Photographer's Note

A tribute to Svante Svendsen:

Svante was born as Svante Svensson in Scania, Sweden, in 1926. At the age of nine he made a trip together with his parents on the railway ferry between Malmö and København [Copenhagen], but got separated from them due to seasickness. Since then he had to manage "on his own - with the help from others".

Svante is a melancholic man, often seen standing on the Danish waterside looking to and longing for his native country, where he's unable to go due to the seasickness. His melancholy appears very much in 'dreary' poems, where he is writing about his 'dreary' life, although they contain a lot of gallows humor.

For example his romantic ideas about Sweden and Swedes, as "a people that sings Bellman ballads - mouth filled with lingonberry - in the bright birch groves"... These poems became known as "Svantes viser" ["Svante’s Ballads"] in a book written by Danish writer Benny Andersen in 1972.

They had met for the first time in 1946, but were not real friends before 1960 and this unusual friendship lasted until 1971, when Svante "disappeared". So the poems were published and later they were put to music by Benny Andersen and sung by Danish singer Povl Dissing in a very characteristic way.

Of course Svante Svendsen is a fictitious character made up by Benny Andersen, however these songs have come to stand for a lot of the Danish mentality – although the leading character is a Swede. At the inauguration of the Øresund Link in July 2000 they all participated with a 'new song' titled "Længsel efter broen" ["Longing For The Bridge"].

Let's hope Svante lived long enough to make it home!

Image rotated 1,05°CW, cropped, adjusted levels and curves, increased saturation +15 and in blue +25, ran NeatImage at 60%, resized for TE, sharpened and faded to 20%, framed and saved for Web.

I've included the official marking for the border between Sweden and Denmark – found at mid-sea in the median between the motorway lanes – as a WS (not shot by me).

This image was meant to go into The Impossible Hunt, but it was impossible as it was shot outside the time peroid... :(

speedymanu, digi-mom, pamastro, AnneFrance has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Kaj Nordstrom (kajenn) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 539 W: 240 N: 845] (2442)
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