LAURA BISGAARD KROGH
A Question of Honour
On a deserted road in Jutland, Denmark stands a house with an unknown address. The authorities call the residence a “Safehouse”, even though it mostly looks like an ordinary home. It is a secure residence, with surveillance cameras and tinted windows in the kitchen that faces the court. All of this has the purpose to protect a group of teenage girls who have been living in the shadow of their family that has exposed them to threats, violence and suppression. The girls live here because of honour-related conflicts. They were not familiar with this concept before fleeing their families and moving into Safehouse Jylland. But they do know how it feels. The authorities define it as conflicts that occur within close family relations and where the conflicts result from the perception that the honour of the family has been violated. The girls in these families are at risk of forced marriage or abusive punishment in the form of incarceration in the home or physical violence. In the most extreme cases they can be in danger of honour killing. The honour-related girls are torn between the fear of negative social control at home and the love for their family. At Safehouse Jylland they endeavor to create an identity of their own and to live a fairly ordinary teenage life. All girls in this series are anonymous for safety reasons.
How this story relates to trust: The people you trust the most in your life are often your family. For the girls in this story that trust has been violated and taken away from them. This story is about regaining trust in yourself. When you are at the center of an honour-related conflict, the fundamental trust in your family, in yourself, and the world around you has been broken down. “In the safe houses we have experienced firsthand that the girls can rebuild the trust in themselves and reclaim ownership of their own destiny. We are honoured and proud that the girls have shown us their story. As photographers this is the greatest trust you can receive.” Laura Bisgaard Krogh & Andreas Haubjerg
Laura Bisgaard Krogh and Andreas Haubjerg are Danish photojournalists based in Aarhus and Copenhagen, Denmark. They are currently doing their BA in Photojournalism at the Danish School of Media and Journalism. Through in-depth visual storytelling they create personal stories on issues regarding human rights and living conditions, with a focus on youth and identity. Their collaborative work shows a personal and rare view into the lives of at-risk children. Working with integrity, they have a strong code of ethics that protects the children in their stories. Together they have created a personal visual language that shows the identity of their subjects. “Laura Bisgaard Krogh and Andreas Haubjerg chose the exact right balance between melancholy and poetry, that gives us very emotional pictures and respect for the photographed, so that they don’t come across as victims. Respect is, all things considered, the keyword. Here you acknowledge and see a group of people, whose identity you have to hide at the same time. So even though the pictures are anonymous, we still feel them a lot, because they are not photographed, but felt.” (Statement from jury members of the Danish Picture of the Year, 2019)