Jacob Holdt
- my friends


Reunited with Tony in 2003

This page is reserved for my friends

Due to my roaming life I have both many friends and few friends, depending on how you define friends.
I am especially attached to those who came to mean a lot for me in my childhood, in school and in my years as a vagabond in the USA. Much of my time I spend traveling around to visit them or writing them. Since especially my American friends are incredibly diverse as a result of the fortuitous way I met them through hitchhiking, I have often dreamt of throwing a big party where they could all be present, a "beggars banquet" for poor folks and millionaires. However, enough money to bring them all together over the enormous distances I will probably never get.

But here on the Internet we can at least meet and on this page I will in time present some of my friends for my other friends - in the same way as when I frequently have had Danish friends with me in the car to visit American friends.

So this page will be the domicile for everything concerning my friends such as:

My yearly Christmas letter to Danish friends
which I have written for 28 years. They are not all here as I had no money for postage during the first years and instead let one or two copies circulate after a list of names until they disappeared out in the blue. 

My virtual cemetery for deceased friends
For good reasons this is under continuous construction and it should indeed be a great pleasure for me to complete the work for all of you before I myself kick the bucket. 

Special friends:
Here is an interim presentation of some of my friends - not that I actually see them very often, but people who in one way or another has come to mean so much for me that they have become my psychic life mates:

Tony Harris
whom I met when he was a junkie and a criminal, but who became one of my best coworkers in Europe. Later we moved to the USA until the American Pictures collective dissolved. After a break for some years we again joined op and now Tony had become so strong in his racism workshops that it was his reputation which made the schools book us again and again.

Christina Sun 
my Chinese "wife" in New York, as she still calls herself since we lived together for the last 8 years there. Also in other ways she is a real wag. From "our" enormous penthouse apartment we have a view of both the World Trace Center and the Empire State Building. Yes, such a "wife" is a whole lot better than sleeping in my van on the streets, as I usually do!

Marius Ibsen
whom I started a school paper with in 4th grade. During nightly visits with him I cripped all his homework. Without him I would never have made it until my second year in high school when I was thrown out.

Tommy Howard
is best known as the "playboy millionaire" on page 130 in my book. But this description is a bit too narrow. He was actually one of the few who had faith in my project in my vagabond years and often lend me his cars with free gas so I could reach the most remote back roads. Today we exchange children during vacation time.

Marly Sockol
was my first real girlfriend in the USA as well as my deep psychological critic. We were close to getting married and recently celebrated our "silver wedding" here in Copenhagen. Today she is a psychiatrist in San Francisco.

Jensen Jørgen Jensen
who as a student at one of my first high school shows offered to make copies of my pictures. Since then he also made a movie of "American Pictures" (for cinemas) and continues to this day making pictures and museum exhibitions for me in the USA. 

Eli Saeter
is one of the many I have had with me in my car in the USA. However, the ice was really broken between us when we had to sleep together in minus 50 degrees in my van and hunted down mass murderers in the swamps in the South. Later we collaborated on her best-selling book about these blood-curdling experiences. 

Jens Holm Nielsen
was my very first playmate, when I came to Jutland 3 years old. Today he is still my base when I return to my home village. As a gaffer for 25 road construction workers he spends even more time on the road than I.

Birgit Vanghaug
is actually just my cousin, but some times our intimacy feels more like she was my wife. A really good friend and critic. 

Dan Williams
wanted to make a career on Wall St for himself, when he saw American Pictures in Berkeley. That changed his life and later he organized the show 5 times in Harvard. Today he is a defense attorney for the renown death row inmate Mumia Abu Jamal and a legal aid for the very poor - among them me.

Anita Roddick
As an even more flighty person than myself, this dynamic owner of the global company The Body Shop is not one of those friends I see the most. But whenever she is close by in Copenhagen or the USA, she nevertheless finds time to see me. She is still writing about our trip through the American ghettoes as one of the most moving experiences, she has had.

Jørgen Dragsdahl
was the journalist, who made me famous in 1976. That I have never forgiven him for. Later our lives were really tossed together, when we were both "exposed" as  "KGB-agents" for the Soviet Union!

Kitte Fennestad
made the design for my book and helped me select my photos over the years. Later we hitchhiked together through Africa, smuggled secret documents for the ANC to its guerrilla groups and one week before my son's baptism flew to a bloody race riot in Miami.

Alphonso Makell
first attempted as a criminal and junkie in a gang in the ghetto of  Baltimore to rob me. Later he invited me home. He is still a junkie, but for many years I have used him as a guest speaker when I run shows for rich white students. Today he is dying from AIDS and his daughter is keeping me abreast of events through e-mail. 

Lisbeth Schneider
is my "astrologist", psychologist and mental advisor, who keeps an eye on my movements everywhere in the world and beeps me when I am in danger: "Be careful! Today at 4 pm (Danish time) you will meet violent anger." And sure enough, precisely at 9 pm (Texas time) a black woman in my audience bursts out in violent anger against me. But since I am now prepared I usually manage to turn the anger into a later friendship. So Lisbeth is really invaluable for me!

Jörg Meier
was one of our many volunteers in American Pictures - so clever that he ended up making both my German and my American versions of the show But all of a sudden he ended up in prison as it turned out he was an East German spy planted by STASI. While in Danish prison he continued working for us and translated and narrated the German movie version before the great spy swap between East and West Germany. Today he continues translating for me and has great success as a psychologist for many of the former East Germany's psychologically broken souls. 

Maya Feldman
was my "secretary" during the many years where I housed refugees from all over the world. When my house was at war with itself - such as between feminine Iranian shia-Muslim transvestites and "macho" sunni-Muslim PLO-fighter just released from Israeli prisons - Jewish Maya was the only one who could reconcile the fighting partners as a result of the enormous respect, she enjoyed. She also made our house a center for the South African anti-apartheid movement led by the man who is today South Africa's ambassador to Denmark. 

Many more presentations of friends will follow....and I promise that you will all get your own pages with pictures.


 - other pages under this heading:

2. A political interpretation of who I am
3. My nuclear family
4. My work in the Third World
5. My writings - with samples
6. My enormous genealogical web-site
8. My dead friends - a virtual cemetery
9. My joke collection

This page in Danish

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