Hidden Borders

“Most of the people say you can do whatever you want, you're a free woman but it is still expected to be more accepted. Yes, you do have equal rights but there is still some hidden layers in thoughts of society toward women to have some norms. It is how it is. Yeah! That’s also Denmark.”

Louise Hoffbeck, a 31 year old Danish falconer, teacher, nature consultant, reenactor in Viking shows, volunteer in Red Cross, lives on her farm in Tølløse, a city near Copenhagen, Denmark. Along with teaching kids and teenagers in both an alternative school and a traditional school, she spends a lot of time and money on her birds of prey, feeding them chickens, rats, and flying birds if the weather condition is suitable.

“I don’t earn money from my farm and birds of prey, I just choose to live in this way.” Louise continues while smiling, “Why make life easy when we can make it complicated?”

An aged pony Louise grew up with.
Louise in Viking fighting training.
Louise helps out at Red Cross as volunteer.

"I do a lot of work as I want a lot of things"

Spending lots of time with work, friends and family, Louise rarely gets a moment of rest for herself even for having food. She wakes up almost every day around 6 am doing a lot of work during the day and goes to sleep around midnight. “When I was married we had a daily nap which I hated. I really don’t like to sleep in the middle of the day. I think it’s a waste of time.”

Now she is living with Mona, a veterinarian, whom she met in the beginning of the year through Facebook and decided to live together on her farm to help each other in work. Mona helps by feeding the horses and birds and in sharing some moments of fun.

Mona, a friend and a vet, lives at Louise's place.
Louise, at her brother's house, helps at her niece's birthday party.

Faded Memories

Although passing childhood with step-fathers and foster-siblings at her mother’s house, Louise grew up in peace. “I decided never to leave this house. Still, I think the same way although I’m not living here anymore,” said Louise.

But the house burnt down 3 years ago and it became one of the worst memories of her life. She says: “I lost a lot of dreams. I needed to have new dreams and good memories. I did a lot of things to recollect memories again even by digging in the ashes of the burnt house. Memories are very important to me.”

Louise lived about 10 years with her boyfriend, Benjamin, married at age 27 and divorced after two years.

“After my divorce from Benjamin I was feeling so lonely. I kept my life busy and tense. I don’t say that was a wise decision or not but I would say that it was a brave decision to stay alone and deal with everything all by myself.”

An old tree on Louise's farm under which she was proposed to by her ex-husband.
"Spinning yarn on spinning wheels is a meditation for me. It relaxes my mind more than anything," said Louise
Louise is getting ready to go out.
Louise dancing in a traditional Danish way in which she used to do in school time. The traditional dress for this dance has been kept for years on a manikin in her living room.

A new section in life

Louise discovered endometriosis in her ovaries last year and went through surgery. This may reduce the possibility of pregnancy for her. Therefore she wants to try having a baby by age 33.

“I would love to have a baby, I also would love to have a trustworthy man who I can make a family with, but if I can’t find a type of man I want, I won’t wait anymore to find him. I think it’s getting late for me with this health condition to have a child. I do want to have a family but I don’t want to miss the opportunity of being a mother because of absence of the right man in my life.”

Louise continues: "I've always been a bit different than others because my hobbies were different. Of course, the way I lived with my family was also different. Now I think I need to have a family in a different way."

When the idea came to her mind she made it a decision. “I got pregnant when i was 17. I had an abortion and because the doctor made a mistake I had to have another abortion after three weeks... after that, till age 25, I was so afraid to get pregnant and to have to go through another abortion again. After I came to know about endometriosis in my ovaries I am ready to be a single mother now by artificial insemination, if I can’t find the right guy. “

"I look at the scars of my surgery everyday. I am happy they are fading away. As they fade so fades the bad memories that goes with them."
Louise on her way back home to have lunch with her students who have been invited by her.
Louise with a close friend in a bar.
Doing an educational program under title of Hackathon in Vallensbæk, DK.
Louise visiting her niece on her birthday.

Rikke, her childhood friend, says about her, “She is very much alive and she tries every aspect of life. If she gets an idea she follows it to make it hers. No fear, she just throws herself into stuff.”

Mona believes, “There are still norms for women even in a developed country like Denmark. Society expects you to have a family, husband, kids, career, and a house. But she is coping with doing a lot of these things alone. She does what she wants not what society might expect.”

A rat is to be given to birds of prey by Louise.
Created By
Sarah Jabbari


@Sarah Jabbari

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