In the sixties and early seventies you thought you won victories

In the sixties and early seventies you thought you won victories. You were happy. Things changed. No backlash in sight.

That was not true for long. Elementary fights for rights had to be taken again. Things, concepts thought to be evident just disappeared.

Were they destroyed or could they be repaired? Must you begin from scratch or is something to be learned from looking backward or at least recognised?

If you think there is something to repair, you have to study the object or concept observant. What is its history? You have to learn about its history, the way of constructing it and how it was used before.

I will pay attention to the concept of work. You all know what is said about work in the capitalist society. Marx and Engels have told about power and exploitation. But still there is much to reflect on today about what work is in a qualitative meaning.

Work is in a way a social act, has a content of reform and creation. This is a concept to repair.

In the sixties the French philosopher André Gorz was an inspiring questioner of the concept. He was an important source of inspiration for Modellen, a model for a qualitative society, which opened at Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm in autumn 1968. Together with a Danish student at the Academy of Art in Copenhagen Palle Nielsen I wrote a letter to the director of the museum, asking for place to install a room for the creative play of children.

The concept “a qualitative society” was borrowed from André Gorz, questioning “what is work for?”

Why do you work, for what do we need work? What constitutes necessities? In the Model children were our guides into a society of creative, social activities.

The concept of work rise the questions, what is work for? What shall I produce more than things? Skill, necessities, beauty, wellbeing, social empathy? What is worth to work for?

A product represent work. Meaningful work? Work shaping meaning? Worth to repair? What meaning does repairing contributes?

I got once much inspired by a book Per Myrströms Pannkakor circa 12 stycken just to reflect on what things represents in skill and work and poetry.

Almost fifty years have gone since the joyful fight for alternatives in the sixties. So much disintegrated. You could always ask, what was the meaning? It is hard to answer. You will always have to find the meaning within yourself as a social creature. Never stop asking.

The world is much darker, but in the confidence in creative, collective work we could repair utopias hidden in everyday life.

Gunilla Lundahl

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