We were in Trondheim, Norway, last week – the third largest city in the country. It’s a tidy collection of picturesque wood houses, some modern developments that blend in well to the existing architecture and environment – and then this small stretch of alternative existence between a posh harbor development, an industrial area of what used to be WWII submarine docks, and a natural park. It came as a bit of a surprise – a sort of free-wheeling, politico-enviro encampment that resonated of the 1970s and early 80s.
The ‘environmental experiment’ known as the Reina area is co-administered by the self-named Svartla’mon residents and the city itself. Lots of shared urban gardening in the more private space behind this row of 19th-century buildings, lots of activist shops and cafés tucked here and there, a free shop (Gratisbutikken) and a large anarchic-looking playground/kindergarten that reminded me a bit of my own early childhood in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury.
At the end of the street, just before the neighborhood morphed suddenly into a large natural park, was this piece of wall art which I imagine is a statement on plastic, consumer goods, recyclability, as well as being a good signpost to the pocket protest area itself.
A couple of close-ups:
We noticed that none of the items were spray-painted – they were ordered by their original colors. A nice, sassy installation. I particularly liked the bathroom segment below, including the plastic soap holder, as well as the old typewriter above, very similar to the one I learned on myself.
A ten-minute hike from this area, the Lade neighborhood looks like this:
An abrupt transition, but no less interesting.