A Thread in the Colonial Web – A brief history of Malmö’s cotton textile industry
March 23, 15:00-16:30

The event will be held in English. Fika is warmly provided.

Welcome to an afternoon with Pål Brunnström, senior lecturer and researcher at Malmö University. Pål will be presenting his research which examines the role of the textile industry in regards to Sweden’s industrialization and its ties to the colonial system. The afternoon will conclude with a brief walk and talk around the former factory’s premises led by Stacey de Voe.

The event connects to de Voe’s current exhibition Under the Needle’s Eye at Skånes Konstförening, which is based on a disused textile industry. In the exhibition, de Voe moves into a neglected part of Malmö’s past and conjures up reflections between the local industrial history and contemporary international labor politics. The limited sources give way to fiction and the historical materials are allowed to take on new forms.

Presentation abstract
In 1855, two companies working with cotton were established in Malmö. This was not the first time cotton was processed in the city and at the time, there were a number of minor companies working with cotton, producing socks and assorted clothing. However, in terms of scale and forms of organizing the production of these two companies constituted something totally unique which marked the beginning of industrial capitalism in Malmö. They also marked a more intense interconnectedness of Malmö’s industry and the colonial project on a global scale through cotton as a raw material, but also in some other respects. During his lecture, Pål Brunnström will analyze the first 20 years or so of these companies, which were active from 1855 to 1966.

15:00: Doors open. We invite you for fika.
15:10: Introduction of the event by Stacey de Voe
15:15: Presentation by Pål Brunnström – followed by a Q and A
16:00: Walk and talk with Stacey de Voe from the gallery to the owl
16:30: End

About Pål Brunnström
Pål Brunnström is a historian working at Malmö University and specializing in urban history. He has written texts on queer history, migration history, labor history and the history of capital owners. In collaboration with students from the university, he is currently involved in the exhibition “Svartklubb” about Malmö’s underground music scene, on display at The City Archives of Malmö.

About Stacey de Voe
Stacey de Voe (b. 1988) lives and works in Malmö. She is the 2023 recipient of the Sven and Ellida Hjort exhibition grant awarded by Skånes konstförening to a promising young artist in Skåne. She works with site specificity and the archive to explore broader issues of historicity, labor politics, collective memory and friendship. She holds a master’s degree from Malmö Art Academy.