Po Hagström




Incoherent thoughts while changing diapers in the night #1

My involvement in "Forest Food for Thought" has made me think more about how we shape nature, and how the shaped nature shapes us. The aim is to plant a forest garden at the Stockholm campus, a sustainable envoronment in which people will experience peace – in fact the very thing we lost when we first started cultivating plants.

Humanity has existed for about 200 000 years. For the first 190 000 years we travelled in small groups, living of the things we hunted and found. That only required two or three hours of work a day, and the rest of the time we took it easy, simply hanging out with each other.
But then, 10 000 years ago, we started to cultivate plants. This was hard work. It wore us down and made us sick, which gave us the idea of getting someone else to do the work, and so, slavery was born. And since sowing needs planning and seed needs to be stored, bureaucracy and hierarchy were born too. And our storages were riches so we created weapons of war and armies to use them.

I tell my wife this when I get back to bed. She asks me if I need to get some slaves if the garden at campus is realized. "Forest garden, love" I tell her, "forest garden! Thats the whole point – no more slaves, wars or bureaucracy." And I go back to sleep.




Incoherent thoughts while changing diapers in the night #2

My son really likes to pee when his diapers are off, and little by little this hobby has changed the character of our bathroom.He is only two months old, but since the meaning of a place is defined by how it is used and the stories told about it, it is only fair to say that he has redefined the rest of our home too.
Another peeing boy has become the symbol of Brussels. This small statue is only 60 cm high, but since it has the love and interest of the people, they have protected and cared for him since the 15th century. He is even dressed up in costumes on festive occations – he has about 500 garments, including an Elvis and a Mickey Mouse outfit.
So why was this statue erected?
No one knows. Does it matter?

What does it mean to create a forest garden, a new public space, at the Stockholm campus? No matter how clearly the meaning or value of a public space or object has been stated, these are ignored and replaced if people consider them to represent something else. Sometimes we agree with the stated value, sometimes we disagree. Sometimes the value reveals itself when he object has been removed. Sometimes no stories arise since we really dont care about the thing that is erected. The meaning is not static, it evolves as long as we act and talk. 

The telling of a story of a forest garden at the Stockholm campus has begun.
It is evolving now, we are writing it. We cannot control it but as long as it maters to people it will grow and live on.
Last updated June 2017 © Po Hagström