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Jakob Ehrensvärd | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Tar and old wood tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Tar and old wood

Not unique to Sweden, the last fifty years of urbanization have left a large number of old homes, factories, railway stations, barns and farms abandoned out in the countryside.

A bit more specific to Sweden and our Nordic neighbors and in particular in the north are houses traditionally built entirely in wood and pine tar being the only paint used. The persistence of this combination is really amazing and buildings that obviously have been left for decades still stand firm to the harsh climate.

Although most of these left buildings are open, a part of me prevents me from entering. Often, the sense of a tragic and unworthy downwards slope to the bitter end just gives a bad taste when leaving. By all practical means, is a matter of life and there is not really very much to mourn. However, when I see it with your own eyes and start to think about the apparent conflicts between the old and the young, it feels sad and in the same time inevitably.

The winter time meant hard work in bitter cold to harvest the forest, the spring and early summer meant preparations for the timber floatation on the rivers followed by the farming season. As prosperity grew in the post-WWII era, this way of living was doomed as the young fled the countryside looking for a more promising future in the urbanized areas.
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