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

Tag Archives: community


The Canada paper finally accepted!


Our paper on the remote uranium mine in Saskatchewan, Canada, has just been accepted to the Journal of Rural Studies (JRS). It’s a relief, since we’ve worked a long time with this paper and worked hard to improve it after every setback (see the posts from April 2018 or December 2018). JRS got the best version! As soon as the paper comes on-line first we’ll make another post to notify […]

In the news


Our project is in the news in an interview with Tommy in several Swedish newspapers. Check it out at Svenska Dagbladet by clicking here (in Swedish).

Black snow – film in research


Early on in our project, we decided to ask miners if they could tell about their relation to work, mine and community in front of a camera as well. We produced a couple of interviews on our blog, but once we were rejected by top management, the idea of filming interviews became more sensitive. Eventually, we abandoned this part of the project, although we did produce interviews with academics as […]

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 […]

Storytellers #39-42 – a gendered division of labor (GDL)


The mining industry is one of those sectors where a gendered division of labour (GDL) is highly evident. Things are changing, however, but sloooowly. Below, we’ve gathered some of the quotes from four different storytellers at MCA, the mine in Canada we visited. We think they help illustrate that thinking about organizing rocks not only need to consider gender but also both life inside and outside the gates (on gender, […]

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 […]

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 […]

The tones and tonnes of Malmfälten


“You are meters, you are tonnes”, sings Johan Airijoki, singer-songwriter from Gällivare, Malmfälten (in Swedish). Among the key performance indicators that miners speaks to us about, we find that those two are rather salient: how many meters advanced as new tunnels are made (drifting) and how many tonnes of ore are loaded on your shift. In short: “You are meters, you are tonnes”. Kiruna is part of the region called […]

Storyteller #34 – Kiruna/Sweden/Others?


Another recurrent theme is where the profits from the mining ends up. A common position that we meet is that too little of the surplus is re-invested in the local community and that the owner in the capital Stockholm, the State, grabs too much (and put it to use in the Stockholm area). A manager reflects upon this in a conversation with us: These urban transformations [of Kiruna and Malmberget] […]

Storyteller #33 – work vs community?


Next storyteller is one of the ombudsmen inside the gates, reflecting on the recurrent theme of people doing work in the Kiruna mine but living (and paying taxes) elsewhere: It would be better if they move up, then there might have been more lively here [as in more pulse in the local community]. And there would also be more tax money in this town. This depletes… But if you get […]

Visiting Kiruna again


Its been a while since we were in Kiruna and although in a writing-up phase, Johan went up there earlier this week, meeting with some of those we’ve talked to over the years (and some new ones!) as well as experiencing first hand how the movement of the city centre due to the expanding mine is progressing. Most of those whom Johan talks to are frustrated over the fact that […]

Closing the exhibition…


All good things come to an end, but then again, although we closed our exhibition in Luleå this weekend, it is ready to go to another place, in another time:-) We’re grateful to the city library in Luleå for making this possible and to all the visitors, some of who left very kind words in our guestbook!