Welcome to the Rough Planet Guide to Skåne!
At the present moment, midway through the Twentyfirst Century, Sweden’s southernmost county is going through many changes—as is the case for much of the rest of the world, of course.
Among those changes are not just the types of people who come to Skåne, but also the reasons for their doing so, and the means by which they come.
This guide takes as both inspiration and template the guidebooks which could be bought during the so-called “golden age” of tourism, namely the last quarter of the C20th: informative, but a little bit irreverent; practical, but (we hope) a pleasure to read for its own sake.
But tourism ain’t what it used to be… and by and large, that’s probably for the best. While it’s a delight (and a very human desire) to experience new places and meet new people, the consequences of that “golden age” of cheap travel have finally caught up with us, with Skåne, and with the world.
People still travel for fun, of course! But they do so less often, more slowly, and (for the most part) over shorter distances than before. Others, meanwhile, travel by necessity—for while the changing climate has made (and keeps making) its mark on Skåne, it has done less damage here than elsewhere. Skåne thus offers an environmental respite (or an economic opportunity) to those whose opportunities have been foreclosed upon in the place they call home.
We hope this guide will be of use to those not-quite-so-voluntary travellers, as well as to those who are lucky enough to visit Skåne for business or pleasure. And we are confident that wherever you go—well, almost wherever you go—you will be assured of an authentically comforting (if not necessarily effusive) Skånian welcome.
Perhaps you’d like to dive straight into to the various regions of Skåne, which we have bundled up into five geographically-defined “buckets” for your ease of exploration? Or perhaps you’d rather familiarise yourself with the local history?
Maybe you’re more practical, and would prefer to work out how you’re going to get here, and how you might get around once you do? Maybe you’re coming to work, or to escape the heat further south? Perhaps you’re big on sports, long on learning and doing, or keen to catch the latest thing, wherever and whenever it may be happening?
Or maybe you’re just an old-fashioned sightseer, and want to get some ideas of sights to see?
Whichever and however-so-many of these you may be, we hope we’ve got you covered!
Oh, yeah—there’s one more thing we should probably point out…
… this guide is entirely fictional.
You probably guessed that already, right? We have tried our best to leave clues without breaking the spell of the conceit! And we would also like to point out that, while the guide is entirely fictional, the fictions which it contains are nonetheless based on research, both on the desk and in the field, and all of the locations are real places in Skåne.
This guide is an example of what is sometimes called “narrative prototyping”, but if that sounds a bit intimidating, you might prefer to think of it as a creative technique of futuring—a way of exploring the possibilities of the times ahead, both negative and positive, and making the changes that might result accessible and engaging (and, dare we say it, maybe even a little entertaining) for a wide, non-specialist audience. We’ve done similar sorts of projects before, as part of the Climaginaries research network, and elsewhere.
One thing we are definitely not doing here is making predictions: this website is not prophecy, not a promise or a threat. We are confident that almost everything we portray herein in is plausible… but that doesn’t mean it’s always probable. That’s an important distinction! A lot will depend on what happens between the present in which you are reading this text, and the mid-century future that this text dares to depict.
As such, we suggest that your reaction(s) to the future(s) we have tried to bring to life on these (web)pages are the most important thing, and we’re not interested in telling you how you should feel about it. Instead, we would like to suggest that if there’s a future in this guide that you’d rather we didn’t end up with, then perhaps you might like to think about what you could do, if anything, to prevent it; and if there’s a future you’d really like to live in, perhaps you might like to think about what you could do to make it happen.
The research and creation of this guide was supported by from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 895807, and from the Swedish research council FORMAS under grant agreement No. 01990. The following people were directly involved:
- Eléonore Fauré (lead researcher)
- Johannes Stripple (PI / supervisor)
- Emma Hansen (research assistant)
- Diana Eriksson Lagerqvist (research assistant)
- Ruben Ritzén (research assistant)
- Ludwig Bengtsson Sonesson (research assistant)
- Paul Graham Raven (copyediting, website development)
The Gipsön articles stem from and were nurtured by a collaborative process in the transdisciplinary art and research project Humus Economicus at National Historical Museums (Sweden), funded by FORMAS; the project team consists of Janna Holmstedt (PI), Christina Fredengren, Jenny Lindblad, Malin Lobell, Karin Wegsjö, and Cecilia Åsberg