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greater copenaghen
Photo: Ulf Bodin; Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
 

Denmark wants to rebrand the Swedish district of Skåne "Greater Copenhagen". This picture was taken in Olovsfält, Hammenhög, Skåne, July 2013

 

In this week’s edition of Good Reads, E&M's Rosamund Mather shares some articles that got her thinking about Europe. Follow her inside an Estonian green movement that made its way across Europe and became popular worldwide. Broadening the meaning of identity, Rosamund shares an article on LGBT rights in Europe, starting with a recent story from France, and an article about Denmark's idea to rebrand part of Sweden “Greater Copenhagen”.

 

Rosamund

Rosamund, Heart/Baby editor

Greater Copenhagen: A spot of contention

 

As far as succinct and provocative headlines go, "Denmark wants to rebrand part of Sweden Greater Copenhagen" does its job; it got me asking all sorts of questions about common identities between countries that are in very close proximity to one another.

 

Skåne, a southern part of Sweden separated from the Danish archipelago only by a bridge, is the proposed Greater Copenhagen. And many residents of this region are up in arms about it. Why should they surrender a part of Sweden to Denmark, even if only in name?

 

But would a Greater Copenhagen really threaten Swedish identity? After all, Berlin doesn’t define Germany, and London most certainly doesn’t define the entire UK. If it weren’t for the violent history mentioned in the first paragraph – which represents a power imbalance between the two countries, making a fully-realised Greater Copenhagen somewhat problematic – then we’d probably just assume it was to do with that bizarre allegiance to the nation your passport happens to belong to. And Copenhagen happens to be a Danish city, not a Swedish one.

Published in Good Reads

True love can only exist between men. Micky Limun, main character in Serbian director Srđan Dragojević's new movie "Parada," a veteran from the Bosnian war and owner of a Judo gym, would probably agree without hesitation, having met friends for life on the front lines. Micky is a Serbian war hero, a macho, a hooligan, a petty crook – and highly homophobic. Thus, he is not amused when his fiancée's wedding planner offers his services only in return for him protecting a gay pride parade in Belgrade. Not an easy task in today's Serbia.

The last actual Gay Pride in Belgrade took place in 2010. 5600 policemen had to protect about 1000 activists against 6000 right-wing extremists. More than 100 people got hurt. For the last two years the parade has been cancelled due to security risks. The movie meets its viewers exactly at this point: in a macho society where the majority have resentments against homosexuals, and gays and lesbians are confronted with hostility and exclusion.

With a heavy topic like this, one would expect a niche film, a drama for intellectuals. Instead "Parada" is a comedy, and with more than half a million viewers in the Balkan states and several international awards, it is one of the most successful recent movies in the region. Being a Serbian-Croatian-Slovenian-Macedonian-Montenegrin co-production the movie seems to touch a common issue in the otherwise divided ex-Yugoslavian countries.

Published in Cafe Cinema
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