A unique workplace

They’re not easy to find and haven’t been re-issued, the 4×400 pages doctoral dissertation in economic history by Ulf Eriksson, entitled “Gruva och arbete. Kiirunavaara 1890-1990” (in Swedish, translated as “Mine and work. Kiirunavaara 1890-1990”). Published and defended in 1991 at Uppsala University, Eriksson (from Kiruna) presents an impressive, predominantly empirical, labour process history from inside the gates of the Kiruna mine. We have once again got our hands on […]

The Pilbara: from the deserts profits come

Academic life is especially good when leading to new and inspiring collaborations. Early June, we got a visit to Luleå by professor Bradon Ellem from Sydney University. Bradon has vast experiences from the mining industry in the Pilbara (North Western Australia). He also happened to be a great thinker and theoriser of space-time aspects relevant to mining, aspects we’re bending our minds around at the moment. Together with Bradon we’ve […]


Blogupdates have been less frequent during the last couple of months. We believe its because we’re in the writing-up phase. It’s not easy to invite you to the analytical mess we’re in. But on the other hand, that’s probably the reason why we should share more. We’re conceptually tearing our hair (oh well, we’re both almost bold), sometimes splitting hairs, around the concepts of space and time. In the application […]

Storyteller #27 – an offer you can resist…

Next storyteller works for an employment agency in the Kiruna region. We talked about how they worked with recruitment for the mining sector in and around Kiruna, and how that oftentimes involves not only a potential miner but also his/her family. – This issue with ”tandem recruitment”, that we work with… – What’s that? – Well, oftentimes you work with, as in Kiruna for example, getting people to move here […]

Workshop on SLO

Participating at a research workshop on social license to operate in mining, with researchers from Luleå, Umeå, Stockholm and Uleåborg (Finland). Good discussions!

Storyteller #26 – balancing between own people and contractors

Next storyteller is a contractor who (just as many of the other contractors we’ve talked) used to work for LKAB. The quotes below are from the part of our conversation where this person reflects on how a shifting balance between using the mining company’s own employees and contractors impact LKAB’s performance. – I think the easiest way for LKAB is to cut away more parts (of the operations), to sell out parts and place […]


Three days of sensemaking on ‘what is this about?’ and ‘so what?’. A Baldrick-style idea for one article and a h-ll of a lot stories with which to cook a book.

Time for an art exhibition

Between March 11-25, an art exhibit of Organizing rocks will be on display in the city hall in Kiruna. It is organised by the local art association, Kiruna Konstgille. The exhibition also includes illustrations of our project by the local artist Magnus Fredriksson (one of his illustration serves as the picture for this blogpost). In the exhibition we intend to evoke the question of how we can understand the organising […]

Storyteller #25 – an indigenous voice

Talking to an indigenous man from one of the Same villages in the Kiruna area, we ask: In your village, with reindeer herding and such, is it okay to work in the mine? Yes, it is. It must be up to each one of us because we live in a society that looks the way it does. With the economic values we have, I completely understand a young person growing up […]

Storyteller #24 – the work rotation vs. the local community

Last year we met a local politician in Kiruna. One theme in our conversation was how different work rotation schedules related to the local community, since workers who work in Kiruna but don’t live in Kiruna also don’t pay taxes in the municipality. The politician said: When we discussed about there being a lot of people commuting [from outside the municipality to work in the mine], they have these work […]

Academic writing…

As noticed from all the storytellerposts perhaps, we’re in the process of writing-up our empirical material. The feeling of having too little material is quickly changed into a feeling of having too much… At the outset of the project we aimed at writing two scientific papers and one research monograph. The two papers are now in process. We sent one extended abstract of a paper on the Kiruna mine to […]

Storyteller #23 – if I was the CEO…

Next storyteller is a man from Kiruna who have worked a long time above ground for the company, LKAB. During our conversation, the new CEO, Jan Moström, is brought up. It’s turbulent because Moström, here he comes and, listen now, this is brilliant, because Moström is known as “The Butcher”, but no one has felt any butchering. I use to say in the sauna after [work], I use to say that […]

Storyteller #22 – young people with money

Part of our research strategy and ideas on where a labor process begins and ends, is that we cannot only talk to people in the core of the process, as in workers, managers and suppliers. Other people and other places might also be relevant. Our next storyteller is an example of this. She is a young woman, who has grown up in Kiruna and now works in town for a […]