If you could go back in time and visit the counter-culture movement of Stockholm, Sweden, during the years 1985-1989, what would you see? What kind of people would you meet? What photos would be taken?
We didn’t have a chance – But we took it anyway.
Our 80’s is a photo exhibition about political empowerment, Stockholm and punk during the late 1980s.
During the years of 1985-1989 a bunch of youngsters from Stockholm squatted a number of dilapidated houses, organized concerts, festivals and demonstrations, ran the alternative bookstore and coffeehouse the Black Moon and published the anarchist magazine Brand. It was a time of direct action, culture, music, party and punk, mixed into a wild and colourful cocktail. The squatting of three houses on Skaraborgsgatan in 1985 on Södermalm in Stockholm celebrates it’s 30th anniversary on Sunday 6th of September 2015. This particular squat was formative for a group of people that stayed together through thick and thin during the second half of the 80’s.
We protested against a new spirit of time in which finance puppies and yuppies took an ever increasing space. The annual "Demonstration of Madness" was a political masquerade on the streets of Stockholm with fantastic costumes and attributes. Chaos, crazy antics, humor and revolutionary romance resulted in many fights with the police. We quickly became regulars at the Kronoberg police station. Virtually all activities between 1985 and 1989 were documented from the inside by ourselves with analogue camera’s loaded with Tri-X. The pictures have never been made available to a wider audience before.
The project "Our 80s" focuses on certain aspects of Stockholm's cultural and architectural history in Sweden during the years 1985-1989. It’s a black and white analogue documentation and a unique record of a certain period of time that is definitely past. The photos were taken in Stockholm by youngsters; many of us studied at Riddarfjärdsskolans Department of Photography and had direct access to both Leica and Hasselblad cameras.
A selection of the photographs will be presented in a group exhibition in September 2015 in Stockholm. A rich photo book with all the pictures from the show, a short feature film with black and white photographs, an anthology with texts and odd pictures and a special edition of the anarchist magazine Brand with a compilation of highlights from the years 1985-1989 will be produced and presented at the opening night. The books can be purchased as long as the show lasts on the spot, as well as online.
A selection of press photos and articles from newspapers that depict our activities during the years 1985-1989 will be scanned, printed and on display as long as the exhibition lasts. Our own pictures next to the official press images shows two parallel worlds that depict the same events from different perspectives.
We will also organize a weekend of roundtable discussions where we invite friends and guests for a collective flashback. How did we perceive those years in Stockholm that we experienced together?
Years have passed, we are spread out all over the world, but many of us stick together even today. Now we want to celebrate our 80’s where the original images will be presented to a larger audience. To reflect upon a time that has been lost, over a city that is in constant transformation, over a generation who fought for better conditions on a difficult housing market that was becoming increasingly harsh, is a matter that does not only concern a gang of former punks and political activists. Our stories and our images are relevant to a wider audience.
The plan, as it currently stands
We will dig into archives and collect material, both our own stuff and official media. Dusty celluloid filmstrips will be cleaned, old negatives will be scanned and restored and press material will be browsed through.
Winter and spring 2015
We will make a selection of photographs for the exhibition, for the photo book and for the short film. We will also organize a party to pre-launch the exhibition.
We will start a press campaign; print all the photographs, the photo book, the anthology and the special edition of the anarchist magazine Brand.
Opening of the exhibition and presentation of the photo book, the film and the anthology.
Risks and challenges
The primary issue that this project is facing is a lack of funding. We hope that this campaign will allow us to partly overcome this obstacle. It is our hope that this project, in its different manifestations, through your support will come true.
To start up the project about our 80's we look for 2,800 euros=25,000 Swedish Krona (off course more money is welcome!). The donated money through Kicktarter will be spent on investing in a good professional film scanner, making raw working prints and travel costs to collect material.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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