torsdag 28. november 2013

What is it about Odda?

It is time to let one of the locals speak. Jan Gravdal (Jangen) has for years fought for the values that reside in our local history:
"The history locally is in a way a kind of walk in the ruins of the buildings we should have taken care of. Something has happened. Those who have never understood what our heritage is, who does not understand that buildings are more than four walls and a roof. It is something more than the value of scrap. It's 100 years of generations’ work, stories that are stuck in the walls of the Cyanamid, in the Lind House, in the Furnace 3 (should have been furnace 1 and 2 as well), the cranes on the dock, the imports pier, the curved ceiling. There are more and more of your own who have seen it like you, that value is not in the scrap rate, but in the love of our heritage. And it is not the art of Picasso on the walls that is important, it is the stories in history, it is both the long and short lines."

lørdag 16. november 2013

The Smelter, year 2008

I am watching a wreck, 
a sleeping cyclope, 
a fallen giant.

Born 1906 - or was it 1908?
-It took two years to build.
Then a short century of Life: 
work conflicts,
strikes and factory closure in the 1920-ies, 
depresseion in the 1930-ies, 
wartime occupation in the early 1940-ies, 
new prosperity in the 1950-ies and the 60-ies 
- this Smelter, cornerstone of
the modern 
welfare society.

For almost one hundred years
the Smelter provided work 
to hundreds of men and 
housing, food, clothing and a decent life
to their families. 

Then, 2003, finally it is over -
no longer viable: 
«Get rid of it!»
«Tear the whole shit down!»

But why are they so hateful, these who say:
«Get it down!»
«Get it away, this shit!»
 Why this blind anger?

I am watching a wreck, 
a sleeping giant, 
a fallen cyclope.

Think about it -
for nearly one hundred years
the Smelter provided income,
life and welfare
to all these families in Odda.

Why not let imagination play? 
Why not try to think a little?

Can it be used for something,
this old Smelter and the history linked to it?

Can it still be useful -
this fallen giant
this cyclope
this mammoth
this tired monster
this herculean -
our exhausted elephant

- and all
the stories
behind this huge,
dirty, carbide smelling,
fallen giant’s body - 
can it be used for something?

Why such hatred erupts? -
«Tear the whole shit down.» 
What is this, actually?

One silent, rainy October Sunday
I climbed in there again,
I was walking up there 
on the platform
under the huge rooftop and 
I read this inscription 
in the soot black window:

then I was thinking: 
was their life, 
«small Lars and tiny Kari». 
- How 
was their life, 
and what happened