Fixerum/Injection room

2002-2012

København

English below

Beskyttelsesrum – Fixerum til Stofbrugere


Udstilling: Del af “Contemplation Room”, byrumsudstilling med infobase på Overgaden


Curatorer: Cecillie Gravesen, Lasse Johansen og Kristine Aggergård


Periode: Udstilling i maj-juni 2002, siden har projektet kørt videre med forskellige interventioner og politiske aktioner

2002 Projekt Beskrivelse

Et af de store sociale og bymæssige problemer for borgere og virksomheder på Vesterbro og specielt Halmtorvet er gadenarkomanernes fixen og efterladenskaber i den forbindelse. Problemet er dog størst for stofbrugerne selv, idet de må injecere under stressede og usle forhold med fejlfix, infektioner og overdoser til følge. Jeg har derfor iværksat et kunstprojekt, der rent fysisk deltager i debat om løsningen af dette problem. Ved at indgå et samarbejde med stofbrugere, relaterede organisationer og arkitektstuderende Steffen Nielsen, er jeg kommet med en fysisk model for, hvordan et fixerum kan se ud. Fixerummet er anvendeligt både funktionelt, sundheds- og rengøringsmæssigt. Beskyttelsesrummene på Halmtorvet (ud fra nr. 7) er den fysiske ramme for projektet, hvor stofbrugere i dag fixer ovenpå højen.

Projektet var en 1:1 model af, hvordan et fixerum til stofbrugere kunne se ud. Som kontekst og symbolsk site valgte jeg bunkeren på Halmtorvet, som stofbrugere i 20-30 år har siddet på toppen af og fixet. Jeg brugte et beskyttelsesrum, pga. ordets dobbeltbetydning – beskytte befolkning mod bomber/beskytte stofbrugere mod sygdomme – samt den kollektive viden om, at der er hundrede af disse rum, der står tomme og uanvendte i vores byer! Konteksten blev inddraget og var betydningsbærende i værket.

Fixerummet var åbent i 16 dage og var bemandet med sygeplejersker og fuldt funktionsdygtigt. Formålet var at bidrage til den 6 år lange (sproglige) debat om fixerum til stofbrugere med en oversættelse af alle rapporterne, ekspertudvalgene og medieomtalen til noget fysisk og visuelt. Dermed bidrog jeg til debatten igennem en æstetisk og kunstnerisk optik og i et visuelt sprog. Indretningen havde også et social-politisk forslag om, hvordan de fysiske rammer, det æstetiske, kan bidrage til en mere værdig behandling af udstødte.

Formålet med projektet var igennem et visuelt, fysisk og kunstnerisk bidrag at deltage til den demokratiske debat i pressen for at præge beslutningstagere og politikere. Gennem en meget bevidst og styret proces lykkedes det at skabe en god og saglig social-politisk debat med et æstetisk bidrag.

I juni 2003 og to gange efterfølgende fremsætter opposition ledet af Socialdemokratiet et beslutningsforslag om indførsel af sundhedsrum, et andet ord for fixerum. Regeringen nedstemmer forslaget alle tre gange.

Dette at have noget fysisk og faktisk at forholde sig til, kan give debatten om fixerum et nyt holdepunkt. En af de store muligheder i kunsten er netop af give tanker og koncepter fysisk form, og dermed formidle flere facetter af en given problemstilling. For at få etableret fixerum i Danmark skal det gøres lovligt vha. en “4-meters lov”. Dvs. at stofbrugere skal have lov til at gå fra indgangsdøren hen til sygeplejersken med ulovligt stof!

Med en sådan lov, ligesom bl.a. Tyskland, Holland, Schweitz, Australien, Portugal og senest Norge har det, er vi klar til at etablere fixerum! I forbindelse med projektet var jeg i kontakt med daværende narkotikapolitisk ordfører for Socialdemokratiet Sophie Hæstorf Andersen, MF, Martin Lidegaard, MF, Radikale Venstre, Bo Asmus Kjeldgaard, SF, Familie og Arbejdsmarkedsborgmester, Københavns Kommune samt Frank Hedegaard, SF, Borgerrepræsentationen og en lang række institutioner der arbejder med stofbrugere. De ønskede alle at få gennemført fixerum/brugerrum, og har enten deltaget i åbningen, pressemødet eller den generelle følgedebat fra mit projekt.

Fixerummet havde åbent fra lørdag den 25. maj til den 9. juni 2002. I den periode var det dagligt åbent fra 16.00 – 20.00 samt søndag 12.00 – 14.00.

Den 15. september 2011 er der folketingsvalg i Danmark.

