Kontinent Agency has been fortunate to have had two great interns, Alice Garrett-Jones (Cambridge, UK) and Jakob Roseen (Stockholm, Sweden), working alongside us during the month of June. While with us, Jakob and Alice have not only assisted photographers at various shoots but also assisted us in organising and putting together the new cultural/ exhibition department of Kontinent, which we look forward to launching soon.
While interning at Kontinent, Jakob and Alice collaborated on a beautiful photographic/ multimedia project, following a group of refugees learning to ride a bicycle for the first time.
Frihet på Cykel / Freedom on a Bike is a recently founded program, organised by Cykelfrämjandet, which teaches refugees living in Sweden how to ride a bicycle. The preliminary course, consisting of six lessons, ran for the first time ever in June 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden. The majority of the students that attended were aged between 16-18 and had never ridden a bike before. As well as learning how to ride a bike, the students were also taught about road safety and the Swedish traffic system.
It must have been very special to spend time and document the refugee teenagers as they learnt to ride a bike for the first time?
“It was great fun to watch their progress week by week and to share with them their happiness when they managed to cycle by themselves for the first time, since I came to consider the students and the volunteers running the program as friends.”
“You could say that it’s not only for learning how to ride but also a fun way to integrate with Swedish society. Often these kids are around 15 – 18 and have fled war and poverty. This is an important way of including these kids in society. To make them feel that they are welcome here and to help them achieve self-esteem and also to have fun.”
Please tell us about your time at Kontinent?
“During my time at Kontinent, I have learnt a lot about the photojournalist industry and how I should approach it. I have assisted photographers at various shoots. It has been challenging but also extremely rewarding. I have also been involved in Kontinent’s new cultural section. This work includes producing material for the website, researching possible exhibition venues, selecting and editing photographs. I have had an amazing time while interning here.”
“My experience working at Kontinent couldn’t have been more enjoyable. We all hear so many horror stories of other people’s internships, which seem to be worst of all in the creative industries. For that reason I was apprehensive coming to Sweden for my first ‘internship’, a word which in England is often assimilated with never eating, never sleeping and only ever making cups of tea. However, the work I did during this month could not have been more valuable to me as an aspiring photojournalist. As well as working with Malin on the organisation of exhibitions, I had the pleasure of assisting some of Kontinent’s photographers. I tagged along on shoots, for example, in the Riksdag and at a Swedish school’s end of year ceremony. This allowed me access to see another side of Stockholm than I would as a tourist, but more importantly gave me the opportunity to learn from some of Sweden’s best photographers. Everybody at Kontinent was so welcoming and friendly that it didn’t feel like working at all, just pure fun. I am very grateful to Magnus and everybody at Kontinent for making this experience the best it could be and I will be sad to go home to the UK no longer as an EU citizen because who knows if I will ever get another experience like this.”