Things I painted lately

Things I painted lately | rougeimaginaire

Back to English now! Since I’ve had a quite a lot of free time lately, I’ve started to paint a little bit again. So I thought I’d share what I made and some of my thoughts behind it.

The painting on the left is a self-portrait I made last weekend. It had been quite a while since the last time I used acrylic paint – it feels so different from watercolour, more like a getting-your-hands-dirty feeling, if that makes sense. I think making self-portraits can be very nice and consoling (I think I got that idea from Frida Kahlo), but you have to be in the right mood for them. For the this one, I was inspired by the American painter Winston Chmielinksi: his colours are often very bright and I liked that idea. I like how it turned out, although I also think it maybe looks a little bit too perfect, as if nothing was left to chance.

The right one is a little watercolour painting that I made back in September when I was listening to the audiobook of The Serious Game by Hjalmar Söderberg. I heard that they were going to show the film adaptation at Film Fest Ghent, and I wanted to read the book first, because I figured I would get more out of the film that way. However, since it was quite a long book and I wasn’t even sure if I could get my hands on a paper copy so quickly, I decided to go for the audiobook. I really liked the film, by the way: it was nice and intimate and sort of dynamic, and there were a lot of nice details. Whenever I’m listening to an audiobook, I enjoy doing things like painting or crocheting, especially when autumn’s coming around (even though it sometimes takes up so much concentration that I can’t focus on the book anymore).

The text says “dare to take up space”, which I think is a nice reminder to myself. You can interpret it in a physical way, and then I suppose it means that there’s no point in being ashamed of how you look – and that, to give an example, you shouldn’t apologize for being “fat” (according to the norms of society, that is), because why on earth should you apologize for something that is essentially just taking up space. If you wouldn’t take up space, you wouldn’t be at all – and everyone has the right to be, whichever way they are. Besides that, you can also interpret it in a more abstract, social way: to dare to say things, to do things and to be seen in social situations. A couple of months ago, I listened to Liv Strömquist’s episode of Sommar i P1, and she said that “to overcome shame is to give oneself an inner right to express oneself”, and I think that’s what people should do. That’s what I am trying to do.


Mina favoritavsnitt av Sommar i P1

Mina favoritavsnitt av Sommar i P1 | rougeimaginaire

Nä men nu gör jag det! Nu skriver jag ett blogginlägg på svenska! Jag har velat skriva det här sedan ett tag nu, men har liksom alltid tänkt att “jag kan väl inte skriva ett blogginlägg på svenska, för min blogg är ju på engelska”. Men nu har jag faktiskt kommit på att om mitt liv är lite konstigt när det gäller språk, så får min blogg också vara det. Så nu tycker jag att utgångspunkten får vara engelska, men att jag också kan skriva på nederländska eller svenska om det lämpar sig bättre till innehållet (eller om jag nu känner för det). Jag vet inte om jag överhuvudtaget har några läsare som talar svenska, men vi får väl se hur det går.

Hur som helst. Idag vill jag skriva om mina favoritavsnitt av Sommar i P1, ett radioprogram där olika intressanta människor i en timme får berätta om sina upplevelser eller bara sådant som de tycker är intressant, och spela sin favoritmusik (ifall ni inte visste än ;)). Jag gillar ju att lyssna på poddar, så jag blev glad när jag fick reda på att det fanns något som verkade som en oändlig lista med avsnitt att välja från. Nu har jag lyssnat på en hel del och vissa är så bra att jag egentligen skulle vilja tipsa om dem till alla jag känner (om de bara talade svenska!). Så här er de!

Laleh Pourkarim (30 juli 2009)
Om det finns ett avsnitt som jag vill tipsa om, så är det det här. Musikern Laleh pratar om tidsandan och om att bryta tystnaden och hon läser också upp några av sina låttexter. Jag tycker att hon är en så förtjusande person och jag älskar att hon är så expressiv när hon pratar. Jag skulle gissa att jag har lyssnat på detta avsnitt minst fem gånger.

Susanna Alakoski (13 augusti 2007)
Författaren Susanna Alakoskis sommarprogram handlar om miljonprogram och städning, om hur människor påverkas av fattigdom och om hur viktigt det med förutsättningar.

Liv Strömquist (24 juni 2013)
Liv Strömquist är serietecknare och hennes sommarprogram handlar om mens, skam och kreativt skapande. Jag tyckte att hon hade så många intressanta idéer, som faktiskt går att tillämpa på mycket mer en bara mens.

Annika Norlin (8 augusti 2015)
Journalisten och låtskrivaren Annika Norlin pratar om PMS, p-piller, samt hur hormoner i största allmänhet kan påverka ens mående. Så himla fascinerande.

