Community art with young people in a divided residential area in Sweden – the emergence of Art-PIMPA

Community art with young people in a divided residential area in Sweden – the emergence of... Abstract Increasing sociospatial polarization, segregation and marginalization are challenging community workers to respond to complex social needs and problems across the world. This article focuses on examining sociospatial polarization and community art as a form of community work in Sweden through the case study of Konst-PIMPA (Art-PIMPA). The inquiry studies how Art-PIMPA emerged and developed, working together with young people in a sociospatially divided residential area in the city of Norrköping. The study shows that community art deals with imagination, creativity and co-creation, in order to explore, express and visualize the invisible factors in social development and change. The focus of Art-PIMPA was on participation, human rights and the democratic right to self-expression, requiring a glocal cosmopolitan outlook, which includes both global and local aspects. This meant taking an ethical–political stance of recognizing our common humanity and rights as citizens of the world regardless of background or context. Additionally, the study is a reminder of the need to generate a structural analysis of both exogenous and endogenous forces that impact our ‘glocal world’, in which global and local forces interact daily. Background: the Swedish welfare state in neoliberal transition Sweden has an international reputation for having a high standard of living, comprehensive welfare policies and low inequality, which is the hallmark of the Nordic welfare state model (Esping-Andersen, 1990; van Kersbergen and Vis, 2014). However, the Swedish welfare state, like others, has been strongly affected by global economic forces pushing towards a neoliberal restructuring of welfare policies and services, including marketization, privatization, technologized management and informalization (Larsson, Letell and Törn, 2012; Meagher and Szebehely, 2013; Johansson, Dellgran and Höjer, 2015). The standard of living in Sweden is still high, but the country is no longer a ‘welfare paradise’ of equality or equity. Marklund (1988) indicated this risk as early as 1988 in his study Paradise lost? The Nordic welfare states and recession 1975–1985. Since then, differences in income have become greater in Sweden than in other OECD-countries (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) (Edling, 2015; OECD, 2011/2015). The OECD has also highlighted other challenges, such as poor labour-market integration of refugees (OECD, 2016). Additionally, the segregation between residential areas has also increased, particularly in suburban areas built during the Million Programme period between 1965 and 1974, during which 1,000,000 apartments were built to address the housing shortage following urbanization and modernization. A number of these Million Programme residential areas are today socioeconomically, spatially and ethnically segregated, creating challenges for integration and social sustainability (Righard, Johansson and Salonen, 2015; Andersson, Bengtsson and Myrberg, 2016; Turunen, 2017). The Million Programme residential areas have a larger proportion of ethnic groups than other suburbs, and are to a large extent sociospatially separated from other suburbs. The socioeconomic and ethnic residential segregation tend to intersect with a number of social problems as income poverty and social exclusion, and increasing rates of violence and criminal offences and radicalization (Rikskriminalpolisen, 2014). The continuing polarization and segregation of residential areas is not only socioeconomic and socioethnic but also sociospatial, bringing about new challenges and issues for social sustainability, social justice and human dignity (Soja, 2010; Listerborn, 2013; Turunen, 2017). One of the most challenging contemporary issues, both globally and locally, is the fact that an increasing number of people in segregated residential areas are being turned into resident aliens, losing their given rights and opportunities for employment, in the ongoing marginalization and exclusion processes. The unemployed are becoming part of the precariat, a new unstable group characterized by chronic socioeconomic insecurity and uncertainty, a new class-in-the-making (Standing, 2014). These processes are also occurring in Sweden. Therefore, there is a great need for integrative work, not only on the labour market but also in people’s everyday lives. In this article, we present and discuss the community art project with young people, Art-PIMPA, in Marielund, one of the housing areas belonging to the Million Programme. The Art-PIMPA initiative was taken by Eva Lundgren Stenbom, a resident of Marielund and author of this article. The project was carried out by a close partnership between the municipality of Norrköping, and the Somali Youth Association (Somaliska Ungdomsföreningen), financed by the Inheritance Fund 2012–2015 (Ansökan till Allmänna Arvsfonden, 2012). The project had a steering group, with an advisory role, consisting of members from the municipality (the Department of Culture and Leisure), the public housing company Hyresbostäder, the Art Museum, the Somali Youth Association, the youth centre Diversity House (Mångfaldshuset) and two art associations (V.O.D.K.A.N. and KiFiN). The project label PIMPA stands for ‘Projektet I Marielund med Påverkan för Alla’ (the project in Marielund with influence for all). The acronym deliberately plays on the meaning of the English word ‘pimping’ as well, meaning improvement and embellishment. For participating young people, the project label PIMPA sounded both exciting and provocative – particularly the connotation to prostitution and drinking. Finally, it could refer to the TV programme, ‘Pimp my ride’, meaning doing something better or being more cool (Ansökan till Allmänna Arvsfonden, 2012; Åkerblom, 2014, 2015). Aims and methods This article examines community arts as a form of community work in the Nordic context, which have not been discussed at the same length as in other countries (cf. Turunen, 2004; Hutchinson, 2009; with e.g. Borrup, 2007; Clover, 2007; Meade and Shaw, 2007; Conrad and Sinner, 2015; Sewell and Harris, 2015; van der Vaart, van Hoven and Huigen, 2017), even though diverse forms of community art have been implemented in community work practice (Turunen, 1988, 1992, 2004). Community art, also called dialogical art, interactive art, participatory art, or relational art, can include performing arts such as music, dance and theatre, but also visual arts such as drawing, painting, ceramics and sculpture, and even digital arts in virtual spaces. We will discuss community art as a community-based art activism supporting community work, within which various art forms can be implemented to stimulate development and change. The article is written interactively by a community worker and a researcher within the Nordic tradition of practice research, where the emphasis is laid on the interplay between the practical and theoretical knowledge that is generated when studying social practices (Svensson et al., 2002; Turunen, 2004, 2013; Martinsson and Julkunen, 2012). The style of writing developed here is a form of participatory cowriting where the authors create common space and interactivity between practice and research as well as between community art and community work. This type of writing is not typical within the academic tradition, but has been experimented within participatory action research and interactive research into diverse types of community strategies (Matthies, Närhi and Ward, 2001; Swedner, 1982; Turunen, 2013), feminist writings (Chahill, Quijada Cerecer and Bradley, 2010; Sewell and Harris, 2015) and community arts (Åberg and Alfreds, 2014; Conrad and Sinner, 2015). Conrad and Sinner (2015) have pointed out that artistic community-based approaches and research make use of aesthetic, experiential, embodied and emotional ways of knowing and creating knowledge that differ from traditional academic approaches. Traditional academic research tends to emphasize research from a distance, objectification and the generation of theoretical knowledge that is explicit and codified by external scientific experts (Svensson et al., 2002). The alternative approach developed by Conrad and Sinner (2015) encourages scholars to work together in order to create spaces of possibility and interactivity with other professionals and community groups within which to explore questions, generate knowledge and express shared understandings of phenomena, particularly in everyday life. It also allows a multilayered and interdisciplinary collaboration and analysis from diverse perspectives. In the case of Art-PIMPA, the collaboration between authors stemmed from our common interest in community art activism and knowledge generation of practice from two perspectives. Eva Lundgren Stenbom has a background in cultural science studies and is a former manager of business development in a small municipality, as well as being a practically engaged citizen of Marielund. Päivi Turunen is a social worker with a migrant background, and lecturer and researcher in social work with a focus on community work. She has also worked as a social worker and community worker in practice. The empirical material underpinning the arguments in this article is drawn from the project and evaluation reports of Art-PIMPA