Den 13. juni 2012 vedtager den nye regering at indføre stofindtagelsesrum, som både er fixerum (injektion af stoffer) og rygerum (rygning af stoffer).

Kenneth A. Balfelt

 

Protection Room – Injection Room for Drug Users

 

2002 Project description:

One of the great social and urban problems for citizens and companies at Vesterbro (part of Copenhagen near Central Station) is the public injection of illegal drugs. The problem is however biggest for the drug addicts themselves as they have to inject under stress and generally miserable conditions. This causes mistakes when injecting, infections and overdoses. On this basis I initiated the design of a physical injection room.

By co-operating with drug addicts and related organisations, architect student Steffen Nielsen and I designed a physical model for how an injection room could look like. The room was usable both functionally, health and cleaning wise. The bomb shelters at Halmtorvet next to the central station was the physical frame for the project. This is one of the three preferred places for injecting. In Danish a bomb shelter is called a “protection room” which I adopted as a title for the project. The idea with the project was to “translate” all the debate, reports, expert panels and media coverage about injection rooms from the last 6 years into a physical presence. From the written and spoken language into a visual and physical one. To have an actual functioning injection room was another way of facilitating the debate.

This is one of the great possibilities of functional art; to give thoughts and concepts a physical form, and thereby raise more facets of a given problem. The strategy of the whole project was to use the physical presence and that it was an art work to raise a debate in the media in order to activate politicians and drug and health experts. Also to let them use my art work as an initiator for talking about the subject. With app. 8 TV News broadcasts, 5 on the radio and 25 newspaper and magazine articles this was successful. We got both local and parliamentary politicians engaged in the debate as well as the work for a change of law.

The injection room was open from Saturday 25 May to 9 June 2002. In this period it was open daily from 16.00 – 20.00 as well as Sundays from 12.00 – 14.00.

The project aroused the interest of both local and parliamentary politicians. As a continuation of the debate following the project the leading party of the opposition, the Social Democratic Party, made a proposal to legalise injection rooms in Denmark. During January and February 2003 a union of next of kin to drug addicts and I held meetings with all four right wing parties – of which the two where from the Government – trying to convince them of the usefulness of injection rooms. On the 28 February 2003 the Law Proposal set up by all four opposition parties had 1st Treatment in the Parliament.

On the 12 May I meet with the Ministry of Health Lars Løkke Rasmussen. Although he admitted not having any alternatives on hot to solve the problems, he did not want to allow injection rooms.

When the proposal for allowing projection rooms in Denmark was treated for the second time 60 members of the parliament voted against and 44 for. However, the opposition relaunched the proposal both in the Spring 2005 (it was rejected with 62 against and 51 for) and in Winter 2005-6 where it was rejected again.

In 2005 a group of local people including Kenneth made a conference with 80 invited guests and speakers to produce solutions to drug related problems on Vesterbro (local borough of Copenhagen). Kenneth was one of the speakers and had made a film with Johan August to present the different local groups view on the problems. The initiative was named Dugnad, after the old Norwegian term for when local residents get together to solve a local problem. 101 solutions was produced and sent to the Parliament and the Copenhagen Municipality.

Through a process with meetings and the publishing of book about the conference and suggestions we finally managed to get 12,2 million Danish Kroner (app. 1,6 million €) from the Ministry of Health and form a partnership with Copenhagen Municipality to establish and run Dugnad Center Vesterbro. Kenneth was part of the board of Dugnad Center Vesterbro and co-created the interior and court yard design.

On 15 September 2011 the election brought the opposition into power and on 13 June 2012 the new government led by the social democrats passes a law to introduce drug user rooms that is both for injection and smoking drugs.

Kenneth A. Balfelt

 

 

Entrance to the underground Injection Room. Text on door:

“Beskyttelsesrum – Kom og deltag i debatten om fixerum.
Sygepleje og vejledning i fixeteknik af Charlotte Fich, Nina Brünés, Kim Hedegaard og Yogi Vilhelmsen. Åbningstider Alle dage: 16.00 – 20.00 I perioden Lørdag 25. maj – Søndag 9. juni 2002″

“Protection Room – Come and participate in the debate about injection room.
Nursing and guidance in injection technique by Charlotte Fich, Nina Brünés, Kim Hedegaard and Yogi Vilhelmsen. Opening hours All days 4pm – 8pm In the period Saturday 25 May – Sunday 9 June 2002″

 

more on this project

The Injection Room / Fixerummet

Research case: FixStern Hamburg

Press

Sponsors and partners

Petition / Underskriftsindsamling