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

Tag Archives: power


Spatial divisions of labour


We think that it is always of great interest to read a so-called classic book. Doreen Massey’s book Spatial Divisions of Labour (social structures and the geography of production) is definitely a social science classic and a relevant one for our project (Palgrave, second edition, 1984/1995). In Tommy’s words: Massey is for me a rather demanding author; not that the language is tricky, nor the analysis exceptionally complicated. The demanding part […]

Different stories about the collective


Early on in the project we talked to workers and managers that had worked at the Kiruna mine for a long time. Among the topics discussed was whether or not there is a worker collective today; in a deeper sense than in terms of union membership. A collective who can collectively agree that they have had enough and from that act in unison. At the time the story we heard […]

Meeting Sami people


What is so obvious in the labor process in the uranium mine in Saskatchewan – the integration of indigenous people – is less so in the Kiruna case. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the Sami people in and around Kiruna aren’t drawn into and affected by the labour process in the Kiruna mine. We think of the picture heading this post, the LKAB moose and the reindeer, and the […]

Annual meeting


Yesterday, Johan attended LKAB:s annual meeting in Luleå, Sweden. It was an interesting, maybe even odd, experience (see a picture gallery further down). A lot of suits, difficult to know how many attended, maybe 50 people. I feel rather alone in my hoodie (or bunny-hug as they say in Saskatchewan). Besides top management and board members of LKAB, the Swedish Minister of Industry, Mikael Damberg, was there, our national superstar […]

End of the road? Part 4


We’re not allowed anymore to go inside the gates in Kiruna, to meet workers and managers during their work-time. This is the message from both LKAB:s top management and the chairman of the board, a message that is unfortunate for the project but that we, of course, will respect. The song “Outside the Gates” is an emotional response to this decision, but as the first line goes: “This is not […]

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 […]

Enacting a mining corporation


We’re reflecting on “Enacting the corporation: an American mining firm in post-authoritarian Indonesia” (University of California Press, 2014) by anthropologist Marina Welker. Although in intervals, we read. We prefer to read books, preferably good books. Not all good books happen to be relevant to Organizing rocks, though, but reading Marina Welker’s book reminded us again that we should start sharing good readings on our blog (a review of Stuart Kirsch’s […]

Working hard or hardly working?


On March 18, local newspapers report that two workers at LKAB:s iron ore mine in Malmberget (125 km from Kiruna) have been caught furnishing a secret sleeping room at work. On March 26, they are fired. Two other workers chose to resign. On March 20, we arrive in Kiruna, and the first person we meet is the man delivering the rental car. He is born and raised in Kiruna, and […]

Mining capitalism and corporate ethnography


Below, please find a text by Stuart Kirsch, professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan, author of (among many other texts) Mining capitalism (University of California Press, 2014): “Response to Organizing Rocks blog Many thanks for engaging with the discussion in Mining Capitalism about corporate ethnography. The question of attachment to the subject or object of scientific research is even broader than our immediate concern: we tend to develop […]

Resistance: A tit for a butt


A small story – but so strong! A girl meets boys, in a boyzone, and their pin-up calendars in the coffee room under ground. What to do, except for complaining to the boys and the organization? Well, after some attempts, this girl decided to have her own calendars at display down the mine. Male, naked, hunks (we assume, haven’t seem them). A sort of resistance. If this is a good […]

Empathizing with the subjects of study


We’re reading the book “Mining capitalism: the relationship between corporations and their critics” by Stuart Kirsch (2014, University of California Press). It’s an impressive study, based on more than two decades of ethnographic research related to particularly one indigenous community and its struggle with the OK Tedi mine on Papua New Guinea. We’ll have reasons to come back to this book further on, but one thing strikes us early on. […]

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 […]

We the north


Another song from the project. Lyrics by Johan Sandström, but all the rest (music, song, production) by Tommy Jensen.   We the north The story of the north A seeping flow A one-way road By truck, river, train Left is what was All else down the drain Who decides, who says Who knows Who stays To find out, to decide The strategy of the rest Reaping the one-way tide It’s […]

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 […]