and of Eva’s practical experiences of the project’s processes (Ansökan till Allmänna Arvsfonden, 2012; Åkerblom, 2014, 2015). This research material has been complemented with a literature search, research reports, scientific articles and Internet sources in the field. Our research can be considered a case study of everyday urbanism that is situated, conversational and utopian (Lehtovuori, 2010). In the following, the residential area of Marielund and the project Art-PIMPA (its beginnings, progress, processes, outcomes and new initiatives) are described. After this, the case of Art-PIMPA will be reflected upon and analysed using theories of community arts and community work. Finally, the reflection and analysis of Art-PIMPA is discussed in relation to sociospatial segregation from a glocal cosmopolitan perspective. In this study, this perspective means combining both global and local aspects of common humanity in a glocalised world, where global and local processes are increasingly expanding beyond their traditional national boundaries, constantly creating new types of transnational glocal spaces, policies, processes and practices (Robertson, 1992; Kenny, 2016; Livholst and Bryant, 2017). Marielund – a divided residential area in Norrköping With approximately 139,000 inhabitants, Norrköping is the ninth largest city in Sweden. The city has an industrial history, best known for its textile industry, which closed down in the 1970s. A new start as a city of culture and education has been in the making since the 1990s. Since 2012, Norrköping has presented itself as a global municipality. In 2016, 25,2 percent of Norrköping’s inhabitants had foreign background. (Norrköping kommun, 2017a,b) Marielund, unlike other similar areas, is situated near the centre of Norrköping (Norrköpings kommun, 2017c). The older part of Marielund, called Röda stan (the Red Town), was built in 1917–1918 as detached and semi-detached houses for the working class. Today, this area has been gentrified by an influx of middle-class inhabitants, who have replaced the working class, transforming this part of Marielund into a quaint, middle-class neighbourhood, inhabited by a majority of ethnic Swedes. The newer part, called Marielund, was built in 1968–1969 during the Million Programme era. This part of Marielund is further divided into two areas owned by two housing companies, a private company, Östgötaporten, and the public housing company Hyresbostäder. Both of these newer sub-areas of Marielund are mainly inhabited by people with ethic minority backgrounds. Marielund is therefore a clear example of the contemporary socioethnic–spatial division of Swedish cities, also including an ‘us and them’ mentality. It is also characteristic in that the whole of Marielund is lacking any form of public art. This fact is of general interest, because the governmental guidelines from the 1930s state that all residential areas should include some kind of public art (SOU, 1936: 50). The emerging Art-PIMPA ‘Well, I don’t let my children walk through Marielund on their way home from town.’ This statement by a resident in Röda stan, was the starting point for the Art-PIMPA project, designed as a sociocultural and spatial bridge between the new and old areas of Marielund. The belief in universal human rights and the creative imagination of the residents have been the projects’ leading ideas. Inspiration have been found in William Cochran, who has expressed this idea as ‘Imagination is the most powerful force available to humankind’, adding that this is a force ‘that everyone without exception has access to’, in relation to his example of the mural arts around a community bridge (Shared Vision, 1995). Eva became the project manager for the Art-PIMPA project. After moving to the area, she noticed immediately that the old residential area, Röda stan and the Million Programme area, Marielund, were completely different worlds. There are no physical barriers between the areas, but hardly any contact exists between the residents of these two neighbourhoods. One can even discern a fear of Marielund among the residents of Röda stan. The statement at the beginning of this section became the ultimatum for action: Something had to be done to change the situation and to improve relations between the two neighbourhoods. The first effort was a networking initiative accomplished by establishing a citizens’ group at the cooperative food store (Coop Nära) where all the residents of the two neighbourhoods could meet naturally. Thereafter, contact was established with the municipal Culture and Leisure Office in order to set up activities among young people aged thirteen to nineteen. Officials from this office decided that the municipality would endorse an application to the Inheritance Fund (Allmänna Arvsfonden). Eva contacted both the private and public housing companies and anchored the project idea with them. The Tenants’ Association (Hyresgästföreningen) also showed great interest in the project from the beginning, but due to staff changes they later withdrew. By coincidence, Eva got in touch with the Somali Youth Association, which has many members living in the area. The Culture and Leisure Office suggested that a young adult with an immigrant background could be employed for the project. The choice was a twenty one-year-old man called Said. An old Portakabin, painted with funky graffiti, was placed in the middle of Marielund to recruit young people from the area. Both Eva and Said sat there in the afternoons, expecting that the youngsters would come running in, curious and interested, but this didn’t happen. So, how to reach them? Said proved to be the right person in the right place. He talked to young boys and girls who passed by, he even ran to catch up with them at times, and explained what the project was about, sticking a flier in their hands and urging them to come to the first meeting in September 2012. Finally, a group of excited girls and boys, most aged fourteen to sixteen years, some seventeen to eighteen, sat around the table in the apartment provided by the public housing company. All had a migrant background. The first artwork undertaken by the group was to paint and decorate chairs, which thenceforth constituted the furniture during the three-year project period. Processes and outcomes Many of the youngsters who lived in the area were upset if someone spoke badly of their home district. One girl exclaimed: ‘If you come to Marielund in the summer, and people are out barbecuing, and all the children playing everywhere, you’ll just love all this!’ On the other side, those who have moved away from the area have had another picture to convey: ‘It’s so dirty and untidy there, people just fuck things up all the time.’ One activity that attempted to change this picture was to organize a major art exhibition in the area with a famous artist, which would attract a pilgrimage of interested art lovers to Marielund. A number of artists were contacted by the participating youngsters, who worked for a whole year to prepare the exhibition. Finally, the artist Kristoffer Zetterstrand became interested and allowed Art-PIMPA to put on an exhibition of his paintings (Zetterstrand, 2013). The youngsters were to choose the paintings. They went to the artist’s studio in Stockholm, made posters and banners, and placed advertisements in the local newspapers. In autumn 2013 it was finally time for the opening of the art exhibition. The media rallied massively, the project and the exhibition were reported in all the local newspapers and also on television. Despite all the media attention, people did not flock to this fantastic art exhibition. Even more surprisingly, none of the residents themselves came to see it, not even the parents of the children organizing it. One of the boys said: ‘if my dad came here he would just laugh and say that he could make better pictures than that!’ But they kept the exhibition open to visitors every day during the autumn half-term school holiday, and all of it was undeniably a great experience for everyone involved. Throughout the project, numerous workshops were organized featuring various artists and a number of different forms of expression were practised: making collages, illusion painting, creating mosaics, soapstone carving, still-life painting, graffiti and much more. Picturing Marielund The museums in Norrköping were interested in the project from the start, with a focus on attracting youngsters. They also wanted to create a partnership with Art-PIMPA. At the Museum of Work, the youngsters made pictures for an exhibition about the future. They also worked closely with the City Museum, around a photo exhibition. During its anniversary in 2013, the Art Museum invited Art-PIMPA to participate in the great Culture Parade through the city. For this, the youngsters from Marielund made a huge banner, ‘KONSTPIMPA’ (Art-PIMPA), which they proudly carried through the city streets. During the summer of 2013, the Art Museum asked if they wanted to become art guides. The youngsters hesitated, but after the summer, six of them signed up. This project was initiated, led and filmed by a Norwegian artist, Unni Gjertsen (Verkstad konsthall, 2015). Throughout the autumn of 2013, the youngsters displayed the artwork ‘Moves of Norrköping’ every week to the public, something that boosted self-esteem. Gjertsen later followed this up by making another art project, consisting of six interviews with the young guides, called ‘Lessons’. During