Hammarkullen: A Mini World, Underground Train Station, and Art

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ATHENA Ethical MEDIA

Hammarkullen is one of the areas of Gothenburg aka Göteborg, and Hammarkullen is a tram stop in the city served by the Trams 4, 8 and 9. The uniqueness of its tram station is – it is the only station in Gothenburg with an underground train station, and it was planned to connect to Angered in 1972. The model for the station was subway stations in Stockholm. The station is located 25 meters below ground level and in the middle of more than 2 km long Hammarkullen tunnel.

 

The escalator in the station takes the passengers up and down, out of the station and into the station respectively, and during the journey of one minute you can see the artworks on the walls. The escalators are long: 24 meters high, 58 meters long; and the station has an oblique lift which is a kind of mountain railway. According to Göteborgs Spårvägar, Hammarkullen’s escalator is built on a supporting frame of steel beams, the length of ride is 58 m, number of steps on the staircase are 272, slope is 30’ and the year of construction was started in 1970.

The area has people with varied ethnic backgrounds, and its annual multicultural carnival called Hammarkullen festival is one of the widely attended festivals of Gothenburg. The multicultural environment in the area is cause for celebration and cause for consternation but the local administration is putting extra efforts in the area. According to Göteborgs Stad or the City of Gothenburg, “In order to strengthen social cohesion in the area, we focus on creating a safe and health-promoting liveable environment. The vision is that everyone will have a well-functioning everyday life and have the opportunity to influence the development of the district. Based on the residents’ suggestions and needs, we are preparing the square, creating more meeting places, building new housing and investing heavily in a beautiful and safe outdoor environment.” The administrators are aware that ‘everyone should feel at home in Hammarkullen’ and ‘have the opportunity to influence the development in the area’.

The area has a vision to become ‘even more attractive’ for Gothenburgers. The area has murals on the apartment blocks, and there is an art gallery in Hammarkullen’s underground station. During the summer of 2019, Dana Mohseni / Dana Orkideh had an exhibition illustrating the lives of different women personalities in the world. Dana is a Gothenburger with Iranian roots. She is an illustrator, cartoonist and graphic designer. She believes that the world’s women have long been hidden in the history descriptions of the colonization of British, French, Russian, Ottoman and other empires, and the histories are written hardly from the perspective of women and non-binary perspective. With her drawings, she portrayed women’s stories, and they were exhibited in the station. The women were: Kalthoum, 1899-1975, the internationally famous Egyptian singer, songwriter, and film actress of the 1930s to the 1970s. She is known as Kawakab al-Sharq (Planet/Star of the East) in Arabic, and the greatest female Arabic singer in history.

Queen Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms of Mbundu people (today’s Angola): She was the 17th century queen, circa 1583-1663, came to power as an ambassador after demonstrating a proclivity to tactfully diffuse foreign crisis and known to have regained control of a Portuguese fortress called Ambaca.

Artemisia I of Caria, 520 BCE – 485 BCE, was the queen of Halicarnassus, a city of Dorian Greeks and Carians in the Achaemenid satrapy of Caraia. As an overlord and warrior queen for the Achaemenid Empire, she joined Xerxes I, king of Persia and became the first woman to be a Grand Admiral in the navy.

Chavela Vargas, 1919-20212, was a Costa Rican-born Mexican singer. She was especially known for the rendition of Mexican rancheras, but she is also recognised for her contribution to other genres of popular Latin American music.

Drottning Lili’uokalani, 1838-1917, was the last monarch of Hawaii, before the United States took over Hawaii in 1893. She was also a great musician and composed over 165 songs and chants. One of her most notable musical compositions is the popular song Aloha ‘Oe.

Donna Summer, 1948-2012, was an African American singer, songwriter and actress. She gained prominence during the disco era of the late 1970s. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Summer was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums to reach No1 on the United States Billboard 200. Summer has sold over 130 million records, making her one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time.

