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I began to mine our conversations for clues, for information on where to look, what to look at, who to look for.
Only later I realised that the dude with the harmonica is actually giving the finger.I spent hours drawing it, contemplating the loss of life in each pencil mark that built up to convey the decaying pile of abandoned flowers.The poster says: “Hussein Chit….1988083 to 20151803, allah yerhamak. Family.” There’s this thing about drawing from photographs that allows you to empathise.I’m not going to attempt to theorise to you now, standing here in Angered as an outsider, an observer, why it is that societies in Sweden, a country known to have one of the most accessible asylum immigration policies in Europe, second only to Germany who has welcomed more but also has a remarkably larger population than Sweden, can have such deeply embedded segregation systems within its urban communities.We could talk about physical divisions, the space between the city and the suburbs, or about the infrastructures that exist, or don’t exist, within these suburbs, or how difficult it is to rent property in Gothenburg, or the problematic racial notions of what it means to be biologically Swedish, as opposed to inherently so. I embarked on this journey, documenting my observations as I traversed the city.It was a jam session where musicians, both Swedish and from various African countries, kept arriving and adding to the beat.I’d been here about week at the time, only a week, and if it had been in London I probably wouldn’t have thought anything of it, but there was something so incredibly uplifting about this scene, how somehow, in music, all the bullshit segregation Gothenburgy stuff fell away, and everyone just danced. So I placed them in the middle of my drawing to honour the moment, with the singer, Kele, a trumpeter from Soweto, in midsong. * * * I slowly started to build up a picture of Gothenburg, which I rolled up once my month was up, mid-journey, knowing I’d be back in August to revisit it.One night, I was invited to a gig at a cultural centre near my studio.It was a non-tinder-induced invitation, so I went, and I’m glad I did.This was an image I found from a news story of a policeman beating a man after a skirmish involving two groups, one for and the other against the building of a mosque.And this, this was a thing that happened at this market in one of the suburbs, where a Swedish man took his whole family and held a placard which basically said, “Hey!