2005. interview: anna ehrlemark by ivana armanini/ 04 megazin

anna ehrlemark

* izvor: 04 megazin https://komikaze.hr/author/annaehrlemark
Rođena je u Uppsali (Švedska)1981.Od 2003. živi i radi u Ljubljani, iz koje stalno odlazi. Studentica Slavistike, živi od državnog kredita. Aktivna kao organizatorica, aktivistica i designerica u kulturnom centru AKC Metelkova mesto. Piše i razmišlja kroz feministički filter. Crta stripove sa zagrebačkom strip bandom KOMIKAZE! Radoznala multipraktična poštena luteranska imigrantica.
25.3.2005. skvotirana je tvornica Rog u Ljubljani sto je pokrenula neformalna inicijativa Temp. Temp je pozvao Toni Negrija trazeci od opcine prostor za predavanje u Rogu.Opcina nije dala odobrenje iako je prostor na papiru namjenila kulturi. Tako je sve i krenulo. Do sada je u prostoru stotinjak ljudi, kriticna masa raste…

-Skvotirali ste tvornicu Rog, privukli gomilu ljudi, konacno konkretna akcija! Nakon godina i godina razgovora ugodnih o skvotiranju, vi ste to i ucinili. Da li ste vi tako pozitivni ili je slovenska opcina tako negativna da se dogodio ovaj veliki odaziv ljubljanske scene.

Hard to say. I think that when people look back at this kind of initiatives, movements, actions etc. they always romantisize the moment, like if there was just one place and one time where the energy, people and circumstances came together in a never-to-be-repeated opportunity. It becomes a stigma to the people who joins in later or hear about it afterwards. It seems unrepeatable. But what if the opportunity is always there?
Even in Rog you can notice that people are aware of making history from the very beginning, that the legends about how it all begun immediately starts taking shape. Still, it was not luck. Ljubljana is ready for a new round of enthusiasm. Metelkova happened 13 years ago, and I think it has
been the subject of exactly that kind of mythologysation that I described before. But there is a new generation of young activists, organisations, artists and initiators on the scene, and Metelkova is not big enough, or open enough, to host them all. It would be in the interest of the city to keep it like that, to make Metelkova a reservat of an aging alternative culture and use it as an argument against new initiatives, while quitely trying to pacify it. The city council is not evil, it’s playing safe, like you have to do in politics.
Now they don’t know how to deal with the movement that is developing in Rog, but they initiated it themselves with their covardous politics. With their undesisive and double-edged agreement about the ”Negri-festival” they gave us the perfect moment for action, with an allready opened factory and a strong enough organisation to take it one step forward once they got cold feet and wanted to call the hole thing off.

-Skvotiranju je prethodila mjesecna akcija tempa u skuc galeriji na kojoj ste pripremili teren. Kakav je bio odaziv gradskih struktura na vase upite, zahtjeve i tribine u Skucu?

The exhibition in Skuc was a successful labaratory wich opened a debate and joined several groups and individuals with their specific interests in one question – space. It is of crucial importance that the critique and research TEMP has been carrying out is realistic, obvious and very basic.
Private interests are taking over the city, public space is shrinking, the appartment-, office-, and studio prices are unaffordable for normal people, the city center is dying, and the city council is letting buildings in their ownership stand empty and fall apart infront of our eyes!

Reactions from the city?

– Avoiding answers. But since we entered and opened Rog the question has become media-stuff and they’re forced to come up with answers. The media has over-all been very positive and supportive, so has the reactions of people. There is always somebody calling for law-and-order, but it definetely helps to be so prepared as we’ve been. This is actually a very clean squatting, no brutes, violent faces or hard words, just serious, hard-working, sympathic activists with a clear political message and vision.

-Akciju je vodila ideja pobijanja privatnog vlasnistva.Da li mislis da je u prostoru od 7000 kvadrata u centru ljubljane moguce odrzati ovu ideju na razini velikog broja ljudi ili je postepena privatizacija dijelova roga upravo u toku?

You will get a different answer from every single person active there right now. For me personally it is not important weather utopia is possible, the process is thrilling. The idea of an open space without private corners, studios or offices, without leadership or hierarchic organisation is confusing, to some more then to others. The advantage of openess is unpredictability and communication and that should attract everybody who enters, otherwise they have nothing to come for. So long everybody agrees on this point. But it has to be repeated over and over again. I’m not sure if there is a consensus about what “commune” and “open” means. No – I’m sure there isn’t.

-Koji profil ljudi vam se pridruzio I da li imaju odjeka i vasi socijalno angazirani program roga, u smislu pomoci starcima te beskucnicima?