Himiko, also read as Pimiky, c 170-248 CE, was a shaman-queen of Yamataikoku in Wa (ancient Japan). It was recorded, mainly from old Chinese diplomatic sources, that the Yayoi people chose her as ruler following decades of warfare among the kings of Wa. Himiko never married, and it is recorded that her younger brother assisted her as a political advisor.

Pharaoh Hatshepsut, BC 1508-1458, was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt. Hatshepsut came to the throne of Egypt in 1478 BC. She is generally considered as one of the most successful pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an indigenous Egyptian dynasty.

Amrita Sher-Gil, 1913-1941, was born in Hungary’s capital Budapest. She was an eminent Hungarian-Indian painte, avant-garde woman artist of the early 20th century and a pioneer in modern Indian art.

Naziq al-Abid, 1898-1959, was a pioneer and revolutionary for both the national independence and women’s rights in Syria and was the first woman colonel in Syrian history.

Alice Ball, 1892-1916, was a chemist who developed an injectable oil extract that was the most effective treatment for leprosy until the 1940s. She was the first African American to graduate from the University of Hawaii with a Master’s degree.

Dihya was an Amazigh queen, religious and military leader who led indigenous resistance to the Arabic Islamic expansion in Northwest Africa, the Aures regions. She died around AD 702-703 during warfare.

Micaela Bastidas Puyucahua, 1744-1781, was a pioneering indigenous leader against Spanish rule in South American and a martyr for Peruvian independence. With her husband Tupac Amary II, she led a rebellion against the Spanish and suffered martyrdom of execution by the Spanish when the revolt failed.

Katarina Taikon-Langhammer, 1932-1995, was a Swedish Romani activist, leader in the civil rights movements, writer and actor. She was known for her biographic book series about Katitzi.

Rosa Taikon, 1926-2017 was a Swedish Romani silversmith and actress. Her silver jewellery has been exhibited in many galleries and museums such as the National Museum of Fine Arts and Röhsska Museum.

Iwa Kereti Evaline Skerrett, 1890-1947, descended from King Topi of Souther Maori and Ngai Tahu chief Pokene. She took the stage princess Iwa. Her singing and presentation of Maori culture to audience across Britain made Princess was a household name for a decade from 1909.

Frida Kahlo, 1907-1954, was a Mexican painter, mostly known for her self-portraits and pro-communist arts. Her work is now being celebrated in Mexico as emblem of national and indigenous tradition.

Aliya Moldagulova, 1925-1944, was a Kazak survivor of Stalin’s purge on her family. She later filed a waiver to join the Red Army and became a sniper. She died from a gunshot wound during a battle and was posthumously awarded Hero of the Soviet Union on June 4, 1944 and an Order of Lenin. Her grave can be found in Monakovo, Pskov.

Wälättä Petrus, 1592-1642, was a saint in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo church. Her hagiography, the life-struggles of Walatta Petros was written in 1672. She was known for resisting conversion to Roman Catholicism forming many religious Ethiopian Orthodox Church communities, and performing protection for those seeking asylum from kings.

Atoss, the daughter of Cyrus the Great, Achamenian empress and wife of two Achamenian kings, Cambyses and Darius, and mother of Xerxes. She was the most prominent woman in the history of ancient Iran, and the first known breast-cancer patient.

Enheduanna in 23rd century BC was a Sumerian princess and high priestess who was perhaps the earliest known writer in history. Identified as a daughter of King Sargon I, she was appointed the high priestess of the moon god Nanna (Sin) in his holy city of Ur, a role great political importance that was often held by royal daughters.

In 2018, there was an exhibition with artists and poets, active members of youth association. Their themes and techniques focused on places and abandonment, movements and meetings. The artworks ranged from photographs and embroidery, and poetry and drawings. The artists were: Zaki Moqaddam, Sayam Chortip, Ruqaya Hassan, Olivia Kristiansson, Moazima Stanikzai, Josef Martinovsky, Jasmine Bjurström, Frida Åström, Anna Malmer & Sahar Armandi, Alexander Mihlzen.

A poem titled ‘THE ARTIST’ read: ‘There’s a worrying sense of / alienation / triggered by the conscious aberration of “home”, / and the disgust associated with / The Artists.  …’