tommy.jensen@sbs.su.se johan.sandstrom@ltu.se

Broken memories?


The “body” of the iron ore embedded deep inside the mine stretches towards Kiruna town. The further down the iron ore is extracted the more the city has to be moved. Among the first buildings to go are the city hall and the old railway station, already by 2018. By 2028 the city centre, the church, the hospital, the fire station and a wider range of apartments and independent houses have to be tored down. This implies a rather comprehensive change for many people, not only physically by having to change accommodation but also in terms of memories tied to place. Talking to miners so far, however, indicate that they are quite indifferent to it all. It seems as if the mine is a given. “I adapt”, as one put it. “We don’t really have old houses”. Another person, brought up in Kiruna and now working with the mine, says that even though he has spent his childhood in neighborhoods that will be tored down, he doesn’t feel particularly nostalgic about it. He loves the natural surroundings, but not the urban landscape.