Olga Elliot Schou
Once Upon a Paper
It is a language always on the verge of silence and often on the verge of song. It is the language stories are told in.
Ursula K. Le Guin: Bryn Mawr Commencement Address (1986)
We are not so romantic about our past because it happened very recently.
Maya Sialuk Jacobsen: Inuit Tattoo Traditions in Greenland (Mythogonist)
But if you take away my voice," said the little mermaid, "what is left for me?" "Your beautiful form, your graceful walk, and your expressive eyes; surely with these you can enchain a man's heart...
H. C. Andersen: The Little Mermaid (1837)
(...) accounting of the role that myths lay in the production of a shared rigin story that underwrites ationalistic sentiment, I contend that t is precisely typographic history, articularly in the context of ational/colonial myth-making, that asts typography and printing as a odernizing/civilizing agent.
Chris Lee: This Was Written On Stolen Indigneous Land
The alchemists drew the centaur, and medieval man invented the stirrup, with this effective union of man and horse, the centaur came to rule Europe.
Marshall McLuhan: War and Peace in the Global Village (1968)
No need to hear your voice when I can talk about you better than you can speak about yourself. No need to hear your voice. Only tell me about your pain. I want to know your story. And then I will tell it back to you in a new way. Tell it back to you in such a way that it has become mine, my own. Re-writing you I write myself anew. I am still author, authority. I am still colonizer the speaking subject and you are now at the center of my talk.
bell hooks: marginality as site of resistance (1990)
Norræna húsið Nature in Transition – Shifting Identities
As colonial monuments drown one by one, the little mermaid statue remains in Copenhagen, embodying the national myth of Denmark as a small and innocent kingdom.
Departing from the Danish fairy tale, Once Upon a Paper interrogates colonial storytelling, national symbols and how drawing and typography can become tools of domination. Released in 2021, the 300th ‘anniversary’ of Denmark’s colonisation of Greenland, the publication attests to how today’s political reality is shaped by fictions of the past. Diving into visual archives, the publication uses conversation as a way of untangling dominant narratives and critically reflecting on displays of power, to explore the mermaid’s potential for giving voice to decolonial transformations.