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HomeLifestyle85-year-old Tage Johansson's Hometown Disappears: 'I Wanted to Rebel'

85-year-old Tage Johansson’s Hometown Disappears: ‘I Wanted to Rebel’

The Disappearance of Malmberget

  • Tage Johansson’s Story
    • Memories of Bergmansgatan 2 Tage Johansson, 85, has lived in Malmberget all his life. He remembers shopping at the consumer store on the ground floor of Bergmansgatan 2 for many years. He points to the gable of the house where his relatives once lived and recalls, “There are some damn stairs on the inside, steep as hell”. The house reflects what Malmberget could look like in the 1950s and 60s, according to Wesley Overklift, communications and marketing strategist at LKAB.
    • The Move Moving Bergmansgatan 2 requires two trailers and a balance test to ensure it does not exceed certain pressure. The move begins with shoveling out from under the house and placing beams under the foundation to make the house stable. Cars line up on a hill opposite the house to witness one of the last moves in Malmberget. Private individuals gather to watch while workers struggle to get started.
    • Documenting the Community’s Disappearance Tage Johansson has seen how Malmberget went from having a thriving center with several cinemas and shops to an industrial area. To document the community’s disappearance, he updates social media frequently and has even published his own book. He says, “Some people I talk to can’t bear to go here, they don’t want to see how the society they lived in has turned into scrap heaps”.
  • The Future of Malmberget
    • Moving Houses Moving houses in Malmberget has become more common since the decision was made in 2012 between Gällivare municipality and LKAB that most of Malmberget would be transformed into an industrial area before 2032. Approximately 2,000 homes and 250,000 square meters of living and office space must be dismantled and rebuilt in both Gällivare and Koskullskulle. Currently, LKAB has moved around 74 houses from Malmberget and Bergmansgatan 2 is being moved to a newly built area near Lake Nuolajärvi in Gällivare with a mix of old houses from Malmberget, new apartments and villas.
    • Tage Johansson’s Mixed Feelings Tage Johansson has mixed feelings about losing his old hometown and wishes he could have resisted more when news of the transformation came out. He explains, “I wanted to make a rebellion but everyone has come of age, there is no one who ignites this”. Despite his sadness, he watches as Bergmansgatan 2 slowly rolls away from Malmberget towards its new home with a sense of peace knowing that it will live on in another place.
  • The End of an Era
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