3 December 2020

A careful strike*

Ruben Nilsson, The historia of the Workers Movement, c. 1940. Photo credit: Henrik Andersson.

A Careful Strike*
December 3, 2020–February 21, 2021

Sveavägen 41
SE-111 40 Stockholm
Hours: Wednesday–Friday 12–6pm,
Saturday 12–4pm


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History Is Not Over (February 12, 1934): September 17, 5–8pm
Agentur presents a joint reflection on a central event in the history of antifascism.

Belarus: Tomorrow Should Not Be the Same: October 15, 6–8pm
Problem Collective and guests on Belarus today and the condition for artistic production, solidarity and strike.

To Riot Is to Love Our Survival: November 5, 6–8pm
Judith Kiros in conversation with Stefano Harney and Fred Moten.

Reports from Ports and Logistics Struggles: November 12, 6–8pm, Union activists from Napoli, Genoa and Gothenburg. What connects political strikes with work related conflicts?

Opening A Careful Strike*: December 3, 6–8:30pm
Performances by Hanni Kamaly, Iris Smeds and Hannah Wiker Wikström. Jenny Richards and Bodies of Care. Margareta Ståhl and Bella Rune on Union banners.

Transvestias 56-years Jubilee: December 5, 2–3pm
Eva-Lisas monument – a memorial over the lesbian activist and trans pioneer Eva-Lisa Bengtsson.
On the Dermis of History: January 21, 6-8pm
Behzad Khosravi Noori on his work that departs from the Felestin square monument in Teheran that celebrates Palestine.

Finissage A Careful Strike + release of Lulu-journalen#12: February 21, 6–8:30pm
Performance by Mattin, talk with Bini Adamczak, readings by Andria Nyberg Forshage.
Bini Adamczak, Agentur, Diana Agunbiade-Kolawole, Black Audio Film Collective (John Akomfrah), Henrik Andersson, Problem Collective, Chto Delat?, Harun Farocki, Andria Nyberg Forshage, Dora García, Benj Gerdes, Stefano Harney, Salad Hilowle, Sam Hultin, Ingela Johansson, Hanni Kamaly, Patrick Kretschek, Mattin, Minus Miele, Fred Moten, Ruben Nilson, Behzad Khosravi Noori, Oliver Ressler, Jenny Richards, Bella Rune, Katarina Pirak Sikku, Karl Sjölund, Iris Smeds, Hito Steyerl, Margareta Ståhl, Hannah Wiker Wikström
Mint presents A Careful Strike
; a group show and public program that departs from the painting The History of the Workers Movement by the sheet metal worker, musician and artist Ruben Nilson (1893–1971), permanently installed in one of Mint's gallery rooms. Painted after work hours during a ten years period, finished around 1940. Following a tradition of workers' art, the collective struggle for emancipation is at the centre of Nilson's painting.
The exhibition follows Nilson's artwork both in its ambition and challenge: What does a reproduction of a movement's history entail? What different roles can art play in social movements and through which expressions? How is art engaged in today's movements? A dialogue with the specific struggles and the histories that inform Nilson's composition of intertwined visual narratives, structured through visible conjoined cuts form the curatorial framework of the exhibition. The works historical connections to contemporary situations are also put in relation to what is missing within the frame – the histories and experience that are left out while establishing a prevalent worker's history.
A Careful Strike* is an exhibition and a public program where workers' art is confronted with contemporary works. The form and history of social movements are reflected through situated experiences of migration, care, exploitation and struggle. Through songs, poetry, talks and artworks historical events and issues are made visible in a conversation on our current condition.
Curator: Michele Masucci
Mint: Emily Fahlén, Asrin Haidari
Production Assistant: Alice Söderqvist
Design: Thomas Bush
Lightning Design: Jonatan Winbo
The exhibition is produced with generous support from The Swedish Arts Council and The City of Stockholm.
Thanks to the Swedish Labour Movement´s and Archives and Library and Bonniers konsthall.
Ruben Nilson (1893–1971), was a sheet metal worker, musician and painter. He was born in Stockholm and worked from the age of thirteen. Nilson became well known for his songs, rich with political satire. During the general strike of 1909 in Sweden, he started taking evening classes in painting.
Mint is an art space, a mobile exhibition project, and a curatorial duo, initiated by Emily Fahlén and Asrin Haidari. They work with a special interest in radical art production, intergenerational meetings, and site-specific interventions. In the spring of 2019, a new art space at the Workers Educational Association in Stockholm (ABF) was brought back to life. As the practice of a museum relates to – and is in dialogue with – its collection, Mint allows its program to be inspired and directed by the history of the building and its events, struggles, organizations, and cultural expressions.
The Workers Educational Association in Sweden (ABF) was founded on November 16, 1912. The ambition was to coordinate the self-organized education associations that had become a cornerstone of the labour movement. A key activity was the people's libraries that were developed at the end of the 19th C. and brought literature to communities around the country. Today the Workers Educational Association is still engaged in providing equal opportunities to access education.

  • The exhibition lends its title from the militant research collective Precarias a la deriva (Precarious women adrift) based in Madrid, Spain. The collective formed in 2002 as a reaction to the male dominance in Spanish unions during a general strike responding to changes in labour legislation. Precarias a la deriva brought forth the challenges for many women to participate in strikes having more insatiable work situations and already doing much of the unpaid reproductive work.