● Civil Disobedience Demo [0:24]

An ongoing project documenting the changes of Kalvebod Common just outside Copenhagen. I started filming in 2009 and continued until 2013 when building of a new dam was finished and a public bicycle track was opened. The video part of the project is in three chapters:

Civil Disobedience 1: The Hip Rose Project (13 min)

Civil Disobedience 2: The History of the Dam (8 min)

Civil Disobedience 3: Amanita Muscaria (12 min) See also an excerpt. Go to page.

Niels Plenge 2009-2015, digital video and HD, 33 min


Civil Disobedience Part 1: The Hip Rose Project


Kalvebod Common is a former marsh land few kilometers outside Copenhagen.

Around 1940 during the occupation a dam was build to avoid flooding at high tide. But some claim that the reason was to engage people who otherwise would have been sent to work camps in Nazi Germany. That project enlarged the island Amager with one third.

The following years the area became a pasture for cattle and sheep. From 1955 when the meadows were dry the

military used the area as shooting range and exercise field.

After 1984 the public was given access to the common except one part with status as a wild bird reserve. Until 2010 you had to stick to the roads and paths. Ammunition and explosives not detonated could still be found.

Kalvebod Common ranks high among my favourite places in the world. For twenty years now I have been going there summer and winter. In 2009 I got the idea for a special project: The Hip Rose Project.


When you enter the restricted area you will notice that the dam is separated from the bird reserve by electric fence, ditches and also a small lake. Actually your presence on the dam would not disturb any of the wild birds or other

living creatures.

But hoping to be one of the only human visitors from the surrounding society I felt obliged to share the resulting fruit

preserves with others. Those who would receive a glass of my jam were requested also to watch a video

showing the act of civil disobedience in order to inform them about their complicity.

When I had collected the last hip fruit of that year all the bushes were cleared and the dam was for the next three years

turned into a construction site. The European Union had supported increasing the hight of the dam by a couple of meters in order to protect this manmade landscape against the risk of flooding caused by global warming.

A small fence had to be build to prevent a special type of frog which is living there from jumping out of the reserve and into

the caterpillar tracks. That ended my project.

It was only a poor consolation that the previously blocked road became a public bicycle path when the new dam was

finished in 2012. The hip rose is generally considered to be a nuisance – a self sown weed.

I’m still waiting for it’s return.

Niels Plenge 2013