Trygve Skogrand

In the crowd nobody is different

I am preparing for my artistic project at the Magnus Hirschfeld Collection. Packing bags, planning what equipment I need to bring. And preparing mentally – by thinking and philosophising. About freedom, repression, fear, shame and taboos. 

These last days I have tought a lot about the prosecution of us with different sexualities. Why do society always return to this? Why do they hate us so much? Why do they fear us? And who exactly are this “they” and “us”? 

It doesn’t take much self-insight to realize that I am also one of the “they”, with prejudices and unreflected fears about what’s different – as we all are. And equally interesting is that we are also everyone different in variuos ways, and part of one ore more dispised “us”-groups. So here we are, carefully hiding what’s “different” and possibly “unnormal”, pretending to be part of the “They”. Yes, you too. 

 Please don’t say that it’s all down to religion, because it’s actually not. These things have always been an issue – in almost all religions, at all times, and indeed also in very secular societies. So it is something else. 

 Humanity is vastly different from the animals. But we have also a lot in common. One thing is the flock, the tribe. Are you part of the tribe, or not? In peaceful and prosperous times, we let our tribes grow – everyone is welcome and part of society. But when the group feels threathened, fearful, angry – the tribe starts to shrink. You are not us, and so we hate you. And as the external pressure grows, the tribe starts to exclude one group of individuals after another. And of course, everyone that is not excluded (yet) gets an additional motivation in their fear of being discovered as different themselves. Because of course: We all are. 

This is the automatic, instinctive reaction. But we are after all different than animals, and have a choice. Instead of reacting instinctively – we can reflect, and choose the civilized reaction instead of the simple, brutalistic one. I think that realizing that we all are weak and different in a multitudes of ways is part of the knowledge sets us on the path to say no to a society that excludes and surpresses us, and instead work towards one that gets it’s multifaceted richness from including humanity as it is. 

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