22/07/2011 – Norway bombing

life, norway, photo, work

i was sitting at oslo university college when i suddenly heard a loud roar and the building started shaking. sirens was soon to follow so i quickly understood that something serious was happening, tough, i never would have guessed what the day had in store. i got to the site about 45 mins later and the police had already closed down a large area around the site where the car bomb had gone of. it wasn’t until now i understood that this wasn’t an accident and the seriousness started to show itself. i was still far away from the actual site, but the damage around where massive. people where walking around with tears in their eyes.

after spending about 15 minutes walking around and photographing the damaged areas i started to feel sick. a big knot was building up in my stomach and i didn’t really know what to do, or what i was taking pictures of. i was frightened. i kept on taking pictures, but my mind was somewhere else.

about one hour after the blast i walked past the maran ata temple. a church that was not that far away from the blast. the windows in the front was blown to bits after the shock wave, but i noticed something strange, it felt strange for me at the time. the glass on the street, outside the church, was already piled up. someone had started cleaning. i looked inside and a lady with a vacuum cleaner was cleaning up a couch which was covered in glass. i took a couple of pictures and was about to move down the road when i stopped, turned around, and asked them if i could stay there for a while and take pictures of them cleaning up.

ambulances was rushing by, picking up wounded from the blast, but there where few people on the streets. the police had chased away almost everyone, saying there could be a second bomb. but there i was, with Aud and Jørgen, watching them cleaning up their church, just one hour after the blast. i didn’t talk much, but i offered to help them with the cleaning, then Jørgen said to me: we have our job, and you have your job. then he smiled. i smiled back. Aud said it was good to have something to keep you busy, to keep the mind from wandering. it’s not good for you in situations like this.

two hours after the blast the police came by, asking about damage or if someone was wounded. by that time, others followers of the church had come by to help with the cleaning. there was going to be a prayer meeting later that day, but they had to cancel it. despite rumours about a second bomb, the people that came by was helping with cleaning up both outside and inside of the church. curtains had to come down and they had to wait for the carpenter to come so they could board up the windows. after staying there for about two hours i thanked them for letting me stay. i think they understood how good it was for me to have something to do in that time. the knot in my stomach was still there, but i was feeling better. when i got home i didn’t know what to do, so i started edit my pictures, all of them. just to take my mind of things.

My thoughts go out to everyone who is affected by this terrible tragedy.

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