In the northern parts of Sweden, you can find Skogsnäs, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. This little village started its development in the 70´s with the so called “Green wave” where some young people wanted a change from life in the city and to live of what nature could bring. Since the start the village has grown in all ways. Most inhabitants live of what nature offers and spend their time doing what they love, which mostly is creating different kinds of things. Here you can find artists of all kinds.
The people and their arts
In the village, that is very organically created, you will not find houses that looks like you are used to. Here, people make their houses as they please, with materials they have at reach. As far as possible they use recycled materials. They build mostly upwards, to occupy the least bit of property. In the village you can find different kinds of people and their very different kinds of arts. You can find seamstresses, blacksmiths, pottery makers, farmers and jewel makers and much more. The products made here a mainly sold in the areas nearby, but some of it is shipped away to buyers who have heard of them or seen them at some point. Once a year most of the artists come together at the festival in Näsåker, Urkult, to sell their pieces. At the festival it is possible for them to reach people from all over the world to show their work, but mainly to create contacts with other people with the same thoughts and feelings about life and nature.
Urkult – The festival
Every year in august, there is a festival in one of the villages near to the collective, that is called “Urkult”. The festival goes on for three days and is growing more popular for every year. People come from all over the world to visit this festival. It is unique in its kind and no one leaves without being affected by the environment, the people and the sense of solidarity. At the festival, local artists get to show their pieces and their work. There are also many shows with music and dancing, and the whole thing starts with what is called “The Night of fire” which is the official opening of the festival and is, as it sounds, a performance with fire in the spotlight. All visitors sit on the hills surrounding a large stage which makes it all even more powerful. This show is in the middle of the night so that darkness can make it even more powerful. This performance is never the same for two years. The festival once started in Skogsnäs as “Skogsnäsfestivalen” but grew to big for the little village and, because of that, had to move.
Urkult – The perspective
This festival is possible due to work by volunteers. Hundreds of people work, for free, all year round to build this festival. Every little profit goes back to making the festival even better the following year. As far as possible they try to use local, and mostly ecological, products. Even building materials are bought locally to keep most of the money in the region. The main reason for the festival is to let different cultures and people meet to reach acceptance and appreciation of the difference between people and their cultures. Here you can listen to music from all over the world and you can meet people from all religions and places at once. At the festival there is also possible to submit to different kinds of workshops and courses with different artists. Maybe you want to learn how to make a hat from organic materials, or how to grow your own ecological potatoes?
Solidarity is the biggest word for this festival and the people in the collective. Everything is done with consideration for man and nature! No man leaves this festival without being touched by the very special feeling! No matter gender, identity, sexual preferences or religion – everybody is welcome!