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

Tag Archives: identity


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 #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 #20 – they say fly-in/fly-out


Next storyteller, a young man, works for a contractor to the Kiruna mine. – I’m from [Nn], about 300 km from Kiruna. I’ve been working in Kiruna for almost four years. Fly in, fly out. – Do you say that? Fly in, fly out? – Well that’s how others say it so… – Who others? – Who look at us, who don’t live here, where I work. Or, how to put […]

The Swedish National Treasure


Below is a musicvideo by us (in Swedish) about “The book of LKAB : the national treasure of Sweden”, published by LKAB, the mining company running the Kiruna mine. The book celebrates the first 125 years of mining in Malmfälten and it is available in both English and Swedish. It’s a very informative read, revealing how rich and international the history of mining in the north is. We highly recommend […]

Storyteller #18 – from Canada, on having two families


Next storyteller is a woman, an aboriginal, working at the mill at Key Lake. She talks about the strong social bonds created at work and therefore about having two families, one at home and one at work: Actually, if you talk with anyone here who has been long term they’re going to tell you that ‘this is my family’. We live with them, we work with them over the years. […]

Undermining gender


Johan has read “Mining coal and undermining gender: rhythms of work and family in the American west” by Jessica Smith Rolston (Rutgers University Press, 2014). Here are some of his reflections: At the outset of our project we knew that gender would play an important role, particularly given the history and context of the Kiruna mine (also for the Saskatchewan-case). There’s almost a mythology around the miner, a man of few […]

Storyteller #11 – having to move


Storyteller #11 is a local person, working for a contractor to LKAB and the Kiruna mine. This story is about having to move because of the expansion of the mine. The conversation takes place at a local restaurant. – Because we live in this area that will be teared down. All these houses are affected. [detailing where exactly this area is]   – How do you think about this? – […]

Storyteller #6 – visibility and organizational change


Storyteller #6 is a man who have worked above ground for 20 years, previously as a worker, now as a manager. His story is one about visibility and organizational change. – When you change from under ground to above ground … (is that a change from ‘we’ to ‘them’?) – That there are different practices of work, or? – ‘We get the stone up, but you…’ – [—] Everybody works together […]

Storyteller #3 – the dream factory


Our third storyteller is a man, born and raised in Kiruna. He has been working under ground since the 1980s. The story is about leaving, arriving and staying at the dream factory, a k a the mine and LKAB. It comes out of a discussion about a mutual friend of ours leaving LKAB. – Yes, sure, there are those who have come and gone, and that have left in other […]

The way of the iron ore


The theater group Tornedalsteatern/Tornionlaakson teatteri works to enhance the interest for the culture and language (meänkieli) of people living in Torndealen, close to the border between Finland and Sweden. The group is a mix of amateurs and professionals doing very professional productions. Their latest project is a theater called Malmens väg/Malmin tie/Málmma geaidnu (the way of the ore) and is about the role of the iron ore mines in the […]

Mining capitalism


We’re reflecting on the book Mining capitalism (University of California Press, 2014) by Stuart Kirsch, professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan. We’ve mentioned this book before, but thought we’d dedicate a post on why we see it as relevant and useful to Organizing rocks. First of all, it’s a very encompassing book, targeting the relationship between corporations and their critics, between capitalist modes of production and critics of it, a dialectical […]

The first day


The story of how young people imagine a future in Kiruna continues, this time in a song (in Swedish). During our last trip to Kiruna, in our conversations with (broadly defined:-) grown-ups we heard echoes of our previous conversations with a group of young girls. This short dialogue came to mind: Girl 1 (19 years young): There is nothing in Kiruna. Girl 2 (19 years young): There is everything in […]

Blast (gotta move)


“Blast (gotta move)” is a song about the anxiety of knowing what you have but not what you get, of trying to act collectively but faced with separate negotiations, with not knowing whether or not to afford what the market-conditions dictate, with up-rooting children if leaving Kiruna town is the only viable solution, about having to leave the beautiful scenery appearing outside the kitchen window, about the state withdrawing, leaving movement of […]