Janteloven - Small Town Mentality
Janteloven, meaning the law of Jante, is a term that originates from a novel written in 1933 by Aksel Sandemose that exposes the destructive effects of growing up in small-town Denmark. The single word Janteloven has become a well-respected and famous term widely used in daily speech and it has even established value as a formal term in social psychology. Although set in Scandinavia in a specific small community, the project explores how the suppression of individual encouragement is transferable to communities all over the world. The hostile and discouraging atmosphere is commonplace in environments where uniqueness is a sin, and standing out from the crowd in any way is a disgrace.
About Janteloven - Small Town Mentality
This project is an exploration of the various pressures associated with these laws, and how their negative repercussions can have severe mental and emotional impact when placed on individuals both in rural and in larger communities.
The titles to each of the portraits are based on the ten laws of Jante.
1 I shall not believe that I am somebody
2 I shall not believe that I am as worthy as them
3 I shall not believe that I am any wiser than them
4 I shall not imagine that I am any better than them
5 I shall not imagine that I know anything more than them
6 I shall not believe that I am any more than them
7 I shall not believe that I am good at anything
8 I shall not laugh at them
9 I shall not believe that anyone cares about me
10 I shall not believe that I can teach them anything