My name is ember blooming, just turned 30 in may 2020. i am an MA student in Sculpture at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen and i was born and raised in Zagreb, Croatia. i coded this simple looking website since i joinedHack Your Future, a free coding school for people with precarious migrant realities.
In these pandemic times it became apparent to me how much time i spend every day online and how the internet becomes centralized more than ever in my everyday experiences. Communication is the omnipresent currency and most of its data gets recorded and stored. This made me think about internet security and to question who is it that has access to data of our interaction with the internet and who is it that surveiles and develops the interfaces of experiences we consume online; what remains a mistery to me as an average user and why. By whose imagination are the languages internet communicates with us coded by and for whom are those languages imagined; who has access.
As a refugee trans woman within Danish discourse i get outlined by the same reductive narratives when contrasted to the society at large. You don´t speak Danish? This job requires it. /I want to live with a Danish person now, sorry, you have to move out. / Can we meet at your place baby? I have roommates and they don´t know that im doing this./ Do you still have a penis?/ I think you´re playing a role, you´re not who you say you are./I don´t care how well you feel in your body, your estrogen levels need to fit this interval./ Just to name a few very generic narratives that i have to encounter on a very regular basis. Accordingly, i haven´t had any art related jobs in Denmark in last 5 years, that i´ve studied in visual arts. No galleries or exhibition spaces would consider hiring me, nor even at the Academy, for jobs i applied for. Since i came out as a woman i didnt have any other exhibitions than the ones obligatory by my education. This says a lot about the culture that is being gatekeeped. It says a lot about the profile of people who have a voice and saying in how things change or if they do at all. Normalcy is well defined and sustained.
My imagination has suffered and been overly simplified continuously by these reductive narratives of the greater Nordic society following the trends of rise of fascism in the western world; seeping into the smaller institutions and groups that i have been a part of or am in touch with. Therefore, i want to focus on getting help in educating myself from more grassroots organizations and individuals who want to support me in learning how to code.
Code, as a universal language with potential to bring social change; in its ability for specific application to multiple levels of the society at large. My dream of having stability and getting my first salary job seem more probable if i make a career shift to web developing industry as it isn´t neccessary to know Danish and jobs requiring these skills are on the rise in demand. Moreover, companies in tech industry have a principle of hiring by diversity so i would have higher chances of getting a job if i am qualified. Positive discrimination - having more chances of being hired into a secure job , for being a non-Danish trans woman - is much better than to struggle for years in job and housing insecurities because of not being accepted for who i am.
Finally, i just want to become best i can in web development and help operate systems and databases of people like me - where our own truths and real time engagement with realities of how deeply intimate we are acquainted with the world are gonna be safe and protected from exploitation and erasure. My future ambition is to inspire and help more women with similar background to start coding as well ,and by it to eventually gather, connect and translate our experiences and diverse set of skills into communally overturning the dominant narratives that keep reducing us to barely existing.