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Do you feel at home in Hökarängen?

‘Please Don´t Make Hökarängen Cooler’ is an art project that took place in Hökarängen in April 2013. The project grew out of artist Aiko Kubo´s monthlong studio residency at Atelier 123.

How do we become attached to the places in which we live? How does this attachment form over time? Attachment might be something we take for granted. We might overlook it, ‘overfeel’ or ‘oversmell’ it. Through the project, Aiko Kubo researched people’s sense of attachment to Hökarängen. She collaborated with photographer Stephanie Wiegner to create a project that aimed to grasp an everyday sense of the suburb. Street surveys, longer interviews, and visits to peoples’ homes, local shops and pubs resulted in a body of research that examined people´s feeling of attachment to Hökarängen. Walking the streets for one month, Aiko and Stephanie collected stories as they presented themselves, each one leading to the next like links in a chain. These stories and images comprise an archive of a specific moment in time and become part of the history of Hökarängen.

The residency resulted in an installation of temporary sculptures and a series of commemorative group photographs. The sculptures are made of objects borrowed from the participants that represent each person’s own idea of home. The group photographs document the sculptures together with the owners of the objects. Both the individual photo shoots with the temporary sculptures and the final exhibition at Atelier 123 gave rise to meetings and conversations between people in Hökarängen who had never met before.

In 2014 Jun, Atelier 123, Aiko Kubo and Stephanie Wiegner made a book ‘Please Don’t Make Hökarängen Cooler’ that presents interviews, stories and images, which did not appear as a part of the installation at Atelier 123 designed by Weng Cho Jui (Ray). This book talks about ideas of home, and documents unique experiences and memories of Hökarängen, collected from local residents and from people who work in and around the area. The photographs document the area’s mix of people, interiors, landscape and architecture.

The project started openly and associatively and was shaped over time by all of the participants. It developed together with them, according to what they felt like contributing. That process has contributed to the diversity of material in this book. Some people have a lot to say while others are represented only by a short text or a single photograph, thereby illustrating the actual character of the journey. This archive has inevitable holes and omissions, and so some things remain as mysteries and secrets. This is but a glimpse of Hökarängen, and there will always be new things to discover and new stories to be told.

Project concept: Aiko Kubo

Photography and photography concept: Stephanie Wiegner

Atelier 123: Maria Andersson & Finbar Krook Rosato

Text and Interview: Aiko Kubo

Interview partner: Stephanie Wiegner & Finbar Krook Rosato

Editor: Finbar Krook Rosato

Translation and proofreading: Finbar Krook Rosato, Maria Andersson and Marie Janevall

Book design: Weng Cho Jui (Ray)

Thanks to / tack till:

Arne, Fredrik, Maria-Magdalen, Siri, Harriet, Victor, Thea, Kim, Johan, Victor, Robin, Olof, Madeleine, Ibou, Adama, Aliou, Marthina, Rune, Peter, Paula, Marit, Ylva, Anna, Tayfun, Metin, Mimmi, Charlie, Elmer, Lovely, Siri, Oliver, Emilia, Max, Emma, Anja, Roger, Gabriela, Sara, Rosabella, Sabina, Lina, Bernt, Gunnar, Stefan, Gunilla, Lillian, Martha, Sam

and to everyone else who participated in the project /

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