political cartoons, synagogues, and so much pasta, or, core course week days #4-5

As I write this, I’m curled up on our couch with a blanket, listening to the rain outside. The weather is definitely beginning to change here in Copenhagen and while I’m a sucker for fall and winter weather (the cold never bothered me anyway?) I’m definitely trying to hold on to as much of this Danish summer as possible!  It’s been raining on and off all day and now I definitely understand why the Danes spend so much time outside when the weather’s nice—you never know if it’ll be the last sunny day for a while!  Now that core course week has officially drawn to a close, I wanted to give a quick recap of the last two days—our seminars here in Copenhagen—before my post in a few days about some of my takeaways from this week!

If you haven’t yet seen my recap of the first three days of Core Course Week, check that out here!

Thursday | Thursday found us back in our normal classroom (Good old N7) for a lecture from another DIS professor.  His purpose was twofold: 1) He was there to teach us about religious extremism and political cartoons, which is the focus of his study and research, and 2) He was the survivor of a terrorist attack here in Copenhagen two years ago.  On February 14, 2015, an attacker opened fire outside the Krudttønden Cultural Center, where a seminar entitled “Art, Blasphemy, and Freedom of Expression” was being held with several prominent speakers.  The professor we heard from was in the audience when the violence broke out, and shared with us an audio clip from the event along with a timeline and a recap of the importance of the event.  He also talked more widely about freedom of expression, especially when it comes to political cartoons and what their role in society is and should be.

Friday | Today began with a site visit to a synagogue here in Copenhagen—the site of the second attack on February 14, 2015.  Some hours after his first attack, the assailant went to this synagogue and opened fire, killing a security guard as a bar mitzvah celebration happened inside.  We spoke with the Vice President of the community about Jewish Security Denmark, the organization they formed many years ago because of the feeling that the police wasn’t adequately protecting the community.  We also saw CCTV footage from the day of the attack and discussed security measures from both the Jewish community and the police before and after the attack occurred. All in all, it was a fascinating conversation and provided an interesting addition to the numerous parties we’ve met with over the course—haha, get it—of this week.  We ended the week with a visit to Papirøen, or the Paper Island, which is a food hall dedicated to local food trucks.  It’s definitely one of my favorite spots in Copenhagen, not least because today I got a pasta dish with a sauce made from butter and parmesan cheese, aka my three main food groups.  Later, I decided to be ambitious and head up to the Church of our Savior Tower, an iconic landmark in the Copenhagen skyline.  Looking over the buildings of Copenhagen that I’ve come to call home in the last month (!!! how!!!) I’ve been here was the perfect way to reflect on the culmination of this emotional, thought-provoking, incredible week.

Check back in a few days to read my last Core Course Week post!

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