart of each borough. She will write blogs, take photos, and write poetry from each place she visits. You can trace the journey here, and follow @hverbydelharethjerte on Instagram. The blog posts will be in English, whilst the poetry is in Norwegian.

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Hver bydel har et hjerte: Grünerløkka

tre-i-torshovparkenA tree at St. Hanshaugen. (Have a closer look at what is hanging from the branches…)

 

Et tre på Tøyen

Da jeg var liten så mistet jeg ei stygg brun lue.
Det var et uhell men mora mi trodde at jeg mistet den med vilje.
I dag liker jeg brun. Den er en av mine favorittfarger.
Men på den tiden hadde alle jentene i klassen min luer som var rosa og lilla og glitrende.
Men det var et uhell at jeg mistet den stygge brune lua.
Kanskje grunnen var at det var kaldt på vei til skolen og på vei tilbake skinte sola og jeg ville at håret mitt skulle ta til seg litt lys.

Noen dager senere fant mora mi den stygge brune lua i midten av en stor dam.

Hun tok en pinne og fisket lua ut av det skitne vannet.
Mora mi tok den stygge brune lua hjem og vasket den.
Og den nyvaskede lille brune lua var på hodet mitt dagen etter.
Det er lenge siden, men jeg tenkte på det på grunn av en flott liten brun vott.
Den votten henger på et tre i Botanisk Hage.
Der er det et skilt som sier «Norsk vinterklærtre».

Om våren får det knopper.
Om sommeren er bladene grønne som vanlig.
Om høsten blir bladene oransje og gule og brune, også som vanlig.
Men om vinteren så blomstrer ensomme votter, fortapte skjerf og mistede luer.

 

Norsk vinterklærtreNorwegian winter clothes tree

 

Grünerløkka

This project is from my perspective as a foreigner living in Oslo. I bet you’re wondering what kind of foreigner. Well it’s a long answer, in fact I have a Tumbr blog which is wasting away wherein I try to the answer the question, “Where are you from?”. The short answer is that my culture is a mixture of influences from Jamaica (where my grandparents are originally from), England (where I was born and also moved back to as a young adult and began my working life), and America (where I grew up and was educated). I am also starting to notice small things about Norway that make me feel I belong here, but I wouldn’t go as far as to refer to myself as partially Norwegian… yet.

I’m taking a few risks by starting this project with Grünerløkka. First of all, by first impressions Grünerløkka might be the coolest bydel [borough] in Oslo. So, if this is the coolest blog post of them all, everything is downhill from here. The second risk is that the first poem I have written was inspired by something I saw at Botaniske Hage [the Botanical Gardens] which is in the neighbourhood of Tøyen. There is some debate as to whether Tøyen is in Grünerløkka or Bydel Gamle Oslo. The lines separating the two boroughs have been redrawn at different points and I think the best people to make a final call on this are the residents who live on the border. I am choosing not to involve myself in the debate. For those of you who feel strongly on the subject I can I assure you that I will revisit the topic when I write about Gamle Oslo. Based on the maps I have access to I have established that the part of Tøyen that the Botanical Gardens is in, is the area that is considered Grünerløkka. Finally, Grünerløkka is very large. This may also be the longest blog post of them all.

votter-pa%cc%8a-treOne of the first things that stands out about Grünerløkka is its name. What is that “ü” doing in there?! That’s not Norwegian! According to Wikipedia Grünerløkka is named for Friedrich Grüner. I couldn’t find any information about him, but other notables with the same surname are primarily German. The “løkka” part is the Norwegian word for “the paddock”, so “Grüner’s field”.

There is a lot to do in this bydel so I chose to pick some highlights. For nightlife and dining Blå [Blue] is a nightclub with good DJ’s and nice drinks. They also have live gigs sometimes, I haven’t been to one yet, but I am aware of it because I’ve stopped by before and it was too full to get in. Right next door is a bar called Ingensteds, I love the name of this place the direct translation is “No Place”. I imagine, some drunk person being asked where they have been and responding “Nowhere”. Nighthawk Diner is an American style diner which I personally love. Their pancakes are the real deal. Mathallen is a huge complex with many restaurants, bars, food boutiques. I work with oslo soup, which is a micro-funding foodie experience. Our most recent event was at Smelteverket in Mathallen. Smelteverket has the longest bar in Oslo and really very nice ambience.

teddybjorn-pa%cc%8a-billettmaskinAs for culture: there is Black Box teater, which seems to have a reputation for experimental theatre. Munchmuseet is also in the part of Tøyen that is included in this bydel. Edvard Munch is one of the more famous Norwegian artists. I remembered him from my university days in Art Appreciation 101, as the “scream guy”. I also work with the Oslo International Rumi Festival and we have moved to Victoria Jazzscene, but I am familiar with Riksscenen from having the festival there in previous years. Riksscenen is located in a vibrant area of Grünerløkka near a former beer factory.
I am not an outdoorsy person so when I speak of outdoor life I’ll probably be referring to parks and the like. In this bydel we have Torshovdalen which is known for it’s grassy knolls and a huge statue of a baby’s head and the aforementioned Botaniske Hage. The gardens are a part of the Naturhistorisk Museum [Natural History Musem] which is part of Universitet i Oslo [the University of Oslo].

Det finnes til og med en norsk bok om en vott på villveie. There is even a Norwegian book about a missing glove.

I’ve concluded that for me that the heart of Bydel Grünerløkka is in the midst of the Botanical Gardens. It is a serene, beautiful, poetry inspiring space which is set apart from a neighbourhood that could otherwise be described as bustling.

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Throughout 2017 poet and blogger Leeanne Stoddart will travel around Oslo searching for the heart of each borough. She will write blogs, take photos, and write poetry from each place she visits. You can trace the journey here, and follow @hverbydelharethjerte on Instagram. The blog posts will be in English, whilst the poetry is in Norwegian.

 

Leeanne framfører "Et tre på Tøyen" under Andre Historier på Det Andre TeatretLeeanne performed “Et tre på Tøyen” under Andre Historier
på Det Andre Teatret 19th January 2017.

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