Build Your Own World

Where to begin with Hammenhog? The fact that we played in an old, abandoned American car dealership dating from the 1920s that has been reappropriated by artists into a music venue/artspace/home & store? That our hosts Camilla and Dag were both amazing, wonderful people who stretched out picnic tables for a beautiful dinner even with visiting family in attendance, let us stay in their adorable guest apartment filled with Scandinavian charm and had such a comforting way about them I think the whole band felt at home? That the velveteen vintage couches and brightly colored school chairs were packed with people in the audience in this very, very tiny town?  From the second we got out of the car in Hammenhog (stumbling onto a graveled car lot) to the second we left (filled with love and freshly baked cinnamon rolls made by a Swedish goddess in the housefront bakery across the street that sweetly played French music in the wee hours of the morning) we were all washed in a welcoming glow that I don't think any of us had every experienced before.

Being surrounded by people who are literally, as Brent says in Gravity, "building their own world," and bringing the whole world to their own little one in the middle of a place that is barely even one, made for a beautiful screening all round! Camilla, Dag, their lifestyle and that of their neighbors (ranging from ceramicist to farmer to school kid) who made up a bulk of the audience, were definitely an inspiration that reminded me of the millions of possibilities that can make a life, possibilities that I think all too often people (particularly Americans) forget. Sitting at breakfast with Camilla we talked about that, about how so many options of how to live are not taught to people at an early age, both of us discovering later in life that being an artist can be an expression/way of life too. Seeing her raise her children with the whole world in front of them ready to build their own was a vision of utopia, one that I find more and more as economies falter and alternatives are sought. Building your own world, despite its sense of self purpose, can extend to so much more and seeing the embodiment of this almost brings tears to my eyes as I think of all of the mini revolutions in every little barn, car showroom and factory space all over the world! Thank you so much Camilla & Dag for such a perfect Swedish retreat!



Donna K. is a recent transplant to the Midwest where she can be found exploring culture at large through film programming, writing and her general interest in the world- both on and offline.