We live in Borås
Borås is a city in the southwest of Sweden, an hour from Gothenburg. It helds about 100 000 citizens, from which approx 1/4 has a non-Swedish origin. The city has a tradition of being a hub for textile industry, but the last decades the production has moved to other countries. Now, the city of Borås has developed into a typical post-industrial city - an entrepreneurial ethos focusing on events and urban branding, and the problem with socio-economical and ethnic segragation is urgent.
Why we want to be part of Inside Out
We believe that we can create an inside out project that will suit our community great, a project where the citizen of Borås can be united and feel a stronger connection to each other. Despite all our differences. We are a group of people who work together against rasism and xenophobia and for a society where everyone can participate and have power.
Nationalistic parties are growing in Sweden. In the elections last fall the nationalistic party, the Sweden democrats, got as much as 13 % in the national election, and the same happened in Borås as well. This is extremely alarming. We want to create a different kind of debate, a debate on how we can make every citizen feel like an important piece in our municipalitys puzzle. We believe that Borås will be a much better place if we all help out to create a city for all of us. In Borås every fourth person has an other ethnical background then swedish, but that doesn´t change the fact that our city belongs to us all. And it should be shown in the municipality, both when it comes to politics and in the citys other affairs. Our city has big problems with segregation.
We want our project to be called ”We see you”. For two reasons, one that it means that we see each other, but also that we see our politicians. The plan is to paste the pictures on the outside wall of our City Hall ( we had to change to "Kulturhuset", the house of culture and art in Borås), so it can be displayed how the people of this city looks like, and that we see what is going on our streets. The people are the foundation of any city, but in our it seems like many of us seem to be forgotten by the local politicians.
Photos will be taken the 17th of june during a family day in a part of town that is seen as an important ”integration project”. The pasting of the wall will be done in september, during 3-5 days (about 40 pics), it will be done at the same time as the citys street art festival ”No limit” is held. Famous artists from all over the world will do big murals in the city. The street art festival could be an all positive thing, except for zero involvment from the citizens of Borås. The local politicians are extremely proud over the festival. But there are no legal murals for the locals to paint on (!). So we think this would be a perfect time to tell them that they should let the citizens in to the local public art.
Nationalists in Sweden and Borås wants a Sweden where there´s only ONE culture. This is an extremely excluding project and we don´t want their sweden to happen. We want to show that we see everyone as an important person in creating our city, no matter where you are born or where your parents come from. We believe that the best way to build a good society is to include people in the process, that´s why we plan to do this together with the people who wants to help, and who wants to share their story to the project. Everyone doesn´t need to be best friends, but if we learn to work together then nationalism and racist views will loose chances to root in our city.
A common saying is that Borås was on front pages all over the world because of the street art festival because of all the great artists that visited and did murals. Now it is time for us, boråsare, to spread the word about our city, and make a tribute to the public culture as well. As long as we don´t get to participate we won´t feel pride and joy about the project. We need to be part of all decisions taken about and for our society. Together we can create a city where everything has a place, except for segregation and dividing politics.