An Enemy of the People in Oslo

by Rimini Protokoll



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Name: Guro Voss Gabrielsen
Age: 38
District: Gamle Oslo
Nationality: Norwegian
I live with my partner Marius and our child. Two of Marius children from another relationship also live with us every other week, but as they are not registered here, their belonging to Oslo become yet another margin of error in the statistics.

I am a human geographer, and I work as an advisor to city planners all over the country. 

I belong to the human geographers, the dancers, the mothers, the cyclists but I do not belong to people that get angry with children for them being children. This is one of the few groups I can't relate to. There are many groups I would like to distance myself from, but the reason for why I don’t like these people is probably related to me also seeing myself in those groups. For instance I would easily say I have nothing to do with the everyday car drivers, but also on some level I can relate to the easy way of living and not give a damn. 

As I grew up in Oslo, at Grünerløkka, and as my partner also grew up here, at Skillebekk, it felt natural to come back. We used to live in the forest outside Oslo but when my partner found this house at - he was helplessly in love. Being a furniture carpenter I imagine a house hanging from the chimney requiring a full renovation seemed attractive. But we got it cheap and it turned out to be a beautiful project!

I hadn’t read An Enemy of the People since school but borrowed an old precious copy from my father-in-law this summer. It travelled with me in my backpack and it was interesting to read it over again. I remembered the feeling of horror of being trapped, and still I can relate to Doctor Stockman as he gets emotional so quickly. Growing older though I found myself less certain of what was right and wrong - I mean, do we really know the water is polluted? Yet, at the same time, couldn’t they have taken the time to check it? I am not so sure the strongest man is the one standing alone. Rather on the contrary- being large enough to reach out for help is a strength.  As Lindgrens Pippi says: «The strong always most be very kind». And those who are kind are not alone. I think. 

I used to believe I was better off living my life only by my premises, but has ended up in a beautiful family of chaos with mine, yours and our children, and where being alone is rare and we have to co-create how we live all the time. 

I am using the bike to the theatre, down through Vålerenga park, Galgeberg junction to Grønlandsreiret and then through Stortovet and Grensen to the theatre.