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

Tag Archives: history


What local people? Us local people!


The two sisters Maxida och Mimie Märak were the source of inspiration for this song by Tommy. Their energy in the (as shown in a four episodes documentary broadcasted by the Swedish state television, SVT) made it necessary to grab the pen and the guitar. Please find a proper stereo to play it; if you use a telephone, then at least use headphones. In the documentary (episode 2), The Sápmi […]

Well-known but unspoken


LKAB dominates Kiruna. Does it sound too simple? Is LKAB with its Kirunavaara mine dictating the terms of conditions in Kiruna? The complex relation between LKAB and the community of Kiruna, with its different civil society associations, small and medium-sized firms, politicians, citizens, nature and the mine with its massive infrastructure, can be understood through storytelling and metaphors. So far the stories and metaphors we have come across suggest an […]

1969-2015-?


What is the relation between capital and workers today? Is a political will and struggle still present? As in the strike in 1969/1970 where the predominant part of the workers (a strong collective) in Svappavaara and Kiruna jointly shouted out that “we are humans”, “we want higher salaries”, “a safer and more humane workload”. If human dignity, salary, and safe and humane working conditions were essential in the 1969 strike, then […]

Mineful art?


On the second floor of Kiruna’s city hall, there’s an exhibition by Kiruna’s association for art (Kiruna Konstgille). The exhibition consists of 100 t-shirts, designed by a variety of local artists (see the video further down, not by us!). The shirts predominantly address the changes that Kiruna is going through and some are relevant to the Kiruna mine and the labour process, or at least we think so. The second […]

Once a citizen of Kiruna, always …


This blog-post is a mixture between a conventional small piece of text and another musical piece. So the idea is text first and then the music. The song is here, though (for lyrics – scroll down). There is a saying in Kiruna that carry the meaning that if you are born and raised in Kiruna it leaves a mark on your character that stays with you forever. The geographical location, the people, […]

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 […]

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 […]

A pearl necklace?


Teenage school children in Kiruna have been working on a project, “The role and function of the mine in society”. They metaphorically depict the mine as the thread that holds the community together, as a necklace. A flavor of the 125 years of common history of the mine and the town. But what does it tell us about the relation between the town (and community) of Kiruna and the country […]

Four days in Kiruna


We’re in the middle of a heavy snowstorm. Trains are not running, visibility on the roads is lousy, but the pilots in the airplanes report great flying conditions! Different realities to say the least, just as being above and under ground in Kiruna perhaps. The first project trip to Kiruna, a four days visit, starts off with a four hour tour in the visitors’ mine, 540 metres under ground, and above […]

First interview


This afternoon, Johan met with Curt Persson, historian at Luleå University of Technology and chief of Norrbotten county’s museum. Being from Kiruna, having worked in the mine, and thereafter with culture and history predominantly related to Kiruna and the patron Hjalmar Lundbohm, Curt proved to be a rich source of knowledge. More talks to come we hope! He also gave us a copy of his first book about Lundbohm. In […]