University Post
University of Copenhagen
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Denmark's activist acrobats will climb anything to put their posters up

He is known for his daredevil skills in what is a uniquely Danish tradition. Finding creative places to put up political posters. We talked to him to find out what it is that makes him tick

The Danish tradition of using election posters has existed for over 100 years and is still seen as a central aspect of the short three-week campaign period.

Although the posters aren’t quite as beautiful and nuanced as they once were, party members and volunteers still scramble to secure the best places as soon as the election is called.

Not for the faint of heart

Activists will go the extra mile to find the more creative, difficult spots. University Post had the opportunity to interview a student who fits under this category – Aksel Johansen, a University of Copenhagen (UCPH) student studying sports science.

Who can be the most creative?

It’s also a fun social activity for the activists, he explains to the University Post.

“I love being active myself and being active with my buddies, so when I go out and put up posters, I get to use my body. So climbing around and putting up posters is one of the fun parts of being politically active because it’s not just intellectual, or talking about issues,” Aksel Johansen says.

It’s also a challenge to see who can be the most creative or ambitious, seeking out the less accessible sports in the city, such as in Johansen’s video, where back flips and great heights have become a part of the fun.

Needed to take action

Aksel Johansen became politically active eight years ago.

“I started back in high school when it was the Danish People’s Party that said they did not want to be part of the Human Rights Council of the UN, because they said you cannot stop sending people home just because they’ll be tortured. I got so angry that I wanted to do something and in Enhedslisten [The Red-Green Alliance] I could feel that there are people here who meant it and were ready to act.”

The past eight years, Johansen has been active in SUF, Socialist Youth Front – the Group for Young Enhedslisten members, and will continue to do so in order to contribute to something bigger.

Aksel Johansen testing his skills

“My dad said to me that the goal is to do something that makes sense to you. I think that’s why I do politics and I feel like I have to do something, as all this bad stuff happens in the world, I can’t just keep living my good life. I need to take action that’s my main reason for doing it,” he says.

“It’s also the way you show people that you are acting and you show that you are doing something and that’s important too because everyone can see that normal people can actually do something more than just voting.”

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