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Hardcore Forest

Posted: February 3rd, 2012

Looking to understand a bit more about Umea, we started  the day with a visit to the Västerbotten Museum, which houses various local exhibitions of Swedish culture. We were lucky to get an appointment with Karin, who runs the “popular movement archive.” The archive houses various ephemera from Umea popular culture, which includes everything to membership logs from alcoholics anonymous groups, to church accounting books from the 1800’s. Currently Karin is working on establishing an archive of the Umea Hardcore scene that gained international recognition here in the ’90’s (and which she herself was active in!)

Hardcore History in UmeaBlithe and Karin

After our visit we toured the rest of the museum, we were especially drawn to the old skis and snowshoes and this photo of this Sami storage shed.

Sami Shed

Today the temperature averaged around -8F. (Right  now -15F, but the weather channel says it feels like -30.) We are told that this is even cold for Umea. Luckily, we came prepared. So far our gear seems to be working.

We then came back to the apartment and had our first brainstorming session. We let ourselves speak freely and without judgment. We talked about “the problematics of seduction/ nostalgia of beautiful snow.”  More on that soon…

Then we went for a beautiful seductive nostalgic walk in the snowy forest on the trails behind our apartment. It was 3pm, so the sun was starting to go down. It cast a firey light on the trees as we were walking. On the property, there is also a re-creation of a traditional Swedish village (that is part of the Västerbotten museum). It simultaneously feels magical and artificial.

Snowy Wonderland

Umea Forest

We ended the day with a delicious dinner at a restaurant in the town center with our gracious IASPIS hosts. We enjoyed the company of new friends. Apparently on Mary’s last visit to Umea she scared the locals by her desire to walk the river. Everyone continues to express concern and strongly suggests that we do NOT walk on the river now, which is “not quite ready.”

Tomorrow… we are going to the river.

Mary Falls (for Louise)

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