Benjamin, 10 years later
This year it has been 10 years since Benjamin Hermansen was killed in Holmlia. His Majesty King Harald was present on Sept. 19 when Holmlia hosted “Do not forget – Benjamin, 10 years after.”
The murder of 15-year-old Benjamin Hermansen took place in Holmlia in Oslo on January 26, 2001. The killing was racially motivated, and caused an outcry across the country. The torchlight parade held in Oslo a few days later had about 40,000 participants.
In connection with Oslo’s OXLO Week 2011, Holmlia hosted a two-part dialogue with youth in the community. King Harald was present at the event’s first part. Here, 10th graders along with special guests Minister Audun Lysbakken and Mayor Stian Berger Røsland, met many enthusiastic people from the local community and society in general.
Several people gave speechs during the event, including:
- Beatrice Jaquotot, journalist and friend of Benjamin
- Martha Wood from the Youth Council in the Southern District Nordstrand
- Camilo Heredia, head of the Street Art Academy and author of “Song to Benjamin”
- Kari Helene Partapuoli, head of the Anti-Racist Center
- Minister Audun Lysbakken
In addition, the students brought school texts from Holmlia. Hannah Wozene Kvam was a presenter at the event.
During the second part of the event, Minister Kristin Halvorsen met with a group of youths to talk about how it is to grow up in Holmlia today. The theme was not retrospective, but rather included the idea that the fight against racism and xenophobia can never be stopped. The conversation topic was: “Do not forget – but what now?”
The organizers of the event was the group “Treffpunkt Holmlia” – a collaboration between the Deichman Library in Holmlia and Holmlia Church.
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