Social organisations, political labaratories, grafitteri and graffitisti, overwintered legends, young activists and radicals, multimedia professors, dancers, filmofils, cirkus pri koritu, artists of course, lots of architechts, fired rog-mechanichs, izbrisani, one-question-fighters, curious bypassers, some kids, but so far no pensioners and no homeless…

-Sto je rog i zasto se izabrali bas tu lokaciju kad je za ovakve sadrzaje vec namjenjena Metelkova? Kakva je atmosfera u Metelkovoj?

Interesting question – what kind of content do you believe Metelkova is ment for? Rog is a deserted bicycle factory stripped of machines and interiors. The machine halls are big enough to host 100-meter runners and lighted by endless rows of windows, the ground floor is a labyrint
of rooms and hideaways, high ceilings, sound icolated basement, annexes, gardens and playgrounds – the space is virtually a wet fantasy for it’s users! Primarly it’s an ideal place for production, space consuming
activities, cooperations, and interaction. It has many of the characteristics that Metelkova is missing, and they have potential to match each other perfectly. Metelkova is once again fighting for its existence, fighting against the wicked government, “worried parents”, demolition and legalisation. It always gets a bit livelier there when we’re in trouble.
Personally I think that Metelkova is ready for bigger changes, maybe even legalisation, anything but giving
into uncreative, slightly apathic comfortability with the present stage. What is the point of preserving something for sentimental reasons? Of course Metelkova and what it stands for is prescious to me, and crucial to Ljubljana, therefore it’s sad to imagine the potential being missed because of habit. A radical institution should be radical, attract new people, new thought, new media, and always be one step ahead of official institutions! We can do that by thinking outside of the box. If legalisation is the worst thing that can happen to Metelkova, then I think that it’s a lingustic game getting in the way of our autonomy. It sounds contradictionary, but think about it.

-U Metelkovoj si I zaposlena.Od cega se sastoji tvoj posao, kako izgleda tvoj radni dan?
I’m not employed in Metelkova, but I’m working there. I’ve been a volonteer organising noise-conserts, drunk barmaid, youth animator, workshop leader, poster-designer, and now lately mostly involved as a
helping hand withing the organisation KUD Mreza. But I’m also an exchange student and enrolled at the internet-universtiy in Gothenburg. On a normal day I’m running back and forth between university, the
office in Metelkova and, now lately, Rog. It’s a question of administation, creative favours, hotel bookings and emailing. Right now we’re busy preparing for two big conferenses that will be held in the beginning of may, both including members of the European nework of cultural centers – Trans Europe Halles.

-Imas atelje tamo, u kakvim uvjetima crtas?
It’s a beautiful room of unrealized potential. I’ve had access to it since octobre, throughout the cold winter, and unfortunatly it’s almost impossible to heat with my mini-oven.
But I’m very uncompulsory. I draw fast and inpatiently, and could do it anywhere. I spent some time up there in december making hanging paper sculptures, wish i would’ve had more time or patience to finish that project…

-Nedavno je u mladini izasao clanak s temp grafitima s naslovom-jedini koji su se oduprli naci okupaciji Ljubljane, kako komentiras te naci struje, kolko su prisutne i vidljive i kakav je tvoj komentar na njih.

Ljubljana is virtually flooded with their black-panther-shablonas. They’re young nationalists, and obviously attracted by the same urban culture as their opponents. They´re acting like righteous activists with a mission, swearing just like me and Kultter (when we got caught trying to cover some stupid jumbo posters of dark-suited politicians fingering some headless, topless, pinup girl). Don’t the police have something better to do? They’re oppinions are dangerously well formulated though, with some strange moral-mix-mission of protecting the Slovenian Narod from extinction, Serbian maffia, communist-intelectuals, multiculturalism, ignorance and modernity. But from reading their Internet forum you can understand that they’re internally disagreeing about details. A thing like the graffiti-action becomes very problematic when you as group claim to stand for law-and-order… They’re confused, and they’re not alone. We’re all confused. Everybody is using apocalyptic metaphores for the future nowadays. I don’t know how to “cure” them and win them over to my side, but since they started with the street campaign it seems to be one of the best arenas to keep the debate alive and visible.

-Dolazis iz Švedske, zemlje ugode i blagostanja a bacila si se u zizu dogadjanja koja su preokrenula ljubljanu naopacke, sto te motivira?

on’t trick me into my usual blablabla about the Swedish myth… You have your own country, why don’t you stay there? the nazis asked me. Sweden is not what you picture it like, on the other hand it’s a lot of things that you can’t imagine, just like every place with internal codes and habits. The best thing my country is giving me is the possibility to support myself with the government student loan (loan it is, I will have to pay it back some day…). My motivation for changing hunting fields is the thrill of stepping out of those habits and codes. To notice them and transgress them, to be freed from them. But that stage is already long passed, now it’s just getting hard to leave…

-Odrzavas li kontakte sa svedskom, kakva je tamo urbana scena?

I keep sporadic contact with my family, but have nothing to do with Swedish urban culture. It’s mostly connected to the angloamerican urban culture. Swedes like to think of themselves as being in the forefront of every movement, and I think that can blind us sometimes. But you will find more devoted collectors and cultural-know-alls with obscure record collections and rare references there than in Slovenia. Interesting or elitism – you’ll have to judge for yourself.

-Nacrtala si prosle godine svoj prvi strip kojim si izazvala zavist i ljubomoru dugugodisnjih striptrudbenika a kasnijim radovima i nastavila si sa zrelim stilom i autentikom. smatras li da je strip tvoj medij u kom si oduvijek bila a rezultati su se dogodili usput ili je to plod trenutne konstelacije slucajnih susreta?

I’m drawing like a child, happy for every picture and with a big need for confirmation – is it good? it is? isn’t it? I used to consider myself a writer who hardly wrote, now I could be a comic artist who rarely draws.
One thing leads to the other, when words started to strangle me, pictures made me happy. I’m very inpatient, can’t stand making sketches, and quickly tires if I’m not satisfied with the result. I’ll probably never be
able to draw narrativly, so perhaps I’m just a comic artist in the komikaze-sense of the word.
What interests me is sets, motives, ideas. Usually I get excited about a plot without beginning or end: A shy voyeur on bike, a wanking boy on a parking lot, a lonely girl dressing up as a playboy-bunny at
home infront of the mirror…
Pictures stand out from the page more than letters, but the combination rules!!! The comic about Tonzenie is baced on “a true story”, a case study written by a 18th century doctor, a genre I would call science-porn. Just like in Charcots circus of hysteric women in the Salpetriere hospital in Paris it’s hiding behind a dry, conserned, objective language and a moral cause while actually feeding on half/naked women and re-telling juicy gossip, sensational enough for the yellow pages. Born in sin, or derranged by society, the fitlhy french maid, or xxx-literature – who put the rabbit in tonznie?

-Upoznala sam te pred 3 godine u ulozi organizatorice i koordinatorice strip albuma striproute, kasnije si radila u organizaciji rdecih zora i kulturne trznice, sada si u aktivistickoj fazi, crtas stripove, plakate I grafite…da li je ova mnogostrukost uloga tvoj izbor ili nacin opstanka i snalazenja u novoj sredini punoj zanimljivih izazova?

The more the better. And then the worst. I suck at balancing interest, passion, work and love. I just keep discovering new things, and I’m posessed with fear of passivity. It’s something wich defines me, positivly but sometimes unbearably forced. The surroundings help, in Ljubljana everything seems possible, open and inviting. In Sweden I had the feeling that you have to piss out your specialized territory to be taken seriously.

-Iz sredine si u kojoj zene vladaju, imas li problema s tim stavom u hr patrijarhalnoj sredini/generalno gledajuci?

Generally, yes. But what really disturbs me is that feminism has such a bad reputation around here. It’s an environment wich refuses to see how power structures, status hierarchies and gender roles govern their lifes, and it’s not just girls vs. boys, but that also. If you want to think that it’s a coinsidence that there are at least two cases a week in crna kronika where jealous husband shoots his wife for wanting to leave him,
fine, but I don’t. We are all individuals, sure, but the arena on wich we can play, the rules we can break, the possibilities offered, are strictly limited depending on sex, class, nationality, education etc. etc. etc. I’m against all kinds of separatism, and I’m idealistic, if I wasn’t I wouldn’t do anything of what you’ve been asking me about in this interwiev.

-Da li nalazis sto zanimljivo u zagrebu, osim Hofa i Hrelica?

Cycling, Bundek before the massacre, SC, spring, Jutarni list, Trznica, Komikaze…

-Jedan si od favorita u novim komikazama i dio kreativne jezgre tog tima, imas li neki komentar na taj dio tvoje biografije.

If it’s true it makes me happy, that’s all.

-Imas li neke planove za dalje, krace-duzze?

I make half-year plans. This one includes finishing the school year, painting my grand mother’s barn (red with white corners, just like in the promotion material from the Swedish tourist board…), get radical with TEMP, and completing some half-finished stories and pictures.

-Kako tvoja karaoke-karijera?

Bohemian rapsody,  Sweet dreams are made of this, Total eclipse of the heart.