Old mineshaft in Angelholm, visible as indentation in the ground
When drilling for coal in Angelholm in the 1870’s and 1880’s, methane gas would shoot from the drillholes. Near Hoja, where our cinema is located, several thin layers of coal were found between 90 and 230 meters down. None was extracted. In 1877, a mining shaft was dug in the woods between the city of Angelholm and the seashore. A company from Cardiff in Wales assisted in the digging. 52 men worked in the shaft. It was 5 meters wide, and reached a depth of 39 meters before the project was aborted. No coal was extracted.
Between 2008 and 2011, Shell Exploration and Production obtained the rights to search around 25% of the area of Skane (Scania) for minerals, mainly along the Colonus sink. The Colonus sink stretches diagonally across Skane from the southeast corner to the northwest (our region), and contains fossile gases. Shell performed trial drills in three sites, and planned for extraction using fracking. Protests and appeals put a stop to these plans.
The methane gas that shot from the drillholes in Angelholm in the 1870’s was eventually collected in a gasbell and used to light up cowsheds and gasstoves in a nearby farm for a few decades. The gas was 210 million years old.
About the drills in Angelholm >
About fracking in Scania >
Our cinema uses electricity generated by the sun to power a digital projector. But now there’s a cinema in London which uses sunbeams directly for projection of films. The sunlight is collected by a glass dome and channelled through an old overhead projector, passing through an LCD screen playing films. The Sun Cinema was constructed at the Imperial College London Physics department. It is housed in a yurt, and films are shown in a pool of light on a tabletop. A new type of flexible solarcells cover the yurt, and provide electricity for a small computer and an LCD screen.
The website for the project has instructions and blueprints for anyone wishing to build something similar:
We were fascinated by the projector that channelled sunlight, and got in touch with Geraldine Cox, who was artist-in-residence at the physics department when the Sun Cinema was built. Here’s how she describes the projector:
“The sunlight is directed through the lcd panel that has been extracted from an old computer screen (this is a fairly delicate operation and takes someone with electrical know how). The optical arrangement is simply an upside down overhead projector with the lcd panel placed where the transparency would normally sit and the projection lens focused down onto the table.”
On a recent trip to London we managed to visit to the amazing MayDay Rooms in 88 Fleet Street.
The building is used as an archiving transit space, where historical material on protest- and social movements is digitized, activated or connected to movements active in the present, and eventually passed on to suitable archives elsewhere. Quoting the website maydayrooms.org: “MayDay Rooms is a safe haven for historical material linked to social movements, experimental culture and the radical expression of marginalised figures and groups. It offers communal spaces to activate archives’ potential in relation to current struggles and informal research, challenging the widespread assault on collective memory and historical continuity.”
The building contains informal meeting spaces which can be used by outside organisations lacking premises of their own, or currently engaged with the archive material. Here’s the roof garden, designed by artist Nils Norman, across the street from the offices of investment bankers Goldman Sachs.
We were given a generous and personal introduction to the organisation and activities of MayDay Rooms by one of the founders, Anthony Davies, over a cup of tea in the canteen.
Lisa and Kalle in the Canteen
One of the documents that Anthony introduced us to was a soundrecording of Charles Mann, recounting his experiences working with a mobile outdoor cinema in 1930’s East End, showing Soviet films from a projector powered by the battery in his car.
Listen to it here
If anyone anywhere has any more information on the cinema of Charles Mann, please let us know!
Wednesday October 22:nd, we’re presenting our work and collected materials on specific aspects of the coalmining industry in northwest Scania (nordvastra Skane). The presentation will be held in a greenhouse in the central park Slottstradgarden in Malmo.
spread from På Kolgruvornas Tid, edited by Brita Hardenby
The brilliant and angry poet Elsa Grave grew up in Nyvang, in a garden next to the slagheap and the mining shafts. In the open archive of Swedish television there’s a film in which she speaks of her childhood environment (about ten minutes into the film):
The slagheap in Nyvang and the closed down dinosaur theme park placed upon it was the subject of our first post-industrial fieldtrip, previously covered on the blog here.
We’ve also collected films recorded during the 1940’s, the Klondyke-period of the coalmines, when private citizens opened coalmines in their gardens and farmlands. Read about The Klondyke-period in an article from Ny Teknik here.
The first film was recorded by Billesholm Hembygdsforening in 1947. Billesholm I Helg Och Socken has a short segment on the private coalmines, with running commentary from a local historian. The second film was recorded by Hoganasbolaget Inc. in 1941-2. Det Svarta Guldets Klondyke has images from the early days of the Klondyke-period, when equipment was sometimes primitive and ad hoc solutions were common. Current day Billesholm Hembygdsforening has a DVD of Billesholm I Helg Och Socken available from their website, and Stawfordska Stiftelsen are caretakers of the archives, including filmreels, at Hoganasbolaget Inc. The films made at Hoganasbolaget Inc. used to be screened in a special cinema, placed in a mine 100 meters below ground.
Read more about the event here.
About the organizers of the event, Living Archives here.
We’ve now got a van for upcoming tours with the cinema. Bright yellow! It used to belong to the post office in Malmö.
From a personal guided tour of the Museum of Neo-Realism
in Vila Franca de Xira, held by artist Nikolai Nekh
Quote: “When politics get aestheticized, maybe it’s time to politicize aesthetics”
While waiting for the next outdoor season, we’ve got a number of activities coming up. Over the next two months, look for announcements on public presentations in Gothenburg and Stockholm; the second of our post-industrial field trips; and the Open Call starting to spread. At the moment we’re looking at the programming for next summer, and are also preparing a presentation on Kuxa Kanema newsreels from Mozambique.
The Sunshine Socialist Cinema arranges occasional fieldtrips. In nearby Nyvång and Åstorp, just next to the E4 motorway, lies a slagheap atop what used to be the largest coalmine in Sweden. The mine was active between 1911 and 1966.
When the mine was open, about 400 people worked here underground, and 100 people aboveground. There’s a small museum in the building that sits on top of the miningshaft.
The slagheap has been declared a landmark and part of our cultural heritage.
More recently, the slagheap hosted a dinosaur themepark, Dinoland, which presented around 30 lifesize models of dinosaurs.
One of the carts from the themepark sports two pairs of re-used wheels.
Previously placed on two separate mining carts, possibly.
The dinosaur themepark has also closed down. It’s featured as one of the sites in the upcoming film Äta sova dö (Eat sleep die) by Gabriela Pichler.
For our studygroup, this site gets to represent an attempted transition from industrially based local economy to one based on culture and entertainment. A slideshow of images from the slagheap was presented at one of our screenings this summer.