måndag 4 juni 2007

A non-photographing family and the Jante-law...

We were no photographing family… There exist photos the first maybe 8 years of my life, to when the fifth child was born… After that it decreased slowly. My brother got a film camera and films were taken for some years from when I was in the beginning of my teens and a couple of years forward, but to film and photograph was so expensive, so when it had lasted for too long dad started to react:

“But now… Stop! Now it’s enough!”
So slowly all lost the interest to photograph and film?

And this has been an ongoing pattern!! I don’t think any of the later built families has been enthusiastically photographing? Not even the ones that have families and children!

So there are things connected to this with photographs, photographing, being photographed and filmed? And how one was mirrored too I guess in whole… (I hate being filmed and photographed and recorded. I haven't seen the DVD we did yet, and probably won't either in the nearest future, I haven't even seen the cover of it really... And not even listened to the result, I was forced to listen a little during the recording, one of the filmers thought I should because he thought it sounded so good. I didn't really think so...).

My eagerness to communicate though goes over all borders?? Over language borders too! My choice of work, my will to communicate with pictures too (even the not so perfect ones; giving impressions, ideas and feelings of what I am talking about. An overwhelming gladness in communicating and sharing, though not appreciated by all I have come to realize).

“How pretentious to write in English!!! ('and with that English too!!!' which maybe isn't outspoken? But never mind)”
Came to think about the Jante-law, which they wrote about on the psycho history list this spring… I smiled when I read it, because I don’t think they really captured this law!! But I don’t think only we Scandinavians suffer from it!

Actually it came a book 1988 in Norwegian (1990 in Swedish) with the title “The Man from Jante” (“Mannen från Jante”) about the Danish-Norwegian author Aksel (Axel) Sandemose (born 1898 I think, in Denmark, died in Norway?).

It stands in the Swedish National Encyclopaedia that the Jante-law consists of ten “commandments” characterized by the small town mentality and jealousy (connected to the small town Nyköbing in Denmark where Sandemose was born). It was Sandemose who gave final shape to this law in a novel he wrote 1933 “En flykting krosser sitt spor” (“A refugee crosses his trace” or something like that).

It stands on page 38 in the book about Sandemose that it was the forms terror or radically “formalism”, which was the paste that held Jante together. The message in the Jante-law is that man shall be adapted to the collective only. It is a law with which human beings shackle (klavbinder) and are holding each others down. When the oppression (fötrycket) has worked for enough long time the oppressed take over the oppression without help of any tyrant and the Jante-law is their most important and powerful weapon.

Jante is holding Jante down through terror which means threatening the individual with exclusion from a community and fellowship which thought doesn’t exist – an empty community, a “forms” and “rituals” community. All are alone but thinks all others are holding together in a community.

Every digression (avvikelse) and each transgression (överträdelse) is ardently (nitiskt) connected to the slightly floating and infamously (infamt) insinuatingly question:

”Maybe you think we don’t know anything about you?”


“Who do you think you are?”
That’s the essence of this law…

Sandemose really lived a hard life, married a much younger woman at last and died in his 60s... Suffered from depressions and was influenced by Freud, and had read him I think, as many intellectuals had done and did then and as many intellectuals did many decades later on...

Now a tour out on bike… It’s a wonderful weather I think. Then home changing cloths and going for lunch with all on my workplace out on the countryside…

The theme Jante-law occurred on the psycho history list in the post "Dutch children happiest in Europe" and the following comments. But I wonder if it was the ideas I reacted upon on how it is in our countries??? No matter, now I am going to take a bike-tour!! :-)

At 15.45: A typical May-pole for this county, actually made at midsummer and standing the whole year to next midsummer, which is special for this county. With the typically crossed arrows which this county has in it's arms (what we call "vapen").

Now soon a mini-concert with seven pupils - and ice cream eating... Which is appropriate today!! It's summer warmth. Nice! But I wonder if I have got a a summer cold too? Not wearing enough cloths?

A picture I suddenly got: A sarcastic, ironic, contemptuous gaze from a father at the eager, lively child (a daughter), a gaze not even with a moderating smile. Just a "dismissing" gaze...
With no love at all. Over such a stupidity, but for the first for the childishness (talk about having high thoughts of children?)! A gaze whose message very clearly was (though not said in spoken words):

"How childish!!"
with a deep, deep contempt. But this was a child! Aren't children supposed to be children??
A contempt for the child. Deep.
"Behaving like that!! Talking in that way!!"
Even this not said in words, but impossible to understand in another way. And a deep, deep shame over such a child. A child that wasn't allowed to be proud and glad in its interests, curiousnesses, gladnesses and whole appearance (artistically gifted? In not only one area?)... Still harbored in a grown up woman...

Now I think I am going to write Runa's story... Which the next blog post will be about I think...


A break in writing sitting at the balcony in the warm summer evening sun!! Wonderful! Out on the bike tour before lunch the sweet smell of forest and pine needles... On the lunch I saw meadow flowers already and sensed a fairly strong smell in strokes of lilies of the valley!

Came to think out there on the balcony: there exist verbal abuse and emotional incest - too...

Also came to think of a near relative whose mother pulled her and her siblings hair... I came to know this mother (pulling the hair), and can imagine what she actually did and how...

This violation related with a calm voice as if it was nothing...

And this woman also got beaten up furiously by a father with a belt when she (being four years old) and a younger comrade (also girl) had crushed the lights of a car-wreck... Also related with a calm voice... This happened round 1930 I think... I wonder what happened more, seen to what I know further... And myself have seen with my own eyes though I was a child and from what I know. Maybe seen with a very clear eyed child's eyes? What consequences did this give? Even in further generations? Results even from those things I only slightly imagine and which are non-spoken (and seen as unimportant, not meaning anything at all and even forgotten)... Was future generations spared? Or what have they suffered and sacrificed? I just wonder. How harmless was this all - actually??

I wonder quite silently what those things, which then maybe was seen as totally harmless and with no lasting, or long lasting, consequences, in fact has led to? Not only then for one single child, but later for many more, and in fact not so few... Yes, I really wonder...

June 5: Incapable of protecting, not only herself, but first and foremost her children properly... And a boy that got abused can become an abuser... As the girl can become... Too. Even subtly abusing...

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