Förbudsland och Fördomsland (Prohibition-country and Prejudice-country), 2005
Site-specific installation at Linköping University, Sweden
The starting point for this project was a signpost on Linköping University’s Campus Valla that points toward Linköpings’s twin cities. Two signs were added to the post: one pointing towards Stockholm that reads “0 km Förbudsland, S” (Prohibition-country). The other points toward Copenhagen: “345 km Fördomsland, DK” (Prejudice-country).
The work explores the cliché-ridden relationship between Denmark and Sweden, starting from Hasager’s own position as a Dane studying in Sweden, during which time she was often confronted with the way Danes and Swedes conceive of the culture of one another. She has referred to Sweden using the word Förbudsland (Prohibition-country), since it is one of the clichés often used by Danes when describing Sweden, usually pointing to Sweden’s strict alcohol policy as an example. She uses Fördomsland (Prejudice-country) to refer to the fear and prejudice that have become an increasingly large part of the Danish mentality since the early 2000s. Restrictions based on prejudice have become a bigger part of everyday life in Denmark, and bills previously seen as racist have been presented and debated at the federal level.
By using an existing signpost on campus that people pass by every day with little notice, the work offers a small interference within familiar surroundings, as opposed to being a more imposing sculptural decoration.