Allmänningen revisited [att göra allmänning/ar]


Allmänningen revisited [att göra allmänning/ar] is an investigation based in architecture and art. The aim of the project is to investigate historical changes in two allmänningar [commons] and the consequence it has on peoples’ access and appropriation of public places in the current urban/rural landscape. Allmänningen revisited is part of PROCESSES, an exhibition curated by Veronica Wiman at Alvesta konsthall.

‘Allmänning’ is a place-specific term for land used and owned in common. Allmänningar have existed in Sweden since the Middle Ages. Kronoallmänningar, lands-, härads- and sockenallmänningar have been places for movement and shared use of land. In rural areas, there are allmänningar used for movement and shared agricultural practices and in urban areas the term is used for shared ‘greens or commons’. These shared places are important for spatial justice; for peoples’ participation in democratic development and politics, and for peoples’ recreation and health. Today, we see a contradictory process: on the one hand allmänningar/commons are privatised and fenced off and on the other, new allmänningar/commons are planned and constructed. We use this contradictory process to investigate allmänningen as both concept and practice: how has allmänningen been defined historically and what constitutes an allmänning today? Which common land has been accessible for peoples’ movement historically and through which common, urban/rural landscape do people move today? How is the allmänning used and who has access?

The project is grounded in a phenomenological, processual research tradition with artistic investigations and mapping as main approaches. Based on a transect through the Scanian landscape, the research team investigates two allmänningar/commons; Enskifteshagen in Malmö and Beträdorna in Djurslöv. The investigation has three methodological starting points: cartography, digging and video. The cartographic method comprise the creation and use of maps in various scales and materials; for example historical-morhpological maps; mobiles; literature reference lists, historical maps and regulations of use.

The cartographic material from the two allmänningar has been dug down, unearthed after a few months and then exhibited. The cartographic material, images from the digging and digital maps together form the material for videos. In all, the process will leave earthen traces on the maps, contributing first, to making explicit the relation between earth, land, maps, place and use-value and secondly, to the shifting conceptualisations of common/allmänning in the land regime of the 2010s.

Throughout the time period of the exhibition PROCESSES in 2018–2019, we continuously work with cartography and digging. The results are shown and discussed at exhibitions, workshops and seminars.

Project Website