Accused of bullying, head quits Denmark’s Fatamorgana art school

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Accused of bullying, head quits Denmark’s Fatamorgana art school.

 

Morten Bo, who has been the director of Danish art school Fatamorgana for 30 years, has resigned following bullying accusations.

Bo came under pressure after three students quit the school this year saying their complaints against the head were not addressed. Their departure was followed by an open letter, originally signed by 32 current and former students but to which more than 70 have now appended their name.

Bo is accused of being ‘unpleasant, degrading, discriminatory’, particularly ‘degrading language towards women’, allegedly calling some female students ‘bitches’ or ‘chickens’. Bo’s detractors also say he would often block them on Facebook, through which students had been invited to communicate with school staff.

Writing for Journalisten, photographer and former pupil Cécile Baudier said: ‘It has never been a secret that Morten Bo ran a controversial and eccentric leadership style at school.’

Originally coming to the fore as a documentary photographer in the 1970s, by the end of the decade Bo turned to abstraction. In 1973 he was a co-founder of the Ragnarok group, and established the photography-focused Fatamorgana in Copenhagen in 1989.

His resignation came just an hour before he was called to meet the school’s board to answer for himself at an emergency general meeting. Following his lead, the five-person board itself then resigned. Henrik Saxgren, Trine Sondergaard, Momo Friis, Bjorn Norgaard and Bjorn Nørgaard said in a statement that they wish to ‘give space for a new generation’.

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