Portraits and stories from Freetown Christiania

Christiania Portraits

‘When I've been away for a while and then step back into Christiania, I realise that it's a different universe. There's a different vibe. There are no cars, everything is done at walking and cycling pace. The houses are low. There's always something going on between the houses. There are paintings on the walls. There are funny and special people. Christiania is a unique place, a special place. There are amazing places all over the world, but I've never seen a place like this.'

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I lived in Christiania for a year at the age of 15. It became my sanctuary. Here I met a number of people who took good care of me and were a great inspiration. I really started to take an interest in photography during the year I lived in Christiania. ‘Christiania Portraits’ is a journey in pictures and words, where Christianites in their own words tell what is important in their lives and what they dream of in the future, both for themselves and for Christiania.

Time feels different when I step into Christiania. I feel I can relax and breathe in a different way. There is a special calmness here. There are people who embrace you, no matter what or where you come from. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who chose to share their story with me.

Photographer Shazia Khan