these, the youngsters described what it meant to them to be a part of the project and learn how to guide an audience to explore art. The next step was to produce a photo exhibition, entitled ‘My Marielund’. With borrowed cameras, the youngsters went out into the field to take photos during the course of an entire year. Their photographic images of Marielund were turned into a very successful exhibition, and attracted many visitors, not only from the residential area but also from the rest of the city. The exhibition also mixed in a number of old black-and-white photos of Marielund in the 1960s, taken before the new apartment houses were built. This exhibition of local history appealed to many, including the area’s new residents. The youngsters really appreciated working with the photo exhibition. They became proud of their part of the city, and of being an important part of it. This kind of method is internationally known as photovoicing (Sewell and Harris, 2015). The final project of Art-PIMPA comprised ten short films, called ‘I am Norrköping’. This aimed to explore how young people express themselves as being a part of the city’s identity. It is not unusual for young people to speak in terms of ‘you Swedes’, ‘we the immigrants’, etc. In these short films, one or two minutes long, the youngsters tell something about themselves, about a favourite place in the city or something about their dreams for the future. Ten short films were later presented to municipal officials and politicians. They can also be found on Youtube, ‘Jag är Norrköping’ (I am Norrköping) (Norrköpings kommun, 2015). Art-PIMPA initiated a variety of activities over the years: trips, soccer tournaments, movie nights, participation in community days by providing face-painting and making balloon animals. Bus trips to other, larger cities, such as Stockholm and Gothenburg, were especially appreciated. The project was evaluated twice by a consultant, Åkerblom (2014, 2015). These evaluations showed that all the project’s partners were satisfied with the outcomes, but identified that the project had not succeeded in building bridges with surrounding neighbourhoods (amongst others Röda stan) more than marginally during its active period of 2012–2015. However, some informal relationships with Röda stan and other city neighbourhoods were established (Figure 1). Figure 1 View largeDownload slide A painting done by the youngsters, as a gift to the head of the Art Museum in Norrköping Figure 1 View largeDownload slide A painting done by the youngsters, as a gift to the head of the Art Museum in Norrköping Opinions of young participants on outcomes The most tangible outcomes amongst youngsters were specific events, such as exhibitions, artistic decoration, activities such as soccer tournaments, cultural days and films. But for the youngsters themselves, it was the non-artistic activities, such as opportunities to meet each other, to plan and make things together that mattered. What also mattered was the leaders’ attitude of always listening to the youngsters, letting them have their say and take part in decision making. The participative and democratic spirit of the project was empowering: ‘Everyone who’s here can decide, even the youngest ones. Everyone’s equal’, said one interviewed participant (Åkerblom, 2014: 7). The strengthened self-esteem of the participants, trust in others, as well as a widened knowledge of the community, were also important outcomes. The progress made in terms of confidence and skills was impressive. Those who participated most actively and became engaged in social issues showed good results in school. The majority of these were girls. It was more difficult to reach the boys, and particularly to maintain continuous contact with them. Some quotes from Åkerblom’s evaluation (2014:9) exemplify further outcomes that were important for the participating youngsters: ‘I’ve become more social, I speak more, make contact with others. I’ve got more self-confidence here.’ ‘I’ve become better at daring to stand up in front of others and speak my mind. Before, I never dared to stand in front of the class and talk, but ever since I worked as an art guide at the museum I can speak anywhere.’ ‘Here, I’ve got many friends to speak Swedish with.’ ‘I learned to understand other people.’ (…) ‘The diversity is important.’ Throughout the project, youngsters were encouraged to make an impact in their own neighbourhood, but things take time, such as when they wanted to get basketball hoops in the playing field. It took about six months before these were set up. It took more than year before the long-awaited evening lighting on the artificial turf pitch was installed. Regardless of the delays, they did not give up their claims or voicing their endeavours (Figure 2). Figure 2 View largeDownload slide The first art experiment, decorative painting of chairs Figure 2 View largeDownload slide The first art experiment, decorative painting of chairs ‘I’m not only proud of being a part of Art-PIMPA, I can change my own neighbourhood, Marielund. We’re always trying to make it better.’ ‘No matter what, we’re like a family. Everybody is nice to each other. I’m really proud of how much we’ve achieved together.’ (Åkerblom, 2014: 8) New initiatives and processes After the project, a number of youngsters became engaged in other activities or organizations, such as Back-Up, a local network training young people to support other youngsters, in an out-reach work on the streets of the city. Others took an interest in Save the Children, and underwent leadership training. Some joined BRIS (Children’s Rights in Society), while others started fundraising for the Cancer Society or the Red Cross. The project became a process of ‘learning by doing’, or ‘action learning’, which is central in community work, based on the theories of Dewey (1916/1944) and Freire (1972). It took a long time to establish a relationship with the parents. Several attempts were made to invite them to the Open House, or to join excursions, but with poor results. But one summer day, the mother of one of the young girls came to Eva and asked if they could start something that would be an opportunity to meet other women and to practise their Swedish language skills. Eva helped them to gain access to a room in the Youth Centre (the Diversity House), where the women gathered every Friday afternoon. Three volunteers were engaged, for language teaching and to help with sewing and handicrafts. Eventually, twenty participants (from Somalia, Syria and Turkey), joined this women’s group. They have met regularly every week since 2014. A new association, IMAGINE, was organized to assist in starting new projects, such as the project Neighbourhood Cooperation (Grannsamverkan) for creating contacts between neighbours (Swedes and immigrants) in Röda stan and Marielund. The families have been to children’s theatre, visited museums, gone on trips together and had meals together, in order to get to know each other. The Women’s Group relocated to the local YMCA, close to Marielund. A Somali Association, Hornafro, located in the same building, wanted to co-operate with IMAGINE, in order to help teenagers and adults with school homework once a week. This service had been requested by parents and youngsters for a long time. A recent initiative is the Urban Farming Project, which was started in May 2016. Four Somali women and a couple from Bangladesh, all residents of Marielund, have joined the farming project together with some Swedish families, not far from Marielund. In spring 2016, IMAGINE organized a recreational weekend for female asylum seekers in Norrköping, visiting the countryside, learning about the Swedish Right of Public Access and learning traditional Swedish handicrafts. This project turned out to be very successful. The participants greatly appreciated being both recognized and treated as equals (Figure 3). Figure 3 View largeDownload slide Art-PIMPA was part of the Culture Parade in 2013, with this banner they had painted themselves Figure 3 View largeDownload slide Art-PIMPA was part of the Culture Parade in 2013, with this banner they had painted themselves Community arts and community work Respect for human dignity, the participatory principle and collective action are some of the core values and foundations of community work across the world (Hutchinson, 2009; Pyles, 2014; Breivik and Sudmann, 2015; Popple, 2015). Swedish community work is influenced by international traditions of community development, community organization, community planning and, since the 1990s, by an increasing diversity of community-based approaches (Turunen, 2004, 2009, 2017). Art-PIMPA was carried out as community work, including relationship building, identifying, articulating and visualizing ideas, needs, and problems as well as interests, organizing activities and cooperation, encouraging interrelationships and social action in order to empower people, in this case youngsters, adults and other stakeholders in acting together to achieve common goals of social development and change. In fact, using the arts is not a new phenomenon within community work. At the end of the nineteenth century, the settlement movement started cultural activities and art galleries in segregated local communities (Addams, 1910/1981). The settlement movement was initiated in London. It spread to the United States and other countries, including Sweden, where it continues as the youth and cultural centres of today (Turunen, 2004; Fritidsforum, 2017). Internationally, community art has been developed in diverse forms from North America to China, from capacity building (Borrup, 2007) to mobilizing community activism (Cohen-Cruz, 2002, 2010) or the political mobilization of women (Chang Fung Yi, 2012). Earlier examples of community-based art within community work in Sweden are music performances and the sewing of Roma clothes by Roma people in Stockholm (Turunen, 1992), community theatre (play writing and performance) by young people within community work in a newly built suburb, Skarpnäck, in Stockholm (Turunen, 1988, 2017) and arts and craft by immigrant women at an expanded family centre, Gemensamma Krafter (the Joint Forces), in Jakobsgårdarna in Borlänge (Turunen, forthcoming). In 2012, a special issue of Nordic community arts was published in Journal of Arts & Communities (2012). In 2013 and 2014, a collaborative project ‘Visualize the Invisible’ took place in Sweden and Albania (Åberg and Alfreds, 2014). In this project, video, performance, music and dance were created in residential areas, Roma communities and social institutions such as prisons, schools and care institutions. The latest Swedish initiatives in the field of community art are taking place within the programme ‘Art is Happening’, managed by the Public Art Agency of Sweden, which offers financial support for public art, participation and community involvement, particularly in the Million Programme areas (Statens konstråd, 2016). Borrup (2007) identifies five areas for art projects that have enhanced community development and change: using local assets, arts and culture for promoting interaction in public space; increasing civic participation through celebrations; engaging young people in the community; promoting the power and preservation of place; and broadening participation in the civic sphere and community planning. Art-PIMPA mainly fits into the area of engaging young people in the communities. This process engaged young people in interacting, participating and mobilizing both resources and themselves for local development and change, as well as for self-directed knowledge creation and empowerment. A glocal cosmopolitan outlook Based on the case of Art-PIMPA, a glocal cosmopolitan outlook in community art requires a cosmopolitan respect – instead of national preoccupations – for human beings and their needs regardless of background or context. Historically, cosmopolitanism meant being a ‘citizen of the world’ as in Ancient Greece, implying that all human beings belong to a single community, based on a shared morality. According to Appiah (2006), cosmopolitanism is more complex than this, and requires both moral and political reflection on human obligations in the face of a diversity of backgrounds and beliefs. In Appiah’s view, contemporary cosmopolitanism provides us with a politico-ethical challenge in dealing with both the universal and particular human needs with which we are faced. In our understanding, this outlook can help us to reflect on both human similarities and differences and even to bridge gaps, in our cities and further afield, across continents in a world of strangers. Beck (2005) criticizes naïve cosmopolitanism in terms of the cosmopolitanization of the world. According to Beck, our reality is cosmopolitanized from global politics to everyday life, giving rise to complex processes of globalized (in our understanding glocalized) interconnectedness, including conflicts and risks, but also opportunities for change. One example of cosmopolitanization is seen in contemporary residential areas with a plurality of diverse nationalities and languages, such as Marielund. Therefore, a cosmopolitan outlook is necessary, not only in politics and science but also in everyday life, implying that even gated communities must come to an end. Within community development, the cosmopolitan outlook is discussed by Kenny (2016) from a socioeconomic perspective, conceiving communities as hybrid entities with multiple identities and loyalties, rather than as fixed entities. In Marielund, cosmopolitanization was recognized as an ethical–practical and civic challenge in order to enable respect for human rights and action, leading successively to the creation of Art-PIMPA, a place and space for gathering, communication and transformative action. Summary and conclusion Art-PIMPA is a small-scale example of community art in Sweden. It dealt with both the universal and particular needs of people in a glocally divided and segregated residential area. Its multifaceted characteristics have been contextualized and described in order to provide a holistic understanding of Art-PIMPA in a transitional Swedish society. With reference to Appiah (2006), Beck (2005) and Kenny (2016), the concept of a glocal cosmopolitan outlook means in this study an awareness of the complex interconnectedness and interdependence of people in glocal contexts, where people from diverse parts of the world shape their lives transnationally and transculturally. It requires a holistic understanding of the context as well as ethical–political reflection and action beyond the national and cultural preoccupations of strangers at all levels of society. Art-PIMPA required a cognitive and emotional conception of varying endeavours by residents with diverse backgrounds, problems, needs, interests, fears, wishes and emotions in their everyday lives. Additionally, the initiative of Art-PIMPA demanded a glocal cosmopolitan empathy and engagement in order to take initiatives, to enable possibilities and facilitate practical action together with those concerned. Even though the three-year project period of Art-PIMPA is over, the empowering and mobilizing activities and processes have continued to expand in Marielund. The example of Art-PIMPA shows that making community art is a form of community work that can help in meeting needs, exploring places, and facilitating creative change. Art-PIMPA shows that imagination and the arts can be used for visualizing the invisible; that is, the needs and interests of youngsters and women who are marginalized on the Swedish labour market and poorly recognized within society. The most appreciated art activities among the young people were participation in films, exhibitions and soccer tournaments, along with excursions. Among the women it was excursions, sewing and urban farming. For the participating youngsters, what mattered most was the opportunity to gather, participate and make decisions. The glocal cosmopolitan outlook of humanity and citizenship does not only deal with theories of human rights, but also with acting for and promoting human dignity and social change in practice. This is also our argument for why it is necessary to generate ethical–practical knowledge from everyday life and its practices. This means that one must also be aware of the risks of making use of community arts for aesthetic reasons only, by forgetting the need for real change when it comes to poverty and segregation. Meade and Shaw (2007) warn against utilizing the arts as means of political displacement and distracting attention from the real causes of social problems. On the other hand, it is also argued that creativity needs to be recognized as an integral part of social activism, which can encourage the emancipatory potential of the aesthetic activity and experience (Clover, 2007). The specific aim of Art-PIMPA was to explore possibilities for empowering young people and creating space for artistic activities that would encourage participation, self-expression and collective action, not to study the effects of the project on Marielund or its inhabitants. In order to create new space, skills and confidence in ‘visualizing the invisible’, the youngsters were encouraged to express their own needs as well as to explore new places and spaces of action in order to empower themselves and transgress both mental and sociospatial boundaries. Engaging young people also meant gradually involving more and more adults, particularly women, for further creative exploration and transgression. Eva Lundgren Stenbom, project manager/producer, Juste a’Fair, Norrköping, Sweden. Päivi Turunen, Department of Social Work and Psychology, University of Gävle, Sweden. Acknowledgements Our thanks go to colleagues at the University of Linköping (LiU) and to the editors of the Special Issue for helpful comments on draft versions of this article. Funding The article has been completed by Eva Lundgren Stenbom within her firm Juste a’Fair, and by Päivi Turunen within her position as an assistant professor at the University of Linköping and from August 2017 at the University of Gävle. References Åberg , C. and Alfreds , L. ( 2014 ) Visualize the Invisible , Art Agent Press , Stockholm . Addams , J. ( 1910 /1981) Twenty Years at Hull-House , Penguin Books, Signet Classic , New York . Åkerblom , J. ( 2014 ) Utvärdering av Konstpimpaprojektet År 2 (Evaluation of Art-PIMPA Year 2). Åkerblom , J. ( 2015 ) Utvärdering Konst-PIMPA 2015 (Evaluation of Art-PIMPA 2015). 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Turunen , P. ( 2013 ) Deltagardemokratiska och systemiska metoder för komplexa samhällsfrågor och samhällsentreprenörskap, Working papers – Department of Sociology and Work Science 2013:1, Göteborgs universitet, Göteborg, accessed at: http://www.socav.gu.se/digitalAssets/1459/1459397_turunen-deltagardemokratiska-130923.pdf. (22 January 2017). Turunen , P. ( 2017 ) Community work as a socio-spatial response to the challenge of glocal segregation and vulnerability, in M. Livholts and L. Bryant , eds , Social Work in a Glocalized World , Routledge , London , pp. 169 – 185 . van der Vaart , G. , van Hoven , B. and Huigen , P. P. P. ( 2017 ) ‘It is not only an artist village, it is much more than that’. The bindning and dividing effects of the art on a community , Community Development Journal . doi:10.1093/cdj/bsx055 . van Kersbergen , K. and Vis , B. , eds ( 2014 ) Comparative Welfare State Politics: Development, Opportunities, and Reform , Cambridge University Press , Cambridge . Verkstad konsthall. ( 2015 ) Lessons: Unni Gjertsen, accessed at: http://verkstadkonst.se/lessons/ (17 December 2017). Zetterstrand , K. ( 2013 ) Dags för fett bra utställning, accessed at: http://zetterstrand.com/2013/10/25/konst-pimpa/ (15 December 2017). © Oxford University Press and Community Development Journal. 2018 All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Community Development Journal Oxford University Press

