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Copenhagen 2021 at the Museum of Copenhagen

Throughout August the museum dive into stories about queer life in the Danish capital through the history. 12th-22nd August

Copenhagen is known as a diverse and open city. In fact, the travel guide Lonely Planet finds that it’s the most queer-friendly city in the whole world! However, for people whose love didn’t follow the traditional gender roles as defined by society, life has changed dramatically over the history of the past 1000 years. In connection with Copenhagen 2021 - World Pride & Euro Games, 12th-22nd August 2021, the Museum of Copenhagen has created at number of events shedding light on queer history.

Historical City Walk: Queer in Copenhagen

August 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th & 21st (extra!) at 15:00

Join the Museum of Copenhagen’s historical city walk and learn about how Danish society and the city has been affected by sexuality ‘outside the norm’. Walk back in time and visit the idyllic Ørstedsparken, which for several hundred years has provided shelter for sexual activity among men. We also walk through the inner city around Studiestræde and Larsbjørnsstræde, which in various ways has been characterized by queer life and past Nikolaj Church, where two women (one disguised as a man) were married in the early 18th century. 

Meeting Place: Regnbuepladsen.
The city walk lasts approx. 2 hours. 
Price: 50 DKK, order your tickets here 
Language: English

Talk: Copenhagen Gay Life in the early 20th century: In the footsteps of a “he-girl”

August 19th at 19:00 

This talk will provide rare insight into early male gay working class life in Copenhagen around the period of World War I through a fascinating memoir passed on by his family in 2019. The text tells the story of a young man, who is introduced to the male gay subculture in 1910 by an older man, whom he encounters at a public toilet. The man,
who goes by the name “Alvilda”, explains to Knud that they are both “he-girls”. Alvilda gives the boy the name “Bella”. 

The talk will follow in Bella’s footsteps in and around Copenhagen and introduce us to the cultural and legal context of early modern homosexuality in Denmark. This intriguing lecture will be given in English and is followed by a Q&A session. However, if all of the audience members are Danish speaking, the talk will take place in Danish.  

By Anne Nørkjær Bang and Dag Heede (University of Southern Denmark)

Place: The Museum of Copenhagen, Stormgade 18, 1555 København V 

95,00 DKK, order your ticket here
Duration: 1½ hour. 
Language: English

Museum of Copenhagen: Contemplation Zone in the café and in the courtyard in front of the museum

August, every day 9:00-18:00, Thursdays 9:00-21:00

Visit the Museum of Copenhagen right behind the Copenhagen Town Hall and enjoy quiet moment in the recently restored historical building: enjoy a cup of coffee in the beautiful café next to the museum shop with books and quality souvenirs – there is free access to both places. Or relax in the walled courtyard with historical plants and a view to the surrounding city. Also visit the exhibition about Copenhagen and the Copenhageners from the Ice age up until today – in August with a special audio track about 1000 years of queer history in Copenhagen.

Museum of Copenhagen
Stormgade 18
1555 Copenhagen V
Free access to the courtyard, the café and the shop

Audio tracks “Queer in Copenhagen through 1000 Years”

August 12th-31st, every day 9:00-18:00, Thursdays 9:00-21:00

From the middle of August you can listen to 1000 years of Copenhagen queer history at the Museum of Copenhagen. On 10 locations in the permanent exhibition about Copenhagen, you can, by using your mobile phone, listen to stories about people who one way or another deviated from the current norms, all the way back from the age of the Vikings and up until today. Stories about difference, about the right to love and about the various circumstances that influenced the expression of love through the ages. For instance hear about men meeting on the ramparts or about the two women who in the early 1700s managed to get married to each other in St. Nikolaj Church. Just bring your mobile phone and have your QR code reader ready to scan the QR codes in the exhibitions then you will get access to these small glimpse of queer history.

Museum of Copenhagen
Stormgade 18
1555 Copenhagen V
Language: English and Danish

Podcast “Queer in Copenhagen through 1000 Years”

In this podcast episode we will dive into stories about queer life in the Danish capital. Stories that are not just about society’s views of love and of those who are different, but which also give some insight into how being different, in time has become recognised as a source of strength. An identity to be proud of and to share.

Listen to the podcast episode “Queer in Copenhagen through 1000 Years” on Podbean or get it from your favourite podcast provider. You can also listen to the Danish version here.
Language: English & Danish