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

Metaphors lived by


Metaphors are far from precise, but they have the power to make sense of historical and contemporary events, places, memories and experiences. In short: metaphors are important tools for storytelling.

Stories contain however a lot of dead metaphors – that is, metaphors that simply are not meaningful. In our encounters with miners, people living in Kiruna and outsiders, we get to listen to heaps of stories that are very rich in metaphors. Below is a list of some of them related to the mine, the company and the town. The question lingering is if these metaphors are meaningful (and if so for whom and why?) or dead (and if so, at what cost to history and present?).

The Kiruna mine: The motor (that powers society), the sun, purgatory (the mountain is getting warmer as new levels are reached), mother/mummy, facade (a clean outside, a dirty inside), Mordor, the basement.

LKAB: The Company, the mafia, the patron.

The city of Kiruna: The space station.


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