/KIRUNA 2015

Kiruna is Sweden's northernmost city, lying just above the Arctic Circle. It was founded in around 1900 with only one aim: to exploit the largest mineral resources in the country. The 18,000-person community is surrounded by two iron ore mountains, Kiirunavaara and Luossavaara, which both contain high-quality magnetite. Initially, the ore was mined using surface mining techniques – but over the past few years, underground mining has been taking place, at a depth of 1365 meters. Unfortunately, the orebody extends into the area beneath the city’s foundations, which means that Kiruna’s blessing is also its curse. Every night, a subtle tremor rattles Kiruna as the mine gradually shifts toward the city limits. Cracks form in the landscape, threatening to collapse the city into the ground. To ensure the future mining of valuable minerals, it was decided that large parts of Kiruna – including its infrastructure and residents – would be relocated. It is a nearly unmanageable task that raises many doubts.

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