Sara Kroon is a photographer based in Sweden. She is a 2016 graduate of the Nordic School of Photography with a Bachelor in Photojournalism
Sara works as a freelance photographer and has worked as a photographer at Mitt i Stockholm 2016 and Dagens Arbete 2016.
Occupied land, illegal drug market. Self-proclaimed freetown, hippie idyll. Home.
The Freetown is an ongoing subjective documentary project about everyday life in Christiania, as well as more universal themes such as rootlessness and rules.
Since the start in 1971 when a group of hippies claimed the old military area in Copenhagen, the freetown and self-proclaimed state of Christiania has been a real thorn in the side to the Danish government and the attempts to shut it down have been many.
I first set my foot in Christiania seven years ago. I quickly walked through the Greenlight District where dealers - their faces often hid behind masks or bandanas - called out their prices on weed to potential customers, mainly tourists, walking down Pusher Street.
What interested me wasn’t the headlines featuring drugs and police interventions, but the everyday life of people who had created this somewhat different community. Yes, at first Christiania was, through the eyes of an outsider, artistic, wild, quirky, exciting. Exotic, even.
As I worked on my project, I met more and more people. I took their portraits but also, and just as importantly, listened to their stories, talked in their kitchen over a cup of coffee, watched the children play among plants of strawberries and marijuana in the garden of their homes. More universal themes also emerged.
Looking at these photographs, I see the people I’ve had the privilege of meeting and photographing, and their stories - but I also see the strong inner conflict I felt taking the pictures, which is what I believe drew me to Christiania in the first place.
A sense of wilderness, of being lost and searching for something which is still unclear in the moment. Enjoying the freedom that comes with being on one’s own and, in one way or another, creating one’s own set of rules to live by - and yet desperately yearning to belong to something bigger, something safe. All security and no chains, something like home.