José González (13 augusti 2016)
Jag har ju tyckt om José González musik sedan länge, men jag hade faktiskt ingen aning om att han var svensk. Det var fint att få lite av en bättre uppfattning av vem han egentligen var, och jag tyckte att han verkade som en så himla intelligent och nyanserad person. I sitt sommarprogram talar han om universumet, om att skriva musik, om människans omedvetna preferenser för vissa estetiska mönster och om världsbilder och religioner.

Saga Becker (3 juli 2015)
Skådespelaren Saga Becker berättar om hur det var att växa upp som transkvinna. Mycket häftigt, men jag tycker att det är så viktigt att den här typen av berättelser når ut.

→ Seinabo Sey (15 augusti 2015)
Musikern Seinabo Sey talar om kroppsångest och hudfärg. Jag har faktiskt aldrig riktigt lyssnat på hennes musik, men hennes sommarprogram var i alla fall intressant.

→ Jonas Gardell (22 juni 2013)
Författaren Jonas Gardell berättar om hur man blir människa, om att våga leva livet och om hur det gick till när Astrid Lindgren bet honom i näsan. Roligt tyckte jag!

→ Mark Levengood (25 juni 2011)
Programledaren och författaren Mark Levengood berättar om hur han fick ett hus av en främmande man och undrar varför hans liv egentligen är så konstigt. Mycket underhållande, och det är ju alltid fint att lyssna på lite finlandssvenska.


Translation: This is a blog post about my favourite episodes of the Swedish radio program “Sommar i P1”. I decided to write it in Swedish because it would only be useful to people who speak Swedish anyway. I also decided that it’s impossible for me to stick to just one language on this blog, at least if I want it to reflect who I am and how I think. My life is just a bit weird when it comes to languages, so I think my blog can be too. English will still be the default language, but if I feel like writing in Dutch or Swedish every now and then, I’ll just do that. But I’ll still make a translation, if it’s relevant. (Let me know what you think!)


Self Image

Click here if you can’t see the video.

I made another video. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to put this online, because on the one hand I think it’s kind of corny (although that might be because these kinds of things always sound corny in English), but on the other hand I do think it’s kind of nice to have some kind of a (concise) snapshot of how I see myself right now, because it’s nice to look back on later. And I don’t think you ever remember these kinds of things if you don’t document them. So well. I’m just putting this up. I hope you enjoy it.


Mijn to-do-lijstje voor Gent

Mijn to-do-lijstje voor Gent | rougeimaginaire

Zoals jullie misschien al wel weten (of misschien ook nog niet) zit mijn laatste jaar als student in Gent er alweer op. In augustus maakte ik mijn thesis af en mijn kot leeg, en nu woon ik voorlopig weer thuis bij mijn ouders. Ik heb geprobeerd om zo veel mogelijk te genieten van mijn laatste jaar in Gent, en ik had me voorgenomen om de stad dit jaar wat beter te verkennen, maar natuurlijk komen er als je studeert altijd weer andere dingen tussen – en voor je het weet is het schooljaar alweer voorbij. Eigenlijk denk ik dat het altijd wel de moeite is om zo nu en dan wat tijd vrij te maken voor dit soort dingen, zelfs al denk je dat je geen tijd hebt, want dat zijn toch altijd de dingen die je bijblijven. In juli probeerde ik de schade nog een beetje in te halen, en maakte ik een fietstochtje naar de Bourgoyen (een natuurgebied waar je fijn kunt wandelen), maar verder had ik het zo druk met mijn thesis dat er van mijn andere plannen niet echt iets gekomen is. Natuurlijk kan ik nog wel eens terug naar Gent, maar dat is natuurlijk niet hetzelfde als wanneer je er woont – dat je gewoon wakker wordt, je fiets kunt pakken, en spontaan erop uit kunt trekken.

Daarom bij deze, mijn to-do-lijstje voor als ik ooit nog eens in Gent ga wonen (of gewoon voor als ik nog eens terugga). Toevoegingen zijn altijd welkom!

  • picknicken
  • naar een museum gaan (niet dat ik dat nog nooit gedaan heb, hoor, kijk maar hier)
  • nog eens ergens koffie drinken
  • bloemen kopen op de zondagse bloemenmarkt
  • veel fietstochtjes maken (en daarmee bedoel ik meer dan drie)
  • naar de Blaarmeersen gaan
  • naar de Gentse feesten gaan
  • kajakken
  • het Belfort beklimmen
  • feesten! (of op café gaan of zo)

Translation: I recently moved out of my student room, but there’s still a lot of things I’d like to do in Ghent – so I made a list of them, which includes going on bike tours, having a picnic and go to the flower market.


My love for Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan | rougeimaginaire

In my explorations of the 1960s and 70s for one of my literature classes last semester, I rediscovered Bob Dylan. I was re-watching “Upp till kamp“, a Swedish tv-series that’s set in that period (which I really recommend, but I have no idea if it’s available with English subtitles somewhere), and there was this one scene where one of the characters was listening to “Girl From the North Country” – which reminded me of the fact that the sixties also were Bob Dylan’s initial period. Later on, when I was writing my paper for that class, I decided to listen to some of his albums, kind of to get in the spirit, and then I kept listening for most of June. I also watched a documentary about him (called “No direction home“) and I learned that although he was often seen as a folk singer or a protest singer, in reality, he was kind of opposed to everything and he didn’t want to be labeled as anything.

I know pretty much everyone already knows Bob Dylan, but in case you never really listened to his music and you’d like to give it a try, I made a playlist on Spotify with some songs I really like. My favourites are “Song to Woody”, “Girl From the North Country” and “I Was Young When I Left Home”, but I also added som other ones. You can find it here! By the way, let me know if you prefer me sharing music on Spotify or some other way.


I finished my master’s thesis!

I finished my master's thesis! | rougeimaginaire

Hi people, time for a life update! Last week, I finally handed in my master’s thesis :) The title is “Barnboken som leksakslåda”, which means “The Children’s Book as a Toy Box” (ugh, that doesn’t sound nearly as good as it does in Swedish) and it’s about children’s books written by children. Even though children’s books are supposed to be directed to children in the first place, it’s usually adults who write them. So that’s why I thought it would be interesting to see if children’s books written by children reflected the same thematic and aesthetic ideas as the ones written by adults. Also, I thought it would be interesting to see what kind of literature children between 10 and 12 years old would produce, to see to what extent they’re aware of literary conventions.

As it turned out, most of the books reflected a lot of the typical aspects of children’s books, both traditional and modern, and they also played with them sometimes, for example by mixing different genres. They had themes like desert islands, doors to fantasy worlds, and there were also a couple of problem-oriented books on themes like bullying. The most striking difference with children’s books written by adults was that the distinction between children and adults wasn’t as sharp as it usually is. A lot of times, the protagonists in children’s books kind of oppose themselves to adult ideas and rules (think of Pippi Longstocking ;)), and leave home to go on their own adventure, but that wasn’t exactly the case in these books. For example, there was one book where the parents and the children went on an adventure together and never returned home.

I mainly chose this subject because I wanted to explore the theoretical background of children’s books a little more. Even though I also wrote about children’s books in my bachelor thesis, I didn’t really study them from that perspective. It was really interesting to find out things like how the concept of childhood (just like the modern ideas about family and motherhood) didn’t really exist before the 18th century, because there simply wasn’t enough prosperity — and how child readers often have a preference for pulp literature and why that’s totally fine. So now, I just have to wait for my results!


An Early Summer Playlist

An Early Summer Playlist | rougeimaginaire

If you watched my vlog last week, you probably noticed that there was quite a bit of music in there and I got a question if I could make another playlist. So I made a list of all the songs I like to listen to when summer’s on its way! It’s a mix of different genres, some summery songs and some songs that are just always good to listen to, some songs that I’ve loved for years and others that I’ve only just discovered. Songs that reflect the light feeling you can sometimes get around this time of year, but also a couple that are a little more peppy and some that are just perfect for nostalgic summer evenings. Since I couldn’t find everything on Spotify, I made a short list of extras on YouTube. Hope you like it!

Håkan Hellström – Dom Dimmiga Dagarna
Beach House – Zebra
Dirty Projectors – Stillness Is The Move
Nouvelle Vague – Love Will Tear Us Apart
Spinvis – Ik wil alleen maar zwemmen
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong – Summertime
jj – Things Will Never Be The Same Again
Aurora – Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) (Acoustic)
Twin Sister – Gene Ciampi
The Beatles – Here Comes The Sun
Nouvelle Vague – Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You)
Llojd – Om vi faller
Spinvis – De grote zon
Bob Dylan – I Was Young When I Left Home
Ella Fitzgerald – Cheek to Cheek
Veronica Maggio – 17 år
Domenico Modugno – Nel blu dipinto di blu
Françoise Hardy – Le temps de l’amour
Ted Gärdestad – Sommarlängtan
Lianne La Havas – Green & Gold
Simon & Garfunkel – Old Friends / Bookends
Bob Dylan – Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
Ella Fitzgerald – Chew-Chew-Chew (Chew Your Bubble Gum)

extra:
Dodie Clark – One For The Road
Siri Nilsen – Fast Car
Amanda Berg – Sommartid (Summertime cover)

You can find the list on Spotify by clicking here, or by typing “Imaginary Summer” in the search box in the Spotify app, and the YouTube extras here :)


VLOG: Another week in Ghent

Click here if you can’t see the video.

Well hello, here I am again! Last week, I made another weekly vlog. I decided to do it in Dutch again, because it does feel a little bit more spontaneous that way, but of course I made sure to include English subtitles. Also, if you do speak Dutch you can put on the subtitles for the parts in Swedish. Hope you like it! :)

PS: In case you speak Swedish, here’s the recipe I mentioned.