fredag, april 28, 2017

Stockholm After Terror

During the first week after the April 7th Stockholm attack, makeshift walls and sporadic memorials adorned with a sea of flowers and candles spread out all across the scene of the terror. Even now, three weeks after, locals continue to pay tribute to the victims by leaving their own heartfelt notes at the corner of Åhléns City department store, the very site where the terrorist drove a stolen truck and finally crashed into the shop window.

I remember one of the messages left there: "Vi får aldrig låta mörkret ta över" - We shall never let the darkness take over. It goes without saying that we remain full of hope and love for a better tomorrow.

lördag, oktober 13, 2012

Oslo - Utøya

One autumn afternoon when the weather was sunny and bright in Oslo, I had couple of hours at hand so I decided to visit Utøya, where a mass shooting massacre in the summer of 2011 claimed 69 lives, 33 of whom were under the age of 18. The bus dropped me off at a wrong location on the E16 road, 7 km away from my destination, so I basically found my way along the Tyrifjorden shore with the aid of Google Maps. After the deadliest attack in Norway since World War II, the government has closed off Utøya, no ferry was in operation so I didn't manage to see the island Utøya up close once I got to Utøykaia at last on the mainland's side. From what I've seen, the camping site couldn't look more ordinary, everything appeared so typical here at first sight, but when trying to imagine vicariously the sheer horrors that had taken place just 600 meters on the other side of the water, sorry, I found it next to impossible to strike a mental connection on the spot. To think about the genuine ordinary being turned into the genuine monstrous sent shivers down my spine. I didn't stay long at the pier. Walking back on the same route, I saw the sunset that day was fast approaching. No sooner did I return to the bus stop on the highway than the sky dimmed and the Norwegian fjord seemed shrouded in an impending abyss of shadows. When the bus finally arrived and I hopped on, outside it became noticeably darker and darker. By the time the bus reached Oslo, it was the befallen night that came to greet me.