Danish Apartment by Lilena Marinou
This is one of the rare occasions where I witnessed Gitte’s Copenhagen apartment empty. It’s hard to imagine it without her in it, walking down its crooked corridors, or making food in the kitchen, or even sitting in her living room, by herself, looking out the window that faces a quiet courtyard.
I am used to seeing this apartment bustling with life, a house full of Danes preparing Christmas dinner, philosophising around the dining table and decorating a coniferous tree with ornaments and small danish flags that have been painstakingly collected throughout the past decades.
In fact, the home itself is a result of painstakingly collecting things. The furniture, objects and memorabilia from all the countries Gitte has visited, they are all cherry-picked items accumulated in the past 25 years. Despite the fact that the apartment was a wreck when Gitte received it, the love and affection she gave to it seeps through its beauty, making it the small jewel that it is today.
This is a home to many, a safe haven for Gitte’s family. Not a single family member has failed to mention a story about how Gitte invited them into her home when they were in need. My photos are a humble attestation to that, because she took me in as family when she really didn’t have to. We are not blood relatives, only through spirit, as step – or rather bonus – grandma and granddaughter. And yet her warmth, kindness and hospitality have always been ample.
Lilena Marinou is a passionate filmmaker based in New York City, USA. Born and raised in Athens, Greece, Lilena attended Greek & international schools until she began pursuing a BFA in Film/TV at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Lilena has made short fiction and documentary films, some of which have been showcased in film festivals around the globe. What’s in a Name (2014) had the honor of being distinguished in “Plasencia Encorto” International Youth Film Festival. (text from personal website)