Community art with young people in a divided residential area in Sweden – the emergence of Art-PIMPA

Community Development Journal , Volume Advance Article (3) – May 10, 2018

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© Oxford University Press and Community Development Journal. 2018 All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com
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Abstract

Abstract Increasing sociospatial polarization, segregation and marginalization are challenging community workers to respond to complex social needs and problems across the world. This article focuses on examining sociospatial polarization and community art as a form of community work in Sweden through the case study of Konst-PIMPA (Art-PIMPA). The inquiry studies how Art-PIMPA emerged and developed, working together with young people in a sociospatially divided residential area in the city of Norrköping. The study shows that community art deals with imagination, creativity and co-creation, in order to explore, express and visualize the invisible factors in social development and change. The focus of Art-PIMPA was on participation, human rights and the democratic right to self-expression, requiring a glocal cosmopolitan outlook, which includes both global and local aspects. This meant taking an ethical–political stance of recognizing our common humanity and rights as citizens of the world regardless of background or context. Additionally, the study is a reminder of the need to generate a structural analysis of both exogenous and endogenous forces that impact our ‘glocal world’, in which global and local forces interact daily. Background: the Swedish welfare state in neoliberal transition Sweden has an international reputation for having a high standard of living, comprehensive welfare policies and low inequality, which is the hallmark of the Nordic welfare state model (Esping-Andersen, 1990; van Kersbergen and Vis, 2014). However, the Swedish welfare state, like others, has been strongly affected by global economic forces pushing towards a neoliberal restructuring of welfare policies and services, including marketization, privatization, technologized management and informalization (Larsson, Letell and Törn, 2012; Meagher and Szebehely, 2013; Johansson, Dellgran and Höjer, 2015). The standard of living in Sweden is still high, but the country is no longer a ‘welfare paradise’ of equality or equity. Marklund (1988) indicated this risk as early as 1988 in his study Paradise lost? The Nordic welfare states and recession 1975–1985. Since then, differences in income have become greater in Sweden than in other OECD-countries (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) (Edling, 2015; OECD, 2011/2015). The OECD has also highlighted other challenges, such as poor labour-market integration of refugees (OECD, 2016). Additionally, the segregation between residential areas has also increased, particularly in suburban areas built during the Million Programme period between 1965 and 1974, during which 1,000,000 apartments were built to address the housing shortage following urbanization and modernization. A number of these Million Programme residential areas are today socioeconomically, spatially and ethnically segregated, creating challenges for integration and social sustainability (Righard, Johansson and Salonen, 2015; Andersson, Bengtsson and Myrberg, 2016; Turunen, 2017). The Million Programme residential areas have a larger proportion of ethnic groups than other suburbs, and are to a large extent sociospatially separated from other suburbs. The socioeconomic and ethnic residential segregation tend to intersect with a number of social problems as income poverty and social exclusion, and increasing rates of violence and criminal offences and radicalization (Rikskriminalpolisen, 2014). The continuing polarization and segregation of residential areas is not only socioeconomic and socioethnic but also sociospatial, bringing about new challenges and issues for social sustainability, social justice and human dignity (Soja, 2010; Listerborn, 2013; Turunen, 2017). One of the most challenging contemporary issues, both globally and locally, is the fact that an increasing number of people in segregated residential areas are being turned into resident aliens, losing their given rights and opportunities for employment, in the ongoing marginalization and exclusion processes. The unemployed are becoming part of the precariat, a new unstable group characterized by chronic socioeconomic insecurity and uncertainty, a new class-in-the-making (Standing, 2014). These processes are also occurring in Sweden. Therefore, there is a great need for integrative work, not only on the labour market but also in people’s everyday lives. In this article, we present and discuss the community art project with young people, Art-PIMPA, in Marielund, one of the housing areas belonging to the Million Programme. The Art-PIMPA initiative was taken by Eva Lundgren Stenbom, a resident of Marielund and author of this article. The project was carried out by a close partnership between the municipality of Norrköping, and the Somali Youth Association (Somaliska Ungdomsföreningen), financed by the Inheritance Fund 2012–2015 (Ansökan till Allmänna Arvsfonden, 2012). The project had a steering group, with an advisory role, consisting of members from the municipality (the Department of Culture and Leisure), the public housing company Hyresbostäder, the Art Museum, the Somali Youth Association, the youth centre Diversity House (Mångfaldshuset) and two art associations (V.O.D.K.A.N. and KiFiN). The project label PIMPA stands for ‘Projektet I Marielund med Påverkan för Alla’ (the project in Marielund with influence for all). The acronym deliberately plays on the meaning of the English word ‘pimping’ as well, meaning improvement and embellishment. For participating young people, the project label PIMPA sounded both exciting and provocative – particularly the connotation to prostitution and drinking. Finally, it could refer to the TV programme, ‘Pimp my ride’, meaning doing something better or being more cool (Ansökan till Allmänna Arvsfonden, 2012; Åkerblom, 2014, 2015). Aims and methods This article examines community arts as a form of community work in the Nordic context, which have not been discussed at the same length as in other countries (cf. Turunen, 2004; Hutchinson, 2009; with e.g. Borrup, 2007; Clover, 2007; Meade and Shaw, 2007; Conrad and Sinner, 2015; Sewell and Harris, 2015; van der Vaart, van Hoven and Huigen, 2017), even though diverse forms of community art have been implemented in community work practice (Turunen, 1988, 1992, 2004). Community art, also called dialogical art, interactive art, participatory art, or relational art, can include performing arts such as music, dance and theatre, but also visual arts such as drawing, painting, ceramics and sculpture, and even digital arts in virtual spaces. We will discuss community art as a community-based art activism supporting community work, within which various art forms can be implemented to stimulate development and change. The article is written interactively by a community worker and a researcher within the Nordic tradition of practice research, where the emphasis is laid on the interplay between the practical and theoretical knowledge that is generated when studying social practices (Svensson et al., 2002; Turunen, 2004, 2013; Martinsson and Julkunen, 2012). The style of writing developed here is a form of participatory cowriting where the authors create common space and interactivity between practice and research as well as between community art and community work. This type of writing is not typical within the academic tradition, but has been experimented within participatory action research and interactive research into diverse types of community strategies (Matthies, Närhi and Ward, 2001; Swedner, 1982; Turunen, 2013), feminist writings (Chahill, Quijada Cerecer and Bradley, 2010; Sewell and Harris, 2015) and community arts (Åberg and Alfreds, 2014; Conrad and Sinner, 2015). Conrad and Sinner (2015) have pointed out that artistic community-based approaches and research make use of aesthetic, experiential, embodied and emotional ways of knowing and creating knowledge that differ from traditional academic approaches. Traditional academic research tends to emphasize research from a distance, objectification and the generation