Parachutist in Third Floor, Birds in Laundry

2005, multi-channel video installation and six paintings in public space
I. channel: 12’43”, II.- III. channel: 38’49”
Developed for Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art, Malmö, Sweden


The project ‘In 2052 Malmö will no longer be Swedish’ was inspired by a thesis that states that the Swedish population will be a minority in Sweden, due to immigration, by 2052, and was organised by Rosseum and colloborated with Nifca between 2002-2005. In this project, Ersen has included her work ‘Parachutist on the third floor, the birds in laundry’. For two years, Ersen’s research has focused on the relation between the former colonial practices and the control mechanism of social democracy, and it’s paradoxes and views on migration. 


In the 60s Swedish Social Democratic party began The Million Programme, a project which planned to provide affordable public housing, aimed at the typical Swedish working class family. Over time, since it’s creation, the housing estates which no longer satisfied the needs of Swede were settled in by large migrant families, as the Swede moved towards the city centres. Today, most of these areas are known for their dense populations of migrants, and for their high crime rates. 


Ersen endeavours to analyse the region through the view of local children, by interviewing at length two girls on their thoughts on the paintings which decorate the stairways of their flats. These paintings were done in the beginning of 1990s by a Swedish gardener with a talent for painting, whose work also involved renovating buildings in the area. The gardener finds inspiration through the images in immigrants’ memories of their native land. However, the paintings show a typical Swedish nature paintings with no relation to the places from where they emigrated. In a sense, the gardener’s own memories have distorted and transformed the places described to him. 


Ersen’s project consists of interviews with various residents at their apartments on their ideas of the future, and these interviews where interpretatated by another domestic worker from the public housing company, who has put the interpretation into paintings. These paintings are situated across the stairway from the previous paintings by the gardener.