I cross the bridge frequently.
I am a resident of Sweden and I have family in Denmark. These days I have one foot in Copenhagen and one foot in Malmö. Sometimes I cross the bridge several times a week. In the autumn of 2015 I started to notice that I was sharing a part of my commute from Denmark to Sweden with desperate, fleeing people. They usually travelled in small groups, without much luggage, usually just carrying small backpacks. Many looked exhausted while others looked hopeful and optimistic. I knew they had travelled a long way. Sometimes they would ask for directions or ask the other passengers around them if they had arrived in Sweden yet. Many stepped of the train at Malmö central station and found that their family or friends would be waiting for them on the platform. Others stepped off the train looking bewildered and from their demeanour it seemed to me they were thinking: “I got here. What now?”. Soon tents from humanitarian organizations, a makeshift canteen and vans from the police and Swedish migration authority were there too. Late evenings the train station was crowded with people who looked like they had nowhere else to go.
As the autumn progressed, the police started boarding the trains as they arrived from Copenhagen. They would enter the train cars one by one and ask: “Anyone seeking asylum, please come with me”. Sometimes everyone in the car would get up and leave with the police officer and I’d be the only person left in the car. I can’t tell the stories of the refugees, these people with whom I’ve briefly shared trains. I can tell mine.
On the fourth of january Sweden closed it’s borders. It was now impossible to enter Sweden without papers. Train stations erected fences, guards were placed at the end stations in both nations and showing identification papers became part of the everyday routine. The implementation was arbitrary and confusing since neither the Danish security guards at Copenhagen airport station nor the Swedish police seemed entirely certain what exactly constitutes legal traveling documents between the two countries. After having used different swedish- and icelandic issued identification papers in my possession, it now seems that my passport aside, the only identification both kingdoms seem to accept is my permit to drive a tiny motorcycle on a tiny island in the north-atlantic ocean; My Icelandic license to drive a 125cc moped, which has now become the document which allows me to traverse the border at will.
This exhibition consists of data I’ve gathered during my frequent crossings of the Danish-Swedish border.
On display in the front room is a series of photos taken from train windows at Hyllie station between the 16th of november, 2016, the day after the police started boarding trains, and the 29th of april, 2016. Each photo represents a single border-crossing.
In the tile room there is a copy of George Orwell’s 1984. By only reading while the police check my papers, I’ve read the entire book while having my papers inspected at Hyllie.
The black box in the basement features the architect’s vision of what Hyllie was to become and the contemporary sound of pulling up to Hyllie station.