of theoretical knowledge that is explicit and codified by external scientific experts (Svensson et al., 2002). The alternative approach developed by Conrad and Sinner (2015) encourages scholars to work together in order to create spaces of possibility and interactivity with other professionals and community groups within which to explore questions, generate knowledge and express shared understandings of phenomena, particularly in everyday life. It also allows a multilayered and interdisciplinary collaboration and analysis from diverse perspectives. In the case of Art-PIMPA, the collaboration between authors stemmed from our common interest in community art activism and knowledge generation of practice from two perspectives. Eva Lundgren Stenbom has a background in cultural science studies and is a former manager of business development in a small municipality, as well as being a practically engaged citizen of Marielund. Päivi Turunen is a social worker with a migrant background, and lecturer and researcher in social work with a focus on community work. She has also worked as a social worker and community worker in practice. The empirical material underpinning the arguments in this article is drawn from the project and evaluation reports of Art-PIMPA and of Eva’s practical experiences of the project’s processes (Ansökan till Allmänna Arvsfonden, 2012; Åkerblom, 2014, 2015). This research material has been complemented with a literature search, research reports, scientific articles and Internet sources in the field. Our research can be considered a case study of everyday urbanism that is situated, conversational and utopian (Lehtovuori, 2010). In the following, the residential area of Marielund and the project Art-PIMPA (its beginnings, progress, processes, outcomes and new initiatives) are described. After this, the case of Art-PIMPA will be reflected upon and analysed using theories of community arts and community work. Finally, the reflection and analysis of Art-PIMPA is discussed in relation to sociospatial segregation from a glocal cosmopolitan perspective. In this study, this perspective means combining both global and local aspects of common humanity in a glocalised world, where global and local processes are increasingly expanding beyond their traditional national boundaries, constantly creating new types of transnational glocal spaces, policies, processes and practices (Robertson, 1992; Kenny, 2016; Livholst and Bryant, 2017). Marielund – a divided residential area in Norrköping With approximately 139,000 inhabitants, Norrköping is the ninth largest city in Sweden. The city has an industrial history, best known for its textile industry, which closed down in the 1970s. A new start as a city of culture and education has been in the making since the 1990s. Since 2012, Norrköping has presented itself as a global municipality. In 2016, 25,2 percent of Norrköping’s inhabitants had foreign background. (Norrköping kommun, 2017a,b) Marielund, unlike other similar areas, is situated near the centre of Norrköping (Norrköpings kommun, 2017c). The older part of Marielund, called Röda stan (the Red Town), was built in 1917–1918 as detached and semi-detached houses for the working class. Today, this area has been gentrified by an influx of middle-class inhabitants, who have replaced the working class, transforming this part of Marielund into a quaint, middle-class neighbourhood, inhabited by a majority of ethnic Swedes. The newer part, called Marielund, was built in 1968–1969 during the Million Programme era. This part of Marielund is further divided into two areas owned by two housing companies, a private company, Östgötaporten, and the public housing company Hyresbostäder. Both of these newer sub-areas of Marielund are mainly inhabited by people with ethic minority backgrounds. Marielund is therefore a clear example of the contemporary socioethnic–spatial division of Swedish cities, also including an ‘us and them’ mentality. It is also characteristic in that the whole of Marielund is lacking any form of public art. This fact is of general interest, because the governmental guidelines from the 1930s state that all residential areas should include some kind of public art (SOU, 1936: 50). The emerging Art-PIMPA ‘Well, I don’t let my children walk through Marielund on their way home from town.’ This statement by a resident in Röda stan, was the starting point for the Art-PIMPA project, designed as a sociocultural and spatial bridge between the new and old areas of Marielund. The belief in universal human rights and the creative imagination of the residents have been the projects’ leading ideas. Inspiration have been found in William Cochran, who has expressed this idea as ‘Imagination is the most powerful force available to humankind’, adding that this is a force ‘that everyone without exception has access to’, in relation to his example of the mural arts around a community bridge (Shared Vision, 1995). Eva became the project manager for the Art-PIMPA project. After moving to the area, she noticed immediately that the old residential area, Röda stan and the Million Programme area, Marielund, were completely different worlds. There are no physical barriers between the areas, but hardly any contact exists between the residents of these two neighbourhoods. One can even discern a fear of Marielund among the residents of Röda stan. The statement at the beginning of this section became the ultimatum for action: Something had to be done to change the situation and to improve relations between the two neighbourhoods. The first effort was a networking initiative accomplished by establishing a citizens’ group at the cooperative food store (Coop Nära) where all the residents of the two neighbourhoods could meet naturally. Thereafter, contact was established with the municipal Culture and Leisure Office in order to set up activities among young people aged thirteen to nineteen. Officials from this office decided that the municipality would endorse an application to the Inheritance Fund (Allmänna Arvsfonden). Eva contacted both the private and public housing companies and anchored the project idea with them. The Tenants’ Association (Hyresgästföreningen) also showed great interest in the project from the beginning, but due to staff changes they later withdrew. By coincidence, Eva got in touch with the Somali Youth Association, which has many members living in the area. The Culture and Leisure Office suggested that a young adult with an immigrant background could be employed for the project. The choice was a twenty one-year-old man called Said. An old Portakabin, painted with funky graffiti, was placed in the middle of Marielund to recruit young people from the area. Both Eva and Said sat there in the afternoons, expecting that the youngsters would come running in, curious and interested, but this didn’t happen. So, how to reach them? Said proved to be the right person in the right place. He talked to young boys and girls who passed by, he even ran to catch up with them at times, and explained what the project was about, sticking a flier in their hands and urging them to come to the first meeting in September 2012. Finally, a group of excited girls and boys, most aged fourteen to sixteen years, some seventeen to eighteen, sat around the table in the apartment provided by the public housing company. All had a migrant background. The first artwork undertaken by the group was to paint and decorate chairs, which thenceforth constituted the furniture during the three-year project period. Processes and outcomes Many of the youngsters who lived in the area were upset if someone spoke badly of their home district. One girl exclaimed: ‘If you come to Marielund in the summer, and people are out barbecuing, and all the children playing everywhere, you’ll just love all this!’ On the other side, those who have moved away from the area have had another picture to convey: ‘It’s so dirty and untidy there, people just fuck things up all the time.’ One activity that attempted to change this picture was to organize a major art exhibition in the area with a famous artist, which would attract a pilgrimage of interested art lovers to Marielund. A number of artists were contacted by the participating youngsters, who worked for a whole year to prepare the exhibition. Finally, the artist Kristoffer Zetterstrand became interested and allowed Art-PIMPA to put on an exhibition of his paintings (Zetterstrand, 2013). The youngsters were to choose the paintings. They went to the artist’s studio in Stockholm, made posters and banners, and placed advertisements in the local newspapers. In autumn 2013 it was finally time for the opening of the art exhibition. The media rallied massively, the project and the exhibition were reported in all the local newspapers and also on television. Despite all the media attention, people did not flock to this fantastic art exhibition. Even more surprisingly, none of the residents themselves came to see it, not even the parents of the children organizing it. One of the boys said: ‘if my dad came here he would just laugh and say that he could make better pictures than that!’ But they kept the exhibition open to visitors every day during the autumn half-term school holiday, and all of it was undeniably a great experience for everyone involved. Throughout the project, numerous workshops were organized featuring various artists and a number of different forms of expression were practised: making collages, illusion painting, creating mosaics, soapstone carving, still-life painting, graffiti and much more. Picturing Marielund The museums in Norrköping were interested in the project from the start, with a focus on attracting youngsters. They also wanted to create a partnership with Art-PIMPA. At the Museum of Work, the youngsters made pictures for an exhibition about the future. They also worked closely with the City Museum, around a photo exhibition. During its anniversary in 2013, the Art Museum invited Art-PIMPA to participate in the great Culture Parade through the city. For this, the youngsters from Marielund made a huge banner, ‘KONSTPIMPA’ (Art-PIMPA), which they proudly carried through the city streets. During the summer of 2013, the Art Museum asked if they wanted to become art guides. The youngsters hesitated, but after the summer, six of them signed up. This project was initiated, led and filmed by a Norwegian artist, Unni Gjertsen (Verkstad konsthall, 2015). Throughout the autumn of 2013, the youngsters displayed the artwork ‘Moves of Norrköping’ every week to the public, something that boosted self-esteem. Gjertsen later followed this up by making another art project, consisting of six interviews with the young guides, called ‘Lessons’. During these, the youngsters described what it meant to them to be a part of the project and learn how to guide an audience to explore art. The next step was to produce a photo exhibition, entitled ‘My Marielund’. With borrowed cameras, the youngsters went out into the field to take photos during the course of an entire year. Their photographic images of Marielund were turned into a very successful exhibition, and attracted many visitors, not only from the residential area but also from the rest of the city. The exhibition also mixed in a number of old black-and-white photos of Marielund in the 1960s, taken before the new apartment houses were built. This exhibition of local history appealed to many, including the area’s new residents. The youngsters really appreciated working with the photo exhibition. They became proud of their part of the city, and of being an important part of it. This kind of method is internationally known as photovoicing (Sewell and Harris, 2015). The final project of Art-PIMPA comprised ten short films, called ‘I am Norrköping’. This aimed to explore how young people express themselves as being a part of the city’s identity. It is not unusual for young people to speak in terms of ‘you Swedes’, ‘we the immigrants’, etc. In these short films, one or two minutes long, the youngsters tell something about themselves, about a favourite place in the city or something about their dreams for the future. Ten short films were later presented to municipal officials and politicians. They can also be found on Youtube, ‘Jag är Norrköping’ (I am Norrköping) (Norrköpings kommun, 2015). Art-PIMPA initiated a variety of activities over the years: trips, soccer tournaments, movie nights, participation in community days by providing face-painting and making balloon animals. Bus trips to other, larger cities, such as Stockholm and Gothenburg, were especially appreciated. The project was evaluated twice by a consultant, Åkerblom (2014, 2015). These evaluations showed that all the project’s partners were satisfied with the outcomes, but identified that the project had not succeeded in building bridges with surrounding neighbourhoods (amongst others Röda stan) more than marginally during its active period of 2012–2015. However, some informal relationships with Röda stan and other city neighbourhoods were established (Figure 1). Figure 1 View largeDownload slide A painting done by the youngsters, as a gift to the head of the Art Museum in Norrköping Figure 1 View largeDownload slide A painting done by the youngsters, as a gift to the head of the Art Museum in Norrköping Opinions of young participants on outcomes The most tangible outcomes amongst youngsters were specific events, such as exhibitions, artistic decoration, activities such as soccer tournaments, cultural days and films. But for the youngsters themselves, it was the non-artistic activities, such as opportunities to meet each other, to plan and make things together that mattered. What also mattered was the leaders’ attitude of always listening to the youngsters, letting them have their say and take part in decision making. The participative and democratic spirit of the project was empowering: ‘Everyone who’s here can decide, even the youngest ones. Everyone’s equal’, said one interviewed participant (Åkerblom, 2014: 7). The strengthened self-esteem of the participants, trust in others, as well as a widened knowledge of the community, were also important outcomes. The progress made in terms of confidence and skills was impressive. Those who participated most actively and became engaged in social issues showed good results in school. The majority of these were girls. It was more difficult to reach the boys, and particularly to maintain continuous contact with them. Some quotes from Åkerblom’s evaluation (2014:9) exemplify further outcomes that were important for the participating youngsters: ‘I’ve become more social, I speak more, make contact with others. I’ve got more self-confidence here.’ ‘I’ve become better at daring to stand up in front of others and speak my mind. Before, I never dared to stand in front of the class and talk, but ever since I worked as an art guide at the museum I can speak anywhere.’ ‘Here, I’ve got many friends to speak Swedish with.’ ‘I learned to understand other people.’ (…) ‘The diversity is important.’ Throughout the project, youngsters were encouraged to make an impact in their own neighbourhood, but things take time, such as when they wanted to get basketball hoops in the playing field. It took about six months before these were set up. It took more than year before the long-awaited evening lighting on the artificial turf pitch was installed. Regardless of the delays, they did not give up their claims or voicing their endeavours (Figure 2). Figure 2 View largeDownload slide The first art experiment, decorative painting of chairs Figure 2 View largeDownload slide The first art experiment, decorative painting of chairs ‘I’m not only proud of being a part of Art-PIMPA, I can change my own neighbourhood, Marielund. We’re always trying to make it better.’ ‘No matter what, we’re like a family. Everybody is nice to each other. I’m really proud of how much we’ve achieved together.’ (Åkerblom, 2014: 8) New initiatives and processes After the project, a number of youngsters became engaged in other activities or organizations, such as Back-Up, a local network training young people to support other youngsters, in an out-reach work on the streets of the city. Others took an interest in Save the Children, and underwent leadership training. Some joined BRIS (Children’s Rights in Society), while others started fundraising for the Cancer Society or the Red Cross. The project became a process of ‘learning by doing’, or ‘action learning’, which is central in community work, based on the theories of Dewey (1916/1944) and Freire (1972). It took a long time to establish a relationship with the parents. Several attempts were made to invite them to the Open House, or to join excursions, but with poor results. But one summer day, the mother of one of the young girls came to Eva and asked if they could start something that would be an opportunity to meet other women and to practise their Swedish language skills. Eva helped them to gain access to a room in the Youth Centre (the Diversity House), where the women gathered every Friday afternoon. Three volunteers were engaged, for language teaching and to help with sewing and handicrafts. Eventually, twenty participants (from Somalia, Syria and Turkey), joined this women’s group. They have met regularly every week since 2014. A new association, IMAGINE, was organized to assist in starting new projects, such as the project Neighbourhood Cooperation (Grannsamverkan) for creating contacts between neighbours (Swedes and immigrants) in Röda stan and Marielund. The families have been to children’s theatre, visited museums, gone on trips together and had meals together, in order to get to know each other. The Women’s Group relocated to the local YMCA, close to Marielund. A Somali Association, Hornafro, located in the same building, wanted to co-operate with IMAGINE, in order to help teenagers and adults with school homework once a week. This service had been requested by parents and youngsters for a long time. A recent initiative is the Urban Farming Project, which was started in May 2016. Four Somali women and a couple from Bangladesh, all residents of Marielund, have joined the farming project together with some Swedish families, not far from Marielund. In spring 2016, IMAGINE organized a recreational weekend for female asylum seekers in Norrköping, visiting the countryside, learning about the Swedish Right of Public Access and learning traditional Swedish handicrafts. This project turned out to be very successful. The participants greatly appreciated being both recognized and treated as equals (Figure 3). Figure 3 View largeDownload slide Art-PIMPA was part of the Culture Parade in 2013, with this banner they had painted themselves Figure 3 View largeDownload slide Art-PIMPA was part of the Culture Parade in 2013, with this banner they had painted themselves Community arts and community work Respect for human dignity, the