No | October – Vesterbro

In a few days, I will be moving away from the part of Copenhagen that is known as “Vesterbro”. While I am looking forward to this, it also represents the end of an era. Thus, Noscope October is dedicated to the fond, and not so fond memories I have of life at Vesterbro.

About “Vesterbro”

While Vesterbro is in a constant state of change, it does represent “classic Copenhagen”. It’s got the pulsing energy of city life, a diverse sub culture, but also whores, hustlers and drug-addicts.

I have come home from work many times, only to ask a few people on my doorstep to please have their fixes elsewhere. I cannot count how many times I’ve gone to pickup my bike to the smell of someone who just marked his territory. I have seen many tragic cases, many struggles and many fights.

Those are the not so fond memories.

Yet, it is not without a sense of genuine sadness, that I move from Vesterbro to Amager, in a few days. It’s hard to put a finger on what exactly it is I like about this place. The memories? Perhaps. The sounds? Unlikely. The smells? Not bloody likely.

In fact, it’s pretty hard to explain why at all, one would miss my part of Vesterbro. So I have created these pictures, to try and tell the story.

I have focused on capturing the sense of a summer nearing its end. The kind of special melancholic feeling that allows for a precious, yet terribly sad memory.

Other images of Vesterbro

While I am unsure as to whether I succeeded graphically this month, I am satisfied that I was able to focus on the fond memories. This is quite unlike the time I moved, from Nykøbing Falster to Vesterbro in May 2002. My “4800 nykøbing” Installment was definitely focused on the negative memories, and was almost sarcastic in its expression.

Soon after my moving to Vesterbro, my interest in the big city was sparked. This resulted in “1701 cph v“. Rough edgy pictures that pretty much represented my emotionally tumultuous state at that time. Yet the imagery from 1701 cph v was distinctly more positive than 4800 nykøbing.

March 2004 would again use imagery from Vesterbro, this time packaged in an almost comically sugar sweet packaging. The “Happyjoy Issue” would show warm pictures from around the Copenhagen lakes (which is near, and part of Vesterbro), but also an intentionally shrouded picture if Istedgade, the main street for prostitutes to hang out on.

I hope that by making these images, I can save not only the pictures, but also the emotions and memories of a place, in some form of time-capsule I can revisit when I grow old.

The Music

The beautiful musical track is called “Bones”, and was composed for the 4800 nykøbing installment. It is composed by Kate, and can be downloaded on her project page. While not part of her band Melusine’s The Aqua Path, that CD does contain more ambient music, and is definitely worthy of purchase. Make it yours for 10 USD (+ shipping) at

View installment

12 thoughts on “No | October – Vesterbro”

  1. Christopher says:

    Joen, lovely.

    I think you really convey your emotion, for lack of a better word, about the city quite well with the images you chose and their presentation.

    I have a question though, did you mess with the white balance of any of the photos? Or apply any sort of blue tint in Photoshop? Or is that actual natural light? I’m thinking specifically of the second and fifth images.

    It so happens that they are my favorite of the installment. The blue tint and the angles of the lines.

    Again, another great piece.

  2. Joen says:

    Thank Christopher.

    Yes, I did mess with the white balance! Before taking the batch of photos of which I used some for this installment, I configured the white balance against the palm of my hand. The compliment of this skin-tone was that greenish bluish color you speak of.

    This was enough colour for images 1-4, but in the case of 5, I also darkened the whole top section of the image—that is, the color was already there, I just “strenghtened” it, to look less like daylight.

  3. Nik says:


    I love numebr [2] it looks almost illustration-like. Especially the building on the right hand side.

    Number [3] looks interesting and kinda weird, almost like a model town. It seems strange to see a sign as strong as that at such a low height on the wall? Maybe I’m just really tired..?

    The colours in all of the images remind me of an old comic.. something like Batman? Gotham City…

    Anyway, good work I reckon. 😀

    A couple of other points… on Safari I get almost another 4 screens of scrolling white space? And also, the music seems to take a while to load on this one… it had kicked in by the time I was just about to view number [3].

  4. Joen says:

    Thanks Nik,

    The sign in number 3 DOES hang quite low… notice how there are moving boxes inside… it’s a pretty abandoned place. So yes, it’s strange 🙂

    As for the scrolling space in Safari, I had no idea about that! But it’s been my plan to re-program the entire shebang, so as to work better. It’s far from optimal now. Maybe that’ll fix the scrolling stuff as well.

    As for the music, it is a pretty big track. Not exactly sure how big, but I’ll check. It’s a whole song, as opposed to many of the others, that are “just” loops.

  5. Nik says:

    As for the scrolling space in Safari, I had no idea about that!

    Damn mac users hey!? 😀

  6. Joen says:

    Hehe, damn mac users indeed! But seriously, how can I support a browser I don’t even have access to?

    And I have tried, whats-it-called Icapture (?)—it’s still “just” a screenshot.

  7. Christopher says:

    “Damn Mac users”



  8. Joen says:

    I jest. I have nothing against Mac users. But I’ll never convert, hehe.

    By the way, I found the URL to iCapture, “your sit through the eyes of Apple’s Safari browser”. It works well on most static sites, but just doesn’t cut it for my installments setup.

  9. Michael says:

    That’s what they all say…

  10. Joen says:

    That’s what they all say… and then nothing? Or that’s what they all say… and then they turn? 😀

    Oh but seriously, as soon as I get settled here on Amager, I’ll make an entry out of Mac vs. PC.

    Admin edit: Notice I wrote “Turn”, not “Switch” 🙂

  11. Nik says:

    Oh but seriously, as soon as I get settled here on Amager, I?ll make an entry out of Mac vs. PC.

    He He! can’t wait… being a recent switcher ‘n all! 😀

  12. Michael says:

    I’ll hold out until the full entry, but unless you rely on some proprietary piece of software or game a lot on your PC, it’s my impression that you would be much better off with a Mac.

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