We all have a private geography or a topography over areas or sites that are significant for our self-understanding. Where we were born, where we grow up, where we had our first kiss or places we have traveled to and lastly our home. Our private geography is where we often have our day to day life.
I call my self a Copenhagener, but initially, I’m from the island Fynen (more specific a naughty little town called Middelfart, a name which never goes well in English). I love to travel and have for shorter times of period lived abroad and considered it my temporary home, Copenhagen is the place I always return to and therefore find it my real home.
To me, Copenhagen is part of my private geography and is where I established my first real home, I became an adult, my children are born and where I live my day to day life. Hence Copenhagen is the place I consider to be my home.
My Many Homes to be Part of My Private Geography
For many years I, therefore, had several places I regarded home. Fynen, where I came from, was the place I returned to, but so was Copenhagen, and when I was living abroad, it just became even more confusing.
But Copenhagen is without a doubt where I belong and the place I always return to – so it is the place I call home.
It is with love and passion to my dear city, I write about it and photograph it. I have fond memories as well as bad when pacing through the cityscapes of the town. The most significant places in my “private geography” are P Knudsensgade, the first home for my husband and me in Copenhagen; Artillerivej, KUA and the libraries where I spend most of my working hours getting my master in History of religion. These places are sites where life-changing events have taken place; they are places I have brought with me in my memory, and continually shapes my perspective on my city my home. I’m a Copenhagener, living still living in Sydhaven.
Becoming Part of the City
Unfortunately, I rarely have time to be a tourist in Copenhagen, so when I commute, I try to experience it all on the go, as I did when I first moved to Copenhagen, and it still didn’t feel like my real home. The different pace in the streets, the diversity, in the sometimes very eclectic, cityscapes, and different sounds and smells all provide a different atmosphere to each neighbourhood. I take in every little detail as if I was capturing it through a camera lens and with a historical and architectural insight, I analyse the different layers in the city. Copenhagen becomes a part me and my identity, but I also become a part of the town.
To read more on my perspective on Copenhagen, please go to the post “Capturing Copenhagen in an Instant.”
I got the inspiration for this post, by listening in to the episode 624: Private Geography by the great podcast This American Life. I hope I have inspired you to figure out which places have become part of your private geography.