participatory principle and collective action are some of the core values and foundations of community work across the world (Hutchinson, 2009; Pyles, 2014; Breivik and Sudmann, 2015; Popple, 2015). Swedish community work is influenced by international traditions of community development, community organization, community planning and, since the 1990s, by an increasing diversity of community-based approaches (Turunen, 2004, 2009, 2017). Art-PIMPA was carried out as community work, including relationship building, identifying, articulating and visualizing ideas, needs, and problems as well as interests, organizing activities and cooperation, encouraging interrelationships and social action in order to empower people, in this case youngsters, adults and other stakeholders in acting together to achieve common goals of social development and change. In fact, using the arts is not a new phenomenon within community work. At the end of the nineteenth century, the settlement movement started cultural activities and art galleries in segregated local communities (Addams, 1910/1981). The settlement movement was initiated in London. It spread to the United States and other countries, including Sweden, where it continues as the youth and cultural centres of today (Turunen, 2004; Fritidsforum, 2017). Internationally, community art has been developed in diverse forms from North America to China, from capacity building (Borrup, 2007) to mobilizing community activism (Cohen-Cruz, 2002, 2010) or the political mobilization of women (Chang Fung Yi, 2012). Earlier examples of community-based art within community work in Sweden are music performances and the sewing of Roma clothes by Roma people in Stockholm (Turunen, 1992), community theatre (play writing and performance) by young people within community work in a newly built suburb, Skarpnäck, in Stockholm (Turunen, 1988, 2017) and arts and craft by immigrant women at an expanded family centre, Gemensamma Krafter (the Joint Forces), in Jakobsgårdarna in Borlänge (Turunen, forthcoming). In 2012, a special issue of Nordic community arts was published in Journal of Arts & Communities (2012). In 2013 and 2014, a collaborative project ‘Visualize the Invisible’ took place in Sweden and Albania (Åberg and Alfreds, 2014). In this project, video, performance, music and dance were created in residential areas, Roma communities and social institutions such as prisons, schools and care institutions. The latest Swedish initiatives in the field of community art are taking place within the programme ‘Art is Happening’, managed by the Public Art Agency of Sweden, which offers financial support for public art, participation and community involvement, particularly in the Million Programme areas (Statens konstråd, 2016). Borrup (2007) identifies five areas for art projects that have enhanced community development and change: using local assets, arts and culture for promoting interaction in public space; increasing civic participation through celebrations; engaging young people in the community; promoting the power and preservation of place; and broadening participation in the civic sphere and community planning. Art-PIMPA mainly fits into the area of engaging young people in the communities. This process engaged young people in interacting, participating and mobilizing both resources and themselves for local development and change, as well as for self-directed knowledge creation and empowerment. A glocal cosmopolitan outlook Based on the case of Art-PIMPA, a glocal cosmopolitan outlook in community art requires a cosmopolitan respect – instead of national preoccupations – for human beings and their needs regardless of background or context. Historically, cosmopolitanism meant being a ‘citizen of the world’ as in Ancient Greece, implying that all human beings belong to a single community, based on a shared morality. According to Appiah (2006), cosmopolitanism is more complex than this, and requires both moral and political reflection on human obligations in the face of a diversity of backgrounds and beliefs. In Appiah’s view, contemporary cosmopolitanism provides us with a politico-ethical challenge in dealing with both the universal and particular human needs with which we are faced. In our understanding, this outlook can help us to reflect on both human similarities and differences and even to bridge gaps, in our cities and further afield, across continents in a world of strangers. Beck (2005) criticizes naïve cosmopolitanism in terms of the cosmopolitanization of the world. According to Beck, our reality is cosmopolitanized from global politics to everyday life, giving rise to complex processes of globalized (in our understanding glocalized) interconnectedness, including conflicts and risks, but also opportunities for change. One example of cosmopolitanization is seen in contemporary residential areas with a plurality of diverse nationalities and languages, such as Marielund. Therefore, a cosmopolitan outlook is necessary, not only in politics and science but also in everyday life, implying that even gated communities must come to an end. Within community development, the cosmopolitan outlook is discussed by Kenny (2016) from a socioeconomic perspective, conceiving communities as hybrid entities with multiple identities and loyalties, rather than as fixed entities. In Marielund, cosmopolitanization was recognized as an ethical–practical and civic challenge in order to enable respect for human rights and action, leading successively to the creation of Art-PIMPA, a place and space for gathering, communication and transformative action. Summary and conclusion Art-PIMPA is a small-scale example of community art in Sweden. It dealt with both the universal and particular needs of people in a glocally divided and segregated residential area. Its multifaceted characteristics have been contextualized and described in order to provide a holistic understanding of Art-PIMPA in a transitional Swedish society. With reference to Appiah (2006), Beck (2005) and Kenny (2016), the concept of a glocal cosmopolitan outlook means in this study an awareness of the complex interconnectedness and interdependence of people in glocal contexts, where people from diverse parts of the world shape their lives transnationally and transculturally. It requires a holistic understanding of the context as well as ethical–political reflection and action beyond the national and cultural preoccupations of strangers at all levels of society. Art-PIMPA required a cognitive and emotional conception of varying endeavours by residents with diverse backgrounds, problems, needs, interests, fears, wishes and emotions in their everyday lives. Additionally, the initiative of Art-PIMPA demanded a glocal cosmopolitan empathy and engagement in order to take initiatives, to enable possibilities and facilitate practical action together with those concerned. Even though the three-year project period of Art-PIMPA is over, the empowering and mobilizing activities and processes have continued to expand in Marielund. The example of Art-PIMPA shows that making community art is a form of community work that can help in meeting needs, exploring places, and facilitating creative change. Art-PIMPA shows that imagination and the arts can be used for visualizing the invisible; that is, the needs and interests of youngsters and women who are marginalized on the Swedish labour market and poorly recognized within society. The most appreciated art activities among the young people were participation in films, exhibitions and soccer tournaments, along with excursions. Among the women it was excursions, sewing and urban farming. For the participating youngsters, what mattered most was the opportunity to gather, participate and make decisions. The glocal cosmopolitan outlook of humanity and citizenship does not only deal with theories of human rights, but also with acting for and promoting human dignity and social change in practice. This is also our argument for why it is necessary to generate ethical–practical knowledge from everyday life and its practices. This means that one must also be aware of the risks of making use of community arts for aesthetic reasons only, by forgetting the need for real change when it comes to poverty and segregation. Meade and Shaw (2007) warn against utilizing the arts as means of political displacement and distracting attention from the real causes of social problems. On the other hand, it is also argued that creativity needs to be recognized as an integral part of social activism, which can encourage the emancipatory potential of the aesthetic activity and experience (Clover, 2007). The specific aim of Art-PIMPA was to explore possibilities for empowering young people and creating space for artistic activities that would encourage participation, self-expression and collective action, not to study the effects of the project on Marielund or its inhabitants. In order to create new space, skills and confidence in ‘visualizing the invisible’, the youngsters were encouraged to express their own needs as well as to explore new places and spaces of action in order to empower themselves and transgress both mental and sociospatial boundaries. Engaging young people also meant gradually involving more and more adults, particularly women, for further creative exploration and transgression. 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Published: May 10, 2018

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