Film night - stories from history

Nordanå, Hörsalen, Skellefteå

For almost five decades in the 20th century, the so-called workhouses in the interior of Västerbotten were temporary homes for children from poor families in landless roads and who otherwise would not be able to go to school. During the evening, the newly produced documentary Västerbotten County workhouses will be shown after an introduction by archivist Susanne Odell, Umeå.

Susanne tells more about the film work, emotional encounters with actors and how archival material led to the content of the film which tells about a phenomenon that may not be so familiar anymore, but which was many children's everyday life during the first half of the 20th century.

The idea for the workhouses originally came from the feminist and philanthropist Anna Hierta-Retzius in Stockholm as early as the 1880s. There, the work cottages were establishments where the poorest working children could come in the afternoons, get supervision and learn certain chores, while the cottages in Norrland became regular housing for the children.during the academic year. But also in the Norrland workhouses, the children would perform various chores besides school. In addition to helping in the household of the workhouse, they would learn handicraft work. The children were to be educated "to the fear of God, industriousness and pure manners to become good citizens, useful to society and the homeland" as stated in the statutes from 1925. The girls could weave baskets, knit, weave and sew, while the boys tied brushes and worked with woodwork. and shoemaking. The Västerbotten County Workhouses Foundation started up its first workhouse in November 1909 in Vilhelmina and in the following years it was followed by more people in other places in the county. The system lasted until the 1950s when the workhouses were communalized and turned into school homes for students with a long way to school.

The film about the workhouses is based on a thorough digging in the archives, but also on interviews with people who lived in the workhouses. Today are the childrento the years to come but often remember well and with sharpness in the details. Being sent away from the family to spend sometimes the entire school year without the opportunity to return home could leave deep scars.

20Oct 19:00 - 20:00 Nordanå, Hörsalen

Contact information

Contact: Maria Asserud
Phone: +46-705695632

Organizer: Västerbottensteatern


Price information

Free admission but ticket required


Participants: Susanne Odell, archivist and Anneli Rundström Karlsson, archive educator. Both from the People's Movement Archive in Västerbotten.