The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed our lives in numerous ways. It has affected activist as well as educational work.
While the pandemic continued to rage globally in 2021 Humanity in Action rethought the Fellowships and organized interlectually challenging, inspirering, interactive yet virtual gatherings in 2021.
In Denmark, Humanity in Action was in the furtunate position to be able to take part in both the International Virtual Fellowship in June as well as conduct an on-site and in-person Fellowship in Copenhagen (2 weeks) and in The Faroe Islands (1 week) in August 2021.
The 2021 Copenhagen Fellowship delved into the complex issues of Unity of the Danish Realm through the lens of human rights.
Dive into the 2021 Copenhagen Fellowship and learn more about our 22 Fellows as well as our magnificent speakers in the program below.
Learn more about what our 2021 Copenhagen Fellows experienced in August 2021.
View the 2021 Cph Program Booklet here.
In June 2021 the 22 Copenhagen Fellows joined the entire international Humanity in Action cohort for a International Virtual Fellowship. All 125 international Fellows engaged in an amazing worldwide online community building session stretching over several days.
“I believe that the International Fellowship is important to give a sense of community between the cohorts. Humanity in Action can remain a part of my life with international conferences and events when the Covid-situation allows it.” Terese Freltoft, 2021 Cph Fellow.
The International Online Fellowship investigated topics such as “Intersectionality, solidarity & allyship”, “Colonialism and imperialism“, “WWII and the SHOA”, “Beyond the Gender Binary”, “Remembrance culture in Germany”, “The Impact of Conspiracy Theory”, “Nationalism and race” to name just a few of the sessions. The Fellows also investigated ways of online community building and how to take action on matters close to their hearts.
Speakers from many different countries and walks of life enlightened both Fellows and staff and sparked intense, dynamic and inspiring discussions that streched beyond the screen. And touched many of us with their passion and commitment. Most, if not all, fellows as well as staff were surprised by the power of the community and the bonds that were created despite the great physical distance and the screens between us.
Meet some of our Speakers from the virtual program
Our renowned speakers come with a wide range of backgrounds and love to share their knowledge and perspectives with our Fellows and community.
The Copenhagen Fellowship: Unity of the Realm and Human Rights
On august 9, 2021 our 22 Copenhagen Fellows met for the first time in person at our main Fellowship location: Karens Minde Kulturhus in the part of Copenhagen called the South Harbour (Sydhavnen).
The Fellows – although all residing in Denmark or Greenland at the time – represented 10 different nationalities.
In Denmark, the Unity of the Realm refers to the relationship between Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, which are collectively known as The Danish Realm.
For the second time out of three, the Copenhagen Fellowship focussed on the complex issues of Rigsfællesskabet – the Unity of the Realm – through the lense of Human Rights.
The relationship between Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands has been changing rapidly. Climate change, growing global interests in the Arctic, and the increasing focus on Denmark’s colonial past are shaping new possibilities for the future of these three countries. These developments create an urgent need for enlightened and democratic conversations on these relationships and its potential new reality. However, many people in Denmark, let alone abroad, know little to nothing about this social and political union and its implications for the people living within it.
Together with experts, Human Rights advocates, journalists, historians, politicians and activists, the Fellowship examined the union’s long and complex history from a human rights perspective, and the relationship of the majority in Denmark with the country’s minorities across the North Atlantic.
>> “The thematic focus on the Unity of the Realm was important and much needed because it isn’t a part of our school curriculum and therefore a blind spot to many Danes. Often, we pride ourselves as this just, benevolent, and democratic nation but we are ignorant and arrogant about our colonial past, and oblivious to the omnipresence of coloniality as well as how we, as a nation and as individuals, benefit from it.” Sofie Malm Henriksen, 2021 Cph Fellow.
For the first time in the Copenhagen Fellowship’s history all the 22 Fellows travelled to the Faroe Islands!
Study trip to the Faroe Islands
Located between Norway and Iceland, the Faroe Islands is a self-governing archipelago in the Kingdom of Denmark. In cooperation with local non-government and other organizations in the Faroe Islands, the 2021 Copenhagen Fellowship will visit the Faroe Islands and examine the idea of the “Unity of the Realm” from a Faroese perspective.
During the visit, some of the questions we investigated was:
How do the Faroese envision their future?
How do Faroese communities experience the growing global interest in the Arctic region?
How is climate change affecting life and livelihood?
What is the relationship between Tórshavn, the Faroese capital, and the outer islands? What is Tórshavn’s relationship with Copenhagen?
How do the Faroese view their relationship with Denmark, past and present?
The purpose of the trip was not only to talk about but to talk with the people of the islands and especially, listening to what they could to tell us about their perspectives on issues concerning the Unity of the Realm.
The trip to the Faroe Islands united us even further and in spite of being tired and overwhelmed, the group grew together and in my experience were able to fully rely on each other and get to know each other beyond the academic discussions.” Josephine Ravnkjær Nielsen, 2021 Cph Fellow
We were so fortunate to stay at Føroya Fólkaháskúli (the Faroese Folk Highschool) in Tórshavn. The school focuses on dance, theatre, and the arts but was empty during our stay. That meant we could use their comfortable classrooms when having our many interesting lectures, debates and discussions.
During the week in Tórshavn we learned about relevant themes such as “Faroese Independence”, “Pro-Life or Pro-Choice in the Faroe Islands”, “LGBTQIA+ in the Faroe Islands” and “Democracy, Minorities and Religion in the Faroe Islands”. Further, we hosted an interesting debate between youth party leaders and the Fellows on the Faroe Island’s role in the World. The debate was moderated by Senior Fellow Tór Marni Weihe and gave us a unique insight to youth politcs at the Faroe Islands, abortion rights, the importance of religion in certain communities, human rights issues and the development in the Arctic and the future of the Realm. We were very thankful for the insights we gained throughout the entire week and the people who constributed to making it all possible. You can meet Tór here.
“The most insightful and inspiring moments of the Faroe Islands was having the unique opportunity to get a glimpse of the culture, the country and the society. These are lessons that cannot be taught from afar, but must be understood through experience” Tukuma Egede, 2021 Cph Fellow
We were also very fortunate to have Senior Fellow and Board Member Brandur Mortensen Nolsøe as our local hoast and guide. Brandur took us on an incredible 7 km hike from Tórshavn to the historically important village Kirkjubø.
To get there, we hiked up the steep, foggy mountains and along the magnificient fjords and we were welcomed by the farmer Jóhannes Patursson who is a descendent of the well known nationalist of the same name. Jóhannes gave us a private tour around Kirkjubø ahere we saw the historic site with ruins of the Magnus Cathedral which dates back to around 1300 and Saint Olav’s church from the 12th century as well as the old farmhouse of Kirkjubøargardur from the 11th century.
Meet Senior Fellow and Board Member Brandur Mortensen Nolsøe here.
Learn more about what our 2021 Copenhagen Fellows experienced in the Faroe Islands.
View the 2021 Faroe Islands Program Booklet here.
The 2021 Copenhagen Fellowship is developed in cooporation with:
Greenland Representation in Denmark/Kalaallit Nunaata Siniisoqarfia
The Representation of the Faroes in Copenhagen/Sendistova Føroya í Keypmannahavn
Institute for Human Rights, Copenhagen
The Raoul Wallenberg institute for Human Rights, Lund
Our Fellowship Supporters in 2021
We thank our supporters and partners, host families, Senior Fellows and friends of Humanity in Action. These contributions help to prepare outstanding students for a lifelong commitment to civic responsibility and the promotion of human rights.
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Every year, new Humanity in Action Fellows come together in six cities across Europe and the United States to study how and why people resist intolerance and protect democratic values.