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The amateur editor

Marie Rodahl (17), Trondheim
The TV series SKAM (Shame) has led to international focus on young Norwegians. We have met 10 real youngsters from generation Skam, representing both urban and rural parts of the country.
Marie Rodahl, Trondheim
Marie Rodahl, Trondheim.
Photo: Alexander Benjaminsen

“It all started as a kind of therapy after a rough period in my life. I wanted to write, and to use my time on something useful and significant. So I started my magazine, called ‘Poepress’.”

How did you do that?
“I contacted people I looked up to and was curious about, like Ruby Dagnall who plays Emma in SKAM. I also got in touch with people who express themselves in a cool way, artists from Trondheim. I soon found out that the magazine was quite good, and then I gave it massive attention. After selling it in the pedestrian zone in Trondheim on a cold winter day, I got the taste to work more with the magazine and tell more stories. My goal is to publish another issue on June 15th and sell it in Trondheim and other places in the country.”

Why a magazine?
“Because nobody else get to decide what I can or can’t publish. I am my own boss. I like to learn about people and cultural differences, about why people are like they are. I thought that was best expressed through a magazine, and secondly in social media.”

What are your other interests?
“I am passionate about lots of things, but my main issue is to get the politicians to understand that the oil will destroy the great nature we have here in Norway, and that it exposes the earth to insane amounts of carbon dioxide. If they start drilling for oil in the Lofoten Islands, they are making complete fools of themselves.”

What is the best thing about living where you live?
“That it’s just far enough away from the city so that I can smell the manure when I leave my house in the spring and summer. And that I can easily get to the city centre and more urban areas. The best thing about Trondheim is that everything fit so well together, with busses and trams that make it easy to get to other areas of the city quickly. It’s a small city, but there’s lots of stuff happening here. And it might be the third largest city in Norway, but it’s not overwhelming or clammy. I really like that.”

What do you show visitors from out of town?
“Our great nature. We have a large forest, and the sea is beautiful this time of year. Bakklandet is also very nice – a pretty place with small and colourful wooden houses and loads of cafes. It is always peaceful and is located right at the bank of the Nidelven river.”

What is the most important thing that has happened in your life?
“Making a magazine, and I also got so many new friends when I joined the organization Nature and Youth. I followed my heart and ended up at the pot of gold. I couldn’t have seen it coming a year ago. It’s like I woke up from a bad night’s sleep and thought: ‘This is a really nice place.’ After I created the magazine, I gained a lot of self-esteem and motivation to use my voice. No matter how shy I am in real life, social media give me the opportunity to express myself. And I can write freely in my magazine.”

Sounds great! So no worries?
“Oh yes! Everything from the small acne outbreak on my forehead and my school exams to huge and complicated things like when government leaders use their power on the wrong things. I want everything to be as fair as possible, but when I look at the uncertain future we’re facing, I worry that it won’t be green and happy for my generation. Nobody who holds great power care about the environment, because it’s no money in it. Nor do they care about refugees or famine. That doesn’t pay of neither. It worries and hurts me at the same time. If my children are to grow up in a polluted and grey world with no empathy… I’d rather move to Mars.”

Let’s get back to something nicer. What makes you happy?
“That so many people are active in organizations that are working towards making the world a better place. And that people volunteer for almost anything. On a personal level, I get happy when the sun is shining and I can ride my bike and go for a swim – when I can live in the moment. And when people say that they look up to me. That almost makes me cry. It’s the best thing ever. That I have a voice and that it’s being heard. I love to live in the country with the best freedom of press in the world. That makes me so happy, and I want to use my voice for something good.”

What are your dreams?
“To make the world greener and more environmentally sound. And it has to be easy so that it won’t be just us environmentalists who are thinking green. It has to be the modern way of thinking. Managing what we have is the most important thing. I know – and I am sure about this – that I will change something for the better. Whether it’s a small local community or a whole country. I won’t give up. So whether I end up as a journalist, an editor, or maybe a teacher, I am prepared to change the world.”

From one world to the next: Why do you like watching SKAM?
“Where should I start? The show is unbelievably good. First and foremost, it’s a show with an extremely authentic feeling. It seems like the people are real people living real lives. And in season three, when Isak and Even became a thing, I was so proud that Norway was setting a prime example on how you can make homosexuality normal. I like watching SKAM because I feel understood, and at the same time it is both funny and versatile. Now that season four has started, I feel that Julie Andem has done something huge. She draws attention to things people normally don’t talk about. It’s no wonder it is successful internationally.”

Things to do in Trondheim

Marie Rodahl, Trondheim

Marie Rodahl, Trondheim.
Photo: Alexander Benjaminsen
Marie Rodahl, Trondheim

Marie Rodahl, Trondheim.
Photo: Alexander Benjaminsen
About SKAM

Skam is a Norwegian teen drama TV series about the daily life of teenagers at the Hartvig Nissen School, a gymnasium in the West End borough of Frogner in Oslo. The series is created by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK).

Meet the youngsters
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