An important part of Sweden’s democratic evolution over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is the involvement of its people in social movements, popular movements, and non-official associations. By organizing themselves in groups, people could more effectively figure out what they wanted to change in society. Popular movements taught them to organize, how to make decisions collectively and what was needed to enforce a change. In simple terms a popular movement has its foundation in a larger group of people gathered to drive a common issue, which has often led to the formation of associations.
To help us gain a richer understanding of how this movement touched people on a daily basis in Umeå, and beyond, we spoke with Susanne Odell – an archivist at the Popular Movement Archive in Västerbotten County – where Umeå is located. Together with colleague Karin Holmgren, Susanne is responsible for the collection and documentation of the movement from 1989 to 2000 for the Umeå Hardcore Arkiv. We discuss the purpose of the archive, what is in it, and what stories the artifacts tell us. We also discuss how she accounts for silences – voices of participants not heard or seen – in the many posters, cassettes, VHS tapes, newspaper clippings, and merchandise held in the collection.
During the episode Alexi references Janteloven (Jante’s Law) without explaining what it is – breaking a cardinal rule of radio. For the uninitiated, it’s a literary element that has been assumed to explain some of the egalitarian nature of Nordic countries. By characterizing non-conformity, doing things out of the ordinary or demonstrating outright personal ambition as inappropriate it emphasizes individuals’ adherence to the collective.
Listen to our growing Spotify playlist of music from the Umeå Hardcore Movement HERE.
Learn More About:
Popular Movement Archive/Folkrörelsearkivet Västerbotten
Umeå Hardcore Arkiv
Episode Art and HH Logo By: Bryn Gleason
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