Saturday, 9 April 2016

Battle Hymn of the Republic



On the anniversary of the Nazi Occupation of Denmark in 1940, I have a practical note that Nervestregen is now available at academia.edu, besides at its usual site. It is free and can be downloaded from here too: Bibliotek.dk.

As for Hans Bendix the past year has been interesting in the reactions to his family forbidding the use of his anti-nazi drawings from the 1930'ies. The mere word the family is sufficient explanation to shut down any interest in him from international curators and authors at far sides of the world. No one wish to waste time planning and writing only to risk it all go to waste.

Which is very sad, but the family made their wish unequivocally known and we must act accordingly.

The one who came to define the reactions following the prohibition was the designer Bo Bonfils, cartoonist in his own right at Politiken for 1 1/2 years until 1962, when he left for the art scene in Amsterdam: Bo called me, when he heard about the family's prohibition.

He was fuming, calling the family the worst of names - Those F...heads, A...holes, Tiny, miserable souls not worthy of Bendix' legacy...

As it happened, I was hanging midway on a hedge at the time, clinging on with one arm and phone in the other to avoid being hit by police cars hunting down a car thief.

The thief had driven a bit in this way and then in the opposite direction and something like 21 police cars of all calibers drove by at maximum speed in a wilderness of this direction and that too. Bo phoned me at the heat of the commotion, when we all fled the pavement.

I never got a word in, while Bo gave the family the all of his gall. By the time he concluded the degeneration of our times with the family as the frontrunners of all that is wrong, I was climbing down again and reaching the nearest corner, where the police was red-taping a side street. His verdict seemed to have even visual truth.

Bo Bonfils had known Hans Bendix and he had worked with him. His indignation was not about any book. It was first and last on all that Hans Bendix stood for, which made his reaction so significant.

So, on a day in which the flags begin their day on official half-mast in remembrance, let us reflect on the courage of the cartoonists and their equals, who then as now dare step outside the noise; creating a space before us as necessary as it is new:


Per Marquard Otzen, Battle Hymn of the Republic, July 6. 2014.
The Trial The US Army vs. Whistleblower Manning.



ETA: I was asked if anyone was hurt in the car chase and happily all ended well. The thief abandoned his car and continued on foot, and well, he was soon picked up. He is long out of detention by now.


The cartoon shown is courtesy of Per Marquard Otzen and must not be reproduced without his permission.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...