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Artists’ letter to the editor regarding Fyrkanten

http://www.helahalsingland.se/opinion/insandare/vad-berattar-grasmattan

and google translation enhanced by Christine:

The step from peace and quiet, as some voices argue the consequence of this, perhaps not far from confinement and abandonment, write the authors of an open letter to Söderhamn and Faxeholmen the occasion of the debate on Fyrkanten (The Square) in Ljusne:

Letters to the editor

We are a group of artists who have been on a visit in Ljusne this summer. Overall we have been around sixty people from many different countries. For two months, we have worked here and lived in apartments in Fyrkanten. A few days ago we got to know many of our neighbors at short notice could be moved to other locations in Sweden, few knew where. Many of our neighbors like us are staying here temporarily, but of course under completely different conditions.

We artists are summer birds that pause briefly and of course we do not know much about how it feels like to live in Ljusne nor do we know your district’s history. But the project we are involved in has visited many other smaller cities around Sweden. What we do is about meeting and exchange experiences, to discuss issues including what art and culture can be and what we can learn from each other. We go to where there are empty premises. For natural reasons those places have in common that there are few jobs, and unfortunately little hope for the future but many empty apartments and factory premises which tell of a more vibrant life. Some places have large holes in the center, traces of surface mining that literally divide society, other places have lawns that rather hide the history of society. What story will the lawns in central Ljusne now tell? We know we have an outside perspective, but we think that what happens seems to recall previous periods. People have come from other places in the country to look for work in Ljusne, they have lived in crowded apartments and worked hard. There have probably been fights and filling (?).

The story of conflicts between the neighbourhoods of Ljusne and Ala includes separate entrances to the church. Even earlier, people that had been driven away had to meet on the road in the outskirts of the village, of which Fejanstenen now stands as a memory. But the story also holds a desire for community, a collective protest and belief in the future. We see that a huge voluntary commitment, even today, for example, has saved the outdoor bath. What does that say about the future of the faith in a society that tears its own center and drives away the people who live there? We have no doubt that Fyrkanten (The Square) is in need of renovation, but we only hear short-term financial solutions. And since people now live in the apartments, it is difficult to understand even these. The municipal housing company is in fact even saying that there are no other available accommodations in Ljusne for them. That makes us even sadder and disappointed to see that the municipality is hiding behind the anonymity of the limited company and thus does not need to be held accountable or engage in Fyrkantens importance for society as a whole.

The step from peace and quiet, as some voices argue the consequence of this, perhaps not far from confinement and abandonment. What does the grass in Ljusne show us now? A lack of interest and a loss of confidence in the future? Is there a desire and an opportunity to find a different answer to the question?

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