Elena Stanciu Oversætter
This is Odense. For me.
I've always had a slightly complicated relationship with the cities I’ve lived in. My hometown in Romania is a shabby little place, neglected by local government and unloved by its residents. Our house was built a bit outside the town, neighbouring an oak forest, so the rest of the town was always “not-home” for me. I then lived in Bucharest, which was a different beast altogether: loud, dusty, sticky, tacky, but somehow lovely, like an old lady constantly reminiscing of her former glory.
I moved to Odense in 2011 and fell head over heels for it. The bricks, the colourful facades, the love that seemed to bounce in an equal measure between the people and the city – it all felt put together with care and respect. My favourite part of town is the walking route up the river, starting at the cathedral park. It’s probably an obvious and romanticised choice, but the space here has a “playing with time” quality to it, which makes me feel “here” but not “now” – quite a precious, if conventional, emotion. I must admit I don’t yet feel “of” the city – I still live “in” it and I’m not sure I’ll ever reach the next level. But then again, this keeps me in an exciting place, where I must constantly woo the city – it will be so much more satisfying when it eventually surrenders.
Elena has an MA in American Studies from SDU, and currently works as Features Editor for arts and culture publication PETRIe. She is interested in visual culture and contemporary art, design and architecture, gender and embodiment, social justice, and sustainability.