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IX Copenhagen

ULYSSES European Odyssey

Caspar Eric
Education reform

Eighteen established writers, one from each city/region, will be commissioned to write a chapter in a response to their Arts & Society theme within the context of their city.

Just as Ulysses is innovative in its form and language, so the writers will be chosen with a view to reflecting a breadth of genres, styles and innovations. Each writer will ideally attend their own city’s event. All the (new) chapters from the 18 cities/regions will be brought together in a book publication: ULYSSES European Odyssey.

Caspar Erik will write the Copenhagen chapter.

Writer’s Statement

I’ve always been interested in what stories we tell each other and ourselves. And how these stories come into being, and how there is an infrastructure of storytelling where certain stories are not told. Stories that may happen in the shadows of the welfare state, or stories that play out in broad daylight, that we are somehow unable to grasp. On the physical streets and in our shared spaces, that may sometimes feel not so shared at all. They may be happy stories. They may be tragic ones. And I think this is why writing an audiowalk that engages with a canonised western epic, such as Ulysses, seemed so appealing to me. Because I wanted to tell a personal story about living with a disabled body. I wanted to tell a story about having fictions and culture sticking to your body from the get go. And also I wanted to explore how this body is met on the streets, not only by looks and worn down bus drivers that get that tired look if they have to help a person in a wheelchair aboard, but also by stairs and curbs. I wanted to tell a story about walking. And I wanted to tell a story about how this walking is also bound up with Denmark’s history of eugenics. How our venture into the cells of the body also meant the destruction of some of us. How all this happened just as Ulysses played out, how all this happened as the banks went down.

Writer’s Biography

Caspar Erik, b. 9 May 1987, educated M.Sc. in literature from the University of Copenhagen. He debuted in 2014 as a writer with the poetry publication 7/11. In his own words, it’s a book about being young in 2014, about pop society and the fear of becoming obsolete. In 2015, Caspar Eric published the long poem NIKE. Here, the starting point was Caspar Eric’s own cerebral palsy (spastic paralysis), and he reflected on the importance of living with a disability in modern society.