until Roskilde Festival 2015 - 27 June to 4 July

The texts are writing by visAvis. The photo portraits are taken by Kristina Demant.


A pair of scissors: When I worked in the military in my home country, I learned to cut hair. I love it, and I like to help people in the camp. Many of them are in really bad shape, so I talk with them while I cut their hair – and maybe, sometimes they feel better afterwards. I also cut hair for Danes who don't have much money.

Perfume: A month ago, my mother sent me this perfume. I haven't seen her for five years, and I miss her every day. It doesn't look like I'll be seeing her any time soon.

Dolma: I like to cook, and my mother taught me how to cook Kurdish dolma. It's nice to bring that with me, as a bond of sorts to my family and my home country.

Karate movies: When you're in the camp, there are always people around you. We live four in a room, so peace is difficult to come by. That is why I watch a lot of movies when I'm in the camp, especially karate movies. That is one of the only times I feel like I'm alone.

Kurdish Scarf: I love Kurdish parties where you dance with these scarfs. There are no parties in the camps, but sometimes I go to a Kurdish club in Copenhagen, where people are happy, and dance and party.


Pharmacist text book: In Sudan, I studied to become a pharmacist, and I had classes such as physics, chemistry and mathematics, but I had to stop and run in 2001. At that time, all my friends had done the same. I really wanted to continue my studies in Denmark, but as an asylum seeker, you neither have the right to study nor to work. It feels like I'm forgetting everything I learned then. The Red Cross offer a computer class in Excel, but I'm used to going to university so it's not really relevant for me. It makes me sad when I think about it. I hope, that some day, I get the chance to study again.

Recipe for noodle soup: When I lived in Sudan, I worked at a restaurant for westerners to make a little extra money during my studies. I love to cook. One day I found a recipe for noodle soup. The boss liked it so much it got on the menu. It's difficult to make that type of food in Denmark, because  you can't get the right ingredients.

iPod: I love listening to music – loud music and to dance. It is an important part of my life. We are three people in my room, and the others rarely want to listen to music, so I can only listen to music on my iPod. When I lived in Sudan, I always listened to music, and when there was a party, we would dance in a very special way. People don't dance that way here in Denmark.

Kronborg castle: I like the Danish castles and museums. Especially, Kronborg castle is really beautiful. I like to read about Danish history and to go and look at castles.

Passport photo: All I have left from my life before I came to Denmark, is a passport photo, which was taken in Greece. Aside from this picture I don't have any pictures of my friends and family in Sudan. I only have new things. (Ismael does not want to show his photo as he does not want to be recognised).


Food ticket: The ticket gives me the right to get three meals, and if I lose it I risk not being able to get anything to eat. Making the day pass is difficult, so the meal is the most important event of the day. Aside for the meals, my day is spent working at the office as a translator/interpreter for the Red Cross. It is depressing work, because they (the Red Cross) told me, when I began, that you have to get used to saying no and to not being able to help people. I translate/interpret all day long, in all types of situations. For example, when people need to go to the doctor. One day, I interpreted during a labour. I try to fill up my day with something so I don't think about my own situation. In general, daily life in the camp is hard. No matter how much you sleep, you're always tired. Many suffer from chronic headaches and anxiety attacks. My friends, who come from Tokyo and Moscow are e.g. depressed, because it is so quiet. They are used to living in the big city with lots of noise and life.

The Koran: I pray and read in the Koran every day. That gives me strength and helps me cling on to a little ray of hope.

Marriage certificate: I brought my marriage certificate, because I couldn't bring my husband. I miss him and I hope that one day it will be possible to bring him here. But I think it'll be difficult. The police says, that Israel is a safe country, but we are political refugees and that makes our case more complicated. Many people don't know what's going on in Israel, so I always have to explain myself. I also have pictures of us together to prove that we are a real couple who love each other.

Flute: I used to play music all the time. Flute was my instrument, and even though I brought it with me, I haven't played it since I got here. I just don't have the energy.   


Hope – favourite book: I have great hope for the democratic world – where I can say and do what I want. My favourite book is about fighting for a democratic world. I really like this book because I can relate to it. It reminds me of my own situation and of my struggles.

Diary: It is also important for me to write in my diary; to express some of my emotions when I'm sad or frustrated. I use it when there is no one to talk to who can understand where I'm coming from. One thought, that is very important to me, is not to judge others. I learned that at (the camp) Sandholm. If a woman is talking to a man, or e.g. if she is smoking, people are looking at her differently. I hate that. You are easily isolated as a woman at Sandholm. In general, people live very isolated lives up here.

Violin: I also play the violin. When playing that, I can release all of my emotions, and for a moment forget all of my worries and everything around me. I really like that.


Computer: My computer is really important to me. I have moved many times to different countries. With the internet, I always know what is going on out there, and I can keep in touch with the world outside of the camp, which can be difficult sometimes.

Medicine: I have to take antidepressant pills, but they don't really help. I take three different types of medicine, but they only want to give me one type. I also have great difficulty sleeping, but I can't get any sleeping pills.

Notebook: I dream of being a writer. I write down a lot of stuff. I started writing when I was in prison. I wrote everything that happened, what people looked like, and what I was doing. Because my memory is not very good. It is because of stress. I still write a lot.

Handbag: All the important things that I own, I can have in my handbag. If something happens and I need to run, I only need to grab my handbag. My bible is also always in my handbag. It is really important to me.

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