Konst & Politik/Art & Politics

The initiator of the clothing brand Julian Red took a radical decision. They have grown immensely and sell their collection of clothes in cities like Paris, New York and Stockholm. But their head office is not found in one of these international metropolis. It’s placed in a small village about a two-hour drive north of Göteborg. To get there you get off the main highway and drive on narrow bumpy roads through fabriken.jpgbruket.jpgthe province of Dalsland until the village of Fengersfors turn up behind some trees. It was the people, the initiator Mattias Lind told us. What made them take the decision to move from the big city was the people forming the artistic group Not Quite and the milieu they created in the old paper mill.

When Not Quite moved to Fengersfors, it was a dying village. Young people moved away, houses were empty, and the only food-store was about to shut down. The future looked dark and the municipality had no solutions. It was really a coincident and a very open-minded owner of the run-down paper mill that made it possible. The artistic group Not Quite was formed in 2003, insidan.jpgmoved into the mill and started renovation, created ateliers, started a café with hardly a penny in their pocket. Today it’s an attraction and within just a few months three hundred visitors have been there to get inspired and learn from their example. Babies are born, people move in, artistic work is produced, exhibitions run, projects formed and the food-store is an important node in the area. How did they create this meeting-place in the outskirts of any reasonable big city?

Good meeting-places have the capacity to draw people to it. In Fengersfors you find sculptors together with photographers, visual artists together with a clothing brand. With people come initiative and new ideas. How are interesting meeting-places formed? What are the components? How do you draw ideas to a place?

The questions were put forward by participants in the project Art & Politics, led by the artist Jörgen Svensson. It’s a group of artists and politicians within culture in the region of Västra Götaland that meet five or six times a year to discuss the situation for artists in the region, ideas of development and to reach a better understanding of each other’s work. On May 26-27 the meeting was placed in Fengersfors, organised by Not Quite, as a case study of entrepreneurship in the region.

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2 Responses to “Konst & Politik/Art & Politics”

  1. [...] Jörgen Svensson represented Region Västra Götaland with the project Art and Politics and the project Community Art Lab formed together with Nätverkstan, a project based on using [...]

  2. [...] Download the presentation here (in Swedish):konstpolitik_090827. Read more here. [...]

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