40 DAYS ON A BENCH IN BERLIN
WHEN? 1 April-10 May 2022.
WHERE? On a bench in Berlin.
HOW? Sit for 40 minutes a day for 40 days in a row (same time every day, but evaluation and okay to change times every tenth day). Sit and "do nothing" apart from observing your surroundings and thoughts and then write down your reflections. The documentation is happening on the writer's private facebook page that you can follow and on instagram.
WHO? The Swedish author and poet Louise Halvardsson who turns 40 and is experiencing a midlife crisis.
WHY? To recover after a tough year and reflect on where and how to live your life and learn how to "do nothing".
BACKSTORY: It all started when the writer lost her home (a flat in Gothenburg) in an unexpected and even illegal way. This coincided with the death of a friend/colleague and she ended up having to be the chair of a bigger organisation and at the same time she tried to catch up on all her freelance work that had been put forward during the pandemic and on top of that she did a course. The writer felt she was on the wrong track and was about to derail. Fatigue and burnout were words she was afraid to pronounce, but she felt "the only thing I want to do is to sit on a bench".
BERLIN? So why Berlin? Well, Berlin is a place where many artists of different kinds have lived during a period in life. Nick Cave! David Bowie! Lou Reed! When the writer was younger it felt natural to move somewhere for a year, live out of a rucksack and see what happens. After eight and a half years in the same flat she had become a bit too comfy, so after the first disappointment she saw the "homelessness" as a chance to try something different. It might as well have been Uddebo, an alternative village with many hippies outside Borås, where the writer also have thought of moving. But it just sounds better with a bench in Berlin.
FOOTNOTE: The project is a loose continuation of Louise Halvardsson's 30-year-old-crisis-project: Swenglish, when she stayed with 30 different people for 30 week and asked them 30 questions to work out where and how to live.