MICHAEL ELISASSEN | AGE 33
Michael Eliassen is originally from Aarhus. When he was 11, he got a baby sister, and she received all the attention. Michael began drinking booze and smoking joints.
His friend’s father, drug addict and alcoholic, took care of him and introduced him to that world. He died, and Michael lost any joy of life and started on heroin. Later, he almost completed training as a chef, but crime and drugs had too strong a hold on him.
After a turn in prison he met a Christian woman, but her care became too much for him. He has chosen to return to the streets, which he cannot let go.
‘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.