Free Lagerhuset!

In the middle of the roaring debate on the future of Lagerhuset, the Warehouse, a building in central Göteborg housing small-scale independent cultural organizations, publishers, and cultural journals, the digital journal Alba and Tidskriftsverkstan i Väst arranged a debate on cultural policy in the House of Literature (located in Lagerhuset).

It couldn’t be better timing.

But let’s start from the beginning. The old warehouse built in beginning of 1900 was for a long time a toll free warehouse for goods stored waiting for taxation to continue into the city. The building was then empty for a long time but in 1999 a group of small-scale publishers moved in together with Nätverkstan, Tidskriftsverkstan i Väst, the journals Ord&Bild, Glänta, and Paletten.

Other small businesses moved in, such as photographers, psychologists, architects, and editors.

In 2013 Frilagret started its cultural space for young people with dialogue processes and an active group of young cultural-interested people setting the agenda, an organization owned by the municipality. In October the same year the House of Literature opened its doors for readings, discussions on literature, space for writing, debates and discussions with authors, another of the municipality owned activities in the building.

And in March 2014 it was clear that the landlord, another part of the municipality, their own real-estate company Higab is chock-raising the rent for those in the house negotiating their contracts. One publishing house is leaving already in June.

The cluster of small-scale cultural organizations and entrepreneurs has taking long to create. And it can be destroyed in a second. No one can afford 30-35% higher rent.

With one hand the municipality is investing in a cultural house, while the other is pulling the rug under the feet of all the cultural organizations already in the building.

Of all the seminars, conferences, public debates and discussions on the cultural and creative city over the last ten years, Higab must have missed them all.

And they missed yesterday’s debate as well. Where are they? Are they at all concerned of the context and society they work in?

See former post here and download the debate article (in Swedish) here: Befria Lagerhuset från Higab.pdf.

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