Some thoughts on the where and why of the second SLM workshop in Hjulsta taken straight from the mouth of social light superstar Joran Linder. I haven’t edited them, I haven’t even asked for permission but they make very good reading – enjoy!
“Unlike the first SLM workshop in Schlessin, Liege, Belgium, the second workshop in Hjulsta, Stockholm, Sweden will offer completely different conditions and problems. Because even if life on the outskirts of major cities around Europe in many ways are similar to each other on a social level, there are also clear differences, particularly with regard to the lighting environment.
When the residents of Schlessin bathed in a light (low pressure sodium) with a complete lack of color rendering, the inhabitants of Hjulsta are living with a general lighting (ceramic metal halide) which in many ways is satisfactory both in terms of brightness and color rendering. So why locate a workshop that deals with light in such a place? Because it is challenging!
In Schlessin it was obvious: Whatever we did with light, it meant a big improvement. In Hjulsta, it is not so obvious, because the basic needs have, in many ways already been met. Yet it is something tangible that is missing amid all the seemingly well-ordered … a “twist”, the “little extra” … and that’s exactly what will be one of the workshop’s main tasks: to find out what that is and to solve the task by adding what is missing.
The workshop in Hjulsta will, in addition to the important social work with the residents in the area also include a lot of artistic work and a more “arty” approach to light than was previously the case.
Hjulsta is a working-class suburb of Stockholm. It is considered being part of Tensta, but with its own subway station which was opened in 1975 and is the end station of the blue line. The so-called Hjulsta corridor forms a border with the other buildings in Tensta.
The modern urban area of Hjulsta took its name from an old village known to have been located in the area at least from the 1480s.
The municipal-owned housing company Svenska Bostäder has built 1200 apartments in Hjulsta, most of them in four floors. Two new blocks of flats were ready for occupancy in spring 2008. All of the apartments was earlier owned by Svenska Bostäder, but were sold in summer 2008 to the private property company Einar Mattsson.
In addition to the rented apartments there is one street with 14 privately owned townhouses. These were ready for occupancy in 2007 and all houses were sold in that year. The townhouses erected in the Tensta housing exhibition in 2006.
The underground station was opened in August 1975 when the first part of the Blue Line was opened.
Hjulsta have no mall. Besides the Metro station there is Hjulsta Food, Tobacco and Candy Kiosk and the Restaurant Pizzeria Ali Baba.
A football field is placed alongside the highway E18, which also has an allotment. That is, not on the highway, but on the alongside!!!
It crystallized rather quickly that there was Hjulsta which was the most interesting suburb of a SLM Workshop, and the reasons are several.
Unlike all the other suburbs (Tensta, Rinkeby, Kista, Husby, Akalla) who were candidates for a SLM workshop in Stockholm, Hjulsta is the only one where nothing is done. Hjulsta is located far out on the metro blue line, is an anonymous suburb, and there has never been anyone who has bragged about that he or she has come from Hjulsta.
All the other suburbs are both famous and infamous throughout Sweden and it has been a lot of different
interventions in the suburbs to guide them in the right direction, though it often goes wrong because the authorities and the police have little or no support in those areas. In addition, they lack the proper understanding of how the residents in these areas looks at and interprets all actions from outside, be they negative or positive, they will in all cases come from outside and from a top down perspective. It could easily be expressed as: We know best what is best for you!
Hjulsta has got the right size and all prerequisites to be a good place for a SLM workshop. The other suburbs are so much bigger and the risk there is that you can easily “wander away” both figuratively and literally.
Hjulsta really has nothing flashy to show off and that´s just why we think it is so interesting for SLM. But there are places enough for a workshop, even if those places might be more about the people living there and about their basic needs. A real challenge.
People before places!”