Three years have passed since when I moved to Norrbotten, northern Sweden. Since then, my curiosity pushed my here and there, all around the region, letting me find and discover some incredible and sometimes hidden places.
Unfortunately, I haven’t visited (nor identified) all of them, but I started to put some on a (my personal) map. Also thanks to the locals, who became immediately engaged in the topic and filled me in on the situation.
I have been calling them “spontaneous museums” since
- their exhibition spaces host collections of objects shown without any museographic criteria
- and their destiny is guided and influenced by private (and mostly individual) initiative.
Spontaneous museums in Norrbotten
They somehow represent the identity of the region, depicting its historical and demoethnoanthropological traces.
Go to Gällivare if you want to know more about mosquitos invading Swedish Lapland between June and July. Visit Boden and Patinamuseet if you are interested in mopeds, or fascinated by beauty or camping items coming from the past. And drive to Sörbyn in order to admire a room filled with woven straw ornaments.
In the following paper that I link here, one can read more about the reasons of such a definition (from The Unconfortable collection by Katerina Kamprani to Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence) and even more about some of the spontaneous museums I visited in Norrbotten. But there is a but. In the meanwhile* one of my favourite places, Holgers traktormuseum, has closed down and its tractors collection auctioned. Needless to say this is a big loss for the local cultural heritage and a common problem connected to places like that.
* The paper was presented in 2018 and published in 2019. The museum closed at the end of 2019.