JOHNNY GRAM | AGE 40 AND BETTINA BORREGAARD | AGE 28
Johnny Gram grew up in Tåstrup with a single, alcoholic mother the first ten years of his life. The problems at home became so serious that he ran away when he was 15 and lived on the street for two years. He started smoking hashish and taking hard drugs, and he also went to prison several times for theft. Ten years ago, he went into a methadone treatment program, met his girlfriend Bettina and now works various minor jobs.
Bettina Borregaard grew up in Copenhagen and has always felt like the black sheep of the family. She had a good upbringing, but she was tired of school, bored and began smoking hashish. Later, she was introduced to heroin and became addicted. She lived a turbulent life, but when she was 25, she decided to stop and get help. She met Johnny in a substance abuse centre and has been with him ever since.
Bettina and Johnny have lived with Bettina’s mother several times and on the streets of Copenhagen, but are no longer together.
‘The Rootless’ is a project about homeless people in Denmark, which is intended to further understanding of the situation of the homeless by focusing on their lives and living conditions through a photo exhibition and the nationwide publishing of a book.
‘The Rootless’ are a group of 30 people who has somehow been pushed out of society either by or without conscious choice and who need more help than that which is provided by the efforts of our society. A large part of the problem is the fact that we do not look the people we are supposed to help in the eye.
Most of us would rather not face the reality we are confronted by through these people. Most of us fail to grasp the relations that take place in the streets and that makes it challenging for us to understand the homeless rather than turning our backs on them. This project tries to diminish the distance between us and homeless people by giving them facial features and telling their stories.
‘The Rootless’ was exhibited in 2010 as an outdoor exhibition in 6 larger cities in Denmark and had its Inaugural exhibition at the art festival Lys over Lolland (Light Over Lolland) same year.