Eleven years later
On June 16 2012, together with a hundred volonteers (hopefully), we are making a filmed a re-enactment of the events at the Schillerska Gymnasium during the EU summit in 2001. Join us! We are looking for students, historians, dancers, cleaners, poets, union members, sans-papiers, demonstrators, service workers, field-biologists, unemployed, queer activists, parents, pensioners, groups that work together, and other interested in appropriating an hour of Gothenburg’s contemporary history.
The idea is not to cast judgment, nor to present an exact account of what happened, but to present a different take on the event: as movements. Those will be performed without dramatization, scripts or costumes, and without weapons, dogs or the tension from the preceding days’ turmoil when police fired at Swedish demonstrators for the first time since striking workers were shot by the military in Ådalen 1931.
On June 16, 2001 the Special Task Force Military Police, in black helmets and riot uniforms, bearing automatic weapons, entered the Schillerska Gymnasium in Gothenburg. The school was at the time used as a hostel for protestors that had travelled to Gothenburg for the EU summit. 78 people were ordered out into the schoolyard and forced to lie on the rain-wet ground with their heads down for 45 minutes up to over an hour, without explanation or being allowed to move or speak.
Among those at Schillerska that night were people from the organization Nature and Youth Sweden (Fältbiologerna), the group Lena (named after Swedish actor Lena Nyman) who had handed out fair trade bananas during the demonstrations, a Greek-Swedish journalist and author exposed to torture in Greece in the 1970s, a group from the left Workers Party Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna from Umeå in northern Sweden, and Rampenplan a group from the Netherlands, who ran a community kitchen cooking and selling cheap food to demonstrators.
According to the police, an armed, yellow-haired German terrorist would be in the school. No such person was found. But 78 people were forced to lie down on the wet ground around an hour, before being searched and filmed and then to be released. Foreign citizens were put on a bus and transported to another part of the city for a so-called “special inspection of foreigners”.
No one at Schillerska was arrested or prosecuted. Four policemen were prosecuted for misconduct the following year, but were acquitted of charges. In the eyes of the law, the police were not in the wrong.
Can we change this violent incident by adding another, more ambiguous version to the existing story?
One where protesters aren’t lying on the ground by legal force but go together and lay down on the schoolyard voluntarily?
Where we lend our bodies to others’ movements, thereby making them shared?
PLEASE JOIN IN ON THE RE-ENACTMENT, JUNE 16, EVERY BODY IS NEEDED
> Sign up at http://www.elvaarsenare.se or e-mail your name to firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT AM I SIGNING UP FOR?
When you sign up you will receive an info email, but briefly:
Come to Schillerska, Vasagatan 19 on Saturday, June 16, 7 PM. Participate in the preparation talk. Eat some food. Participate in the re-enactment from around 9PM to 11.30 PM.
If you don’t live in Gothenburg, we will pay cheap travel costs and hostel accommodation.
The project believes in and depends on people’s will to try to work together. We hope you want to join us.
> Please pass this on to others that might be interested. Thank you.
Eleven years later is a project run by artist Maja Hammarén with support from The Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts at the University of Gothenburg, and Konstnärsnämnden; the Swedish Art Grants Committee- the Visual Art Fund.
Maja Hammarén, email@example.com
Contact coordinator Emilia Mellberg, 0763-070 352, firstname.lastname@example.org