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Category Archives: Kiruna

Storyteller #43 – building from-within


We’re making the last adjustments to the book about Kiruna and the mine (in Swedish) before sending it to potential publishers. In a chapter about broken memories we felt compelled to return to a conversation we had with a man who was born and raised in Kiruna, who worked with the mine for close to ten years, but now lives in Luleå. In Kiruna, we often heard that many of […]

Engaged organization studies


Whether in the Region of Bougainville (Papau New Guinea) or Malmfälten (Sweden), the economic, social and environmental impacts of mining are significant and tend to provoke strong reactions from a vast variety of actors. Contested business, contested areas, means navigating multifaceted, complex and value-laden relations. This requires engaged and sensitive social scientists that continuously reflect on their own values and interests. This is a discussion that we have covered before […]

Organizing Rocks: Actor-Network Theory and Space


The headline of this post is also the headline for our scientific paper on the Kiruna case in Organization. While waiting for the proofs, we thought we’d write a paragraph, extended abstract-style, on what it is about. Based on our ethnography of the Kiruna mine, the paper aims to strike a conversation with Actor-Network Theory’s (ANT) theorizing of space. ANT is one of those academic literatures that we have followed […]

Worth waiting (and working) for!


The paper on the Kiruna case has been accepted! On January 2, 2018, we submitted the paper to the scientific journal Organization. After a couple rounds of reviews and revisions we got an acceptance letter from the editor yesterday, February 27, 2019. It’s been worth waiting and working for. In a way, it’s the least conventional paper we’ve written and we really want the paper out-there to be picked up […]

Storyteller #38 – mining and migration


Mines tend to be located in remote regions, such as Kiruna (Malmfälten) and McArthur River (Northern Saskatchewan). Over time this has caused a core challenge for mining companies: how to enrol workers to these resource peripheries? In Kiruna the first rocks were knocked loose in 1896 and once the mine started, workers from all over Sweden (and parts of Finland), many whom had spent years building the railway from Kiruna […]

A new living room


Besides the sheer physical presence of the mine, one of the first things that strike a visitor to Kiruna is its city hall, commonly referred to as Kiruna’s “living room”. The building is not only architecturally fascinating but also a salute to democracy – an incarnation of an open and transparent society. This building has now been closed and will be dismantled due to the expanding mine. A new living […]

Modular and movable – smart and sustainable?


We’re reading the magazine for the Euro Mine Expo 2018 in Skellefteå, Sweden, a fair and conference for the mining industry that just recently closed (we didn’t participate). It’s always interesting to study what the industry itself considers to be salient issues and themes. The themes of the conference were innovation and business development, sustainability in action, and future outlook. Most of the magazine consists of ads of rather traditional […]

Where mines are, the state is not?


Time to call out the Swedish state? We’re reminded of the role of the state when reading a three-part article series by Jonas Fröberg in one of the largest Swedish daily newspapers, Svenska Dagbladet (the articles are in Swedish). The articles focus on conflicts around mines in the north (Kallak in Jokkmokk municipality is mentioned) between different stakeholders, particularly the Sami people and the mining companies, but predominantly zoom in […]

Mining and Death


Death is always present, explicitly so for people in war zones, civic unrest, starvation etc. How about death and work? For undertakers and professionals in palliative care, for example, death is highly present, but for most of us at work, the presence of death is more shady. It might be in the back of our minds, in a story over-heard in the coffee room, in an e-mail from the boss […]

Storyteller #37 – view of the mine growing up


This storyteller, born and raised in Kiruna, working as “Summerbird”, reflects on the image of the mine when growing up (the image heading the post is by artist Magnus Fredriksson). It has been a very romanticized picture of the mine. The pride of working there. It was quite … It was awesome when you were a child, I remember going outside the gate, waiting for Dad to finish [work], and […]

Storyteller #36 – ears, eyes, chest


Next storyteller works underground and in a conversation (from 2015) with us asks about our ‘bodily’ experiences from being underground. I can imagine for you guys, when you got back up, did you felt swollen? Did you feel something like that? Like heavy, as if your head is full of cotton and… We were down for three hours and we were in the works for four hours yesterday. It’s our […]

A major revision


More academic publishing: first nothing, then two ‘Decision from the editor’ in a matter of days. This time concerning our paper on the Kiruna case. This time we knew we weren’t desk rejected, but sent out for a triple-blind review. The letter says: “The reviewers and assigned Associate Editor have recommended major revisions before publication could be considered.” In other words: the foot is in the door! Two reviews are […]

Not all about mining…


Did you know, it’s not all about mining? It’s also about mushrooms, gardening and art. * Since the 1980s, in an abandoned part of the mine on level 540, the mushroom shiitake is cultivated. The temperature is very even, no insects, basically a sterlie environment, which make the conditions perfect for the mushrooms. * There used to be a garden inside the gates where “they grew tomatoes, grapes, melons and […]

Storyteller #35 – the union and the Summerbirds


Every Summer, LKAB hires several hundreds of so-called “Summerbirds”; people – often young persons who have a break from their studies – that come in to work for a couple of months when ordinary staff are on vacation. As the trend of temporary workers is on the rise in general (although LKAB today work towards decreasing the use of ‘foreign services’), it is interesting to also turn the attention to […]