The Public Oven - Region Uppsala (various locations)
2020 - Ongoing

Project idea and development: Nito Vega, Nanna Castillo, Alba Folgado

We could say that discussion as a collective act is today limited to certain environments such as work, school, sporadic encounters with friends or perhaps the digital world. The diverse structures and community services that in the past populated the Swedish territory, such as communal ovens, facilitated spontaneous encounters between its inhabitants. However, