Space in common by Lina Haskel
The phenomenon ”Folkets Hus” (Swedish national labor union buildings) is associated with both entertainment and labor union meetings.Folkets Hus origins from the late 19th century, when the Swedish Labor Movement were opposed when trying to have meetings. So the workers built their own meeting places – Folkets Hus. Eventually they let entertainment finance the building of, and the union activity in, Folkets Hus. Labor and entertainment got dependant on each other. In a personal project, ”Folkets Hus – Space in common”, I have investigated the appearance of the buildings – exterior and interior, overall and details – that over the years has been chiselled by the different activities in Folkets Hus. I have found that the appearance is pervaded by a certain sense of style, sprung from the functions that the buildings have in common. Also, local traditions aswell as individual creativity have had influence on each building.In this selection, I focus on the workers influence on the appearance. The ensigns, the paintings, the photographs of social democratic leaders, the sense of a union between workers.These buildings live in the Swedish collective consciousness. The photographs uniquely document a Swedish cultural heritage which in some places isdisappearing. I have photographed 70 Folkets Hus, from old wooden houses to new houses integrated in the urban landscape, in all of Sweden’s 25 counties, from inner Lapland to the southern city Malmö.
Text © courtesy of Lina Haskel