Continuing the Danish Imports theme, today we take a look at Brazilian Noemia Colonna’s story.
“Sometimes it’s good to be like the Brazilians,” is Noemia Colonna’s advice to the Danes. “We’re easy-going, more flexible and and not too obsessed about planning and privacy. Breaking the rules is a great way to see what happens out there”
Noemia believes that her foreign insights in to Danish culture are a strong contribution to the society she has been adapting to since July 2012, when she moved here to take a Masters Degree in Film and Media Studies. The former TV presenter and journalist, who now lives on Amager, really needed a break from her stressful career back home, and Denmark is the perfect place for the colourfully dressed Brazilian.
Commuting by bike and having more time for family are two of the most enjoyable things about living here for Noemia, as well as having candles everywhere. She loves the three warmest seasons (but definitely not winter).
Despite speaking fluent English, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish, Noemia is disappointed that she hasn’t learnt Danish during the past two years and cites it as being the biggest challenge she has faced: “I haven’t been able to watch my favourite TV programmes on DR.”
When I ask her whether she has integrated in to society here in Denmark, Noemia’s answer is pleasantly honest. “Well, I wasn’t born Danish; it takes a whole life to be like them. So I prefer having fun with my diversity and contributing to society with my different background. I live well and I’m happy here, and the Danes have been receiving me quite well. No complaints so far, anyway.”
At the end of August, Noemia will be heading home to recharge her Latin batteries and is busy trying to give away most, if not all, of her personal possessions. Her Facebook account currently resembles several DBA accounts rolled in to one.
But Noemia hopes to return within two years to take a PhD in Communication for Development, with focus on women’s studies.
“I’ve really enjoyed registering the day-to-day of the Danes and the dynamic of the city,” she explains. “And I’ve been writing about my Danish adventures on a blog, called Atos & Relatos.” The blog can be found at http://www.noemiacolonna.com/
Getting the Shot
Noemia and I had never met when we took this picture. But I had specifically asked her to come dressed in something bright and colourful, as the plan was to photograph her amongst some gritty-looking urban backdrops somewhere close to the water. Well that plan didn’t work at all.
Luckily our little walk around the area revealed this little beauty – an office chair welded to the former train tracks where the docks used to be. It just so happened that the background was awesome, too. Nearby we found a guy who was working in a shed so I went over t ask for his help. He took one look at Noemia and was well up for it, so I explained to him the plan, which was ridiculously simple: Push.
So he did. Several times, in fact. He’s just out of shot to the left of the image, but he held on tight to the chair as he ran as hard and fast as he could until I told him to let go. Each attempt saw Noemia throw her arms out wide and lean back in her chair, embracing the gorgeous sunshine that we had that day.
And that really was it. No flash or special tools for the job, just a camera, the sunshine, a model and an office chair stuck to some old train tracks. Perfect.