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Sixten Therkildsen (DK)
Immigran-T – reconstructed t-shirts

Is it possible to reuse a community or an identity from the other side of the globe? In the second hand shop of Folkekirens Nødhjælp on Ålekistevej, you can buy reconstructions of old t-shirts with prints from the recollections of immigrants and refugees before they arrived in Denmark.


How would you describe your work
?

Sixten Therkildsen My project consists of a video and a collection of printed t-shirts to be displayed at the second hand shop of Folkekirkens Nødhjælp on Ålekistevej. In the video, I interview immigrants and refugees about their different cultural backgrounds and about how they came to Denmark. For them, the t-shirt represents a sense of community, a part of a locally rooted identity they once had: e.g. club t-shirts, fan t-shirts or slogan t-shirts. Based on their recollections, I tried to recreate the prints and this has now manifested itself in reconstructed t-shirts to be bought in the second hand shop on Ålekistevej.

Why did you choose to base your project on recollections from other places and cultures?

ST What my interviewees talk about is not necessarily linked to specific places but springs from a strong connection to the life they had before their arrival in Denmark. Considering the title and main theme of Local Global Plan, I find it interesting how we as Danes can wear some of the identity that refugees and immigrants bring to the country from the other side of the globe. My t-shirts will be spread from the second hand shop out into the local community of Vanløse whereby our common identity is rendered more versatile. The proceeds will support the global work of Folkekirkens Nødhjælp.

So it is a kind of identity or community sharing? Which role do clothes such as t-shirts play in that context?

ST When you decide to wear a t-shirt with a printed image or text it is because you feel that the print expresses something you can vouch for. Something you can identify and want to be associated with.  Furthermore, printed t-shirts usually exist in several copies so in that way you have an obvious relation to the ones carrying the same t-shirt. Some of my interviewees talk about communities that are related to their t-shirts in a more abstract way, however.  And yes, you could say that the project is about identity and community sharing. A form of reused community or identity. It a case of reusing when the t-shirts’ representations of identity and community are reconstructed and reincarnated on new t-shirts in the local second hand shop.

The second hand shop of Folkekirkens Nødhjælp, Åleistevej 85, Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 10am-2pm

Photo: Malene Nors Tardrup