FORM Magazine – June 2023
English | 86 pages | pdf | 63.32 MB

Welcome at FORM Magazine June 2023 Issue

This is the time of year when I, like many others, turn my gaze longingly to the east – to a flat little island in the Baltic Sea. I am of course talking about Gotland, that su­pernaturally beautiful place to which some of us are lucky enough to have a fixed connection.
The massive invasion of mainlanders during the summer weeks is naturally met with mixed feelings among island residents. With the visitors come job opportunities but also congestion, drunken­ness and jam-packed ferries.
In addition, prices have been pushed up far beyond what is justified by inflation. A return ferry ticket for a family with children and a car now costs somewhere in the region of 8,000 SEK. It remains to be seen how that will affect the stream of tourist and summer revenues.
Anyway, as you can probably tell from this issue of Form, creati­vity on the island is flourishing. Just like in Iceland, it seems that factors like its isolated location and the need for self-sufficiency have contributed to Gotlanders becoming particularly handy and artistic.
During the dark days of winter, art, crafts and design can be a pastime that feeds the soul. I have personally spent a winter in Visby and realised that such voluntary isolation can provide space for social encounters, reflection and creativity.
Or suffering. Like the poet Sonja Akesson from Buttle in the central part of the island describes autumnal Vis by in her collec­tion Situationer:
No, Sonja Akesson was no romantic of Gotland. At the age of 25, she moved to Stockholm and only ever turned back in her poems. She died far too early of liver cancer and is sadly as good as forgotten on her home island – the local Sonja Akesson so­ciety shut down in 2019 due to lack of interest.
Today there are many young intellectuals, artists, designers and craftsmen who take pride in remaining on their island. Many also return after a few years on the mainland or abroad, which con­tributes to a lively countryside and a particularly vibrant cultural climate. We ain’t moving, as the northern Swedes said during the green wave of the 1970s.
As you can read in Maria Molin’s report in this magazine issue of Form, today’s young designers on Gotland are often idea-driven entre­preneurs who prioritise environmental and social sustainability. Just like Sonja Akesson, they can pick up society’s rubbish and turn it into artistic gold.
And who knows – maybe we’ll meet on the island this summer? Happy reading!

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