Cultural debate. Now it will come soon. the chapter.
It’s been there like a wet blanket since 2009, when some cultural workers approached their landlord to rent the fourth floor of the old Acro Baker headquarters, which we who work here call the Office of Color.
It is located in Lövholmen in Stockholm, between Liljeholmen and Gröndal, the city’s most centrally located industrial area.
Another association had already moved into the ground floor, and soon the entire house was filled with independent cultural workers who have been working here ever since.
The deal has seemed good all these years. We rent under a demolition contract. If we pay our floor, we can keep our floor. Perhaps it will be useful to the property owner as well, otherwise it will be empty and leaking money.
At least they didn’t repent and wanted the building to fall into disrepair to justify demolition, a common tactic for real estate companies that buy up sites designated by the city as urban development areas.
This is what the other buildings in the romantic ruins surrounding Lövholmen look like.
Strange questions from WSP
Five years ago, when vision plans for the area were published, we weren’t there either.
A WSP on-board survey left us with curious questions attesting to the definition of culture as something you consume, not something you create. The questions were along the lines of: How many visitors do you have in your studio?
Ahead of our 10th anniversary in 2019, we at Plan4 put out a little post in which we, after diligent research, tried to describe everyone who sat with us over the years. There were more than 200 names.
The purpose of writing was also to highlight that we existed, that we were around, and that we were an important part of the city and Swedish cultural life in general. This is because we are accustomed to articles appearing at regular intervals that remind us that we are sitting on blessings.
Don’t think you’ll be there much longer, they say, signaling that the clock is ticking.
“Today, not many people move around Löfholmen. Joachim Larsson wants to change that,” read a comment to an article in Distinguished Name (06/11/2020) When the then-moderate Urban Planning Council stood outside our gate.
He added that the area was “horrible” and there was “suspicious activity” in an “unsafe environment”. Otherwise he could have asked for the gate code and been taken on a tour, as the then Social Democratic Culture Advisor Emilia Bjögren did.
But Larson chose skillful communication rather than portraying the area as unsafe, in order to justify the demolition in the media. Stand in front of graffiti and stickers.
We are described by cost
Recently in local newspapers Middle (7/9 2023) We are described as a cost, a burden, something that does not generate theft.
“Beckershuset will be turned into an apartment building and will therefore be emptied of the artists and craftsmen who now rent there. Keeping it will be very expensive for the property owner,” Per Hanson of the city planning office told the newspaper.
We are an office. We have coffee makers, we have desks and computers. We have a space you can reserve if you need a larger space, for panels or launch parties.
Those sitting here do not do “shy work”, on the contrary, we are screenwriters, photographers, journalists, painters, playwrights, researchers, editors, songwriters, cartoonists, jewelry designers, fashion designers, graphic artists, sculptors, Architects, writers, filmmakers, hairdressers, artists and scenographers, to name a few, and provides cultural Sweden with new Netflix series, Eurovision winners, summer chats, Christmas calendars, big films, small films, plays and specials. K, poetry, non-fiction, newspaper reviews, children’s books, small print publications, film reviews and works of art, among other things, and has done so for fourteen years.
And then, we are only one of three associations that operate at home. The analysis of cultural life from the office of architect Neren, which came in 2021 at the initiative of the city, does not seem to have been taken into account more than cultural history.
It is described there that Färgkontoret “is emerging as an artistic node in the cultural cluster of southern Stockholm”. Beckershuset is a highly desirable workplace due to the low rent, mix of occupations, collaboration opportunities, central location and creative environment of Lövholmen” and because there is great “cultural potential”. […] In buildings of historical cultural value that have been preserved.
The plans have been revised
Plans for the area have now been revised as of 2018, following criticism that the historic industrial cultural environment had not been incorporated into the original visions.
Having previously emerged as a general area of Árestadal, Lofholmen will now become – according to Per Hansson – a mixed town with a starting point in cultural history.
Fun, but culture is not just consumption. It’s not just a beautiful old brick building or history.
We are not expensive.
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