Folket's hus are leisure and cultural centres built, in the 19th and 20th century, primarily for the working class.
Photographer Lina Haskel has since 2006 travelled to every province of Sweden, visiting 66 of the country's People's Community Centres. These meeting places, which have meant so much for the development of Swedish society, have given her a feeling of "a kind of collective consciousness". Afterword by historian and author Henrik Berggren.
"Folkets Hus (Swedish People's Community Centres, literally: The People's House) is a national phenomenon in Sweden, well-known to next to every inhabitant. Swedes have several personal associations connected to the concept – from festivities and movie matinées to study circles and labor union meetings. Right there, in this broad spectra of activities, I found the core of my interest in Folkets Hus.
Folkets Hus origins from the late 19th century, when the Swedish Labor Movement's need of meeting places first came up. Since the labor unions, and their attempts to have meetings, were opposed, the workers themselves solved the problem by building their own meeting places – Folkets Hus. Eventually they let a completely different kind of activity – entertainment – finance the building of, and the union activity in, Folkets Hus. The entertainment activities could be everything from movie shows, parties and dance evenings. My interpretation is that labor and entertainment got dependant on each other in Folkets Hus. This fascinates me, as do the fact that two, thematically widely different, activities with different needs of function and design share the space in the same buildings.
To me – born in the late 70's – Folkets Hus has been something relatively anonymous, at the same time constantly present and obvious in the Swedish everyday life. I have now investigated the style and design that over the years has been carved out by the different activities in Folkets Hus. I have found, at one hand, that the designs and looks of Folkets Hus is pervaded by a certain sense of style, sprung from the functions that the buildings have had and still have in common. At the other hand, how local traditions and ideas aswell as individual creativity and pride have had great influence on each separate Folkets Hus.
This is my personal journey, my experience of buildings that are alive in our Swedish collective consciousness."
Display copy with a few marks/bumps inside fine.