Thursday, 29 November 2007

Dissertation (part 1)

Monday 26 November 2007 was a day with an unexpected amount of snow. This resulted amongst other things in a beautiful white track and field stadium, white grass and white trees next to the small conference centre Östra Mark on university ground.
This was also the first time we had to produce a text about our dissertation, describing our aim, method, questions, literature and earlier eresearch in the field. The whole steering group was present, as well as some interested PhD students from earlier "generations." We all got helpfull feedback and enough comments for working on our "sketch" the rest of the year.
A month earlier, we had been to Åkerby, close to Nora, to witness two days of networking with external lecturers and commenting on other PhD students' work. This was a good experience, since this laid the ground for our work and we learned how to receive criticism with dignity :)

The end of the first course

It's been a while, but I'll summarise the first course and the final two seminars we had in October and November 2007. The fourth seminar was interesting and exciting, as PhD student MJ presented his work on Experience Economy in Bergslagen (Avesta) and connected this to the work of the Swedish Knowledge Foundation. In the restructuring areas of Sweden, new efforts are made to focus on the value of experience industries. Film in Göteborg, Food in Hällefors and so on. Special meeting places are founded and funded with many millions of crowns! What it all comes down to is that life is all about experiences. We discussed the effects this has on planning and local creativity.

This was linked to theories and literature by Allen J. Scott (The cultural economy of cities) and Scott & Dominic Power (the production of culture).

The fifth and final seminar took place on 8 November and here we discussed each other's essays. Everyone had read one of the other texts in particular and was supposed to discuss them in general for about 20 minutes. I wrote my essay about the value of theories of urbanism in the context of Dutch migration to Swedish rural areas. Other topics were: New Urban Politics (ALF), the concept "Networks" (AT), The late-modern city (MH), Social polarisation and immigrants (ML), New urban forms (PS) and Consumption, choice and place (SL). We realise now that our little group is all about studying identity!

Monday, 12 November 2007

Excursion Bergslagen

On Tuesday 23 October, it was time for my first meeting with the possible research area. We (C & me) started by changing the car tyres to spike tyres. After that, and a free coffee at McDonalds to kill the time, we drove towards Nora. We passed Nora after about half an hour and arrived at Måltidens hus around 10.45 am. This was after 75 km. Only one km later, we arrived in Grythyttan “centre”, where we wanted to take a coffee. Gästgiveriet was really nice, but also expensive, so we went to Neerings.

It was really hard not to show my Dutch background there, as there were so many typically Dutch things: Haagse Hopjes, Calvé pindakaas, hagelslag, speculaas and so on. We took a coffee and a tea there and just sat wondering how this choclad and ice boutique worked. We saw both Mr and Mrs Neerings, and we were listening to the Swedish of the other employees. Two women, of which one spoke well Swedish and the other had an accent. She probably wasn’t from Sweden, but probably neither from Holland. Interesting! Two schoolgirls came to the boutique and wanted to make a film, which they would show at the “du behövs” day in week 46 in Hällefors Folkets hus.

Later on, we drove to Hällefors, only 10 km from there, and took a look at Folkets hus. We also walked around and saw kommunhuset, turistbyrån, and Polstjärnan, where placement is located. After an hour we set for Kopparberg. We passed Vildmarkskrogen on the way, and couldn’t not take a look. But they were closed, as the owners were on a holiday. To Holland? The view over the nature reserve was marvellous! We ate lunch at Bredsjö Gård, after about 105 km.

In Kopparberg, we spent an hour in the afternoon. We walked around Tingshuset and I met and spoke to an employee at Kommunhuset. Just casually, he mentioned that I had come to the right place if I wanted to talk about Dutch migrants. After a visit to gammal & antic and walking by the church , we returned to Örebro again. That was the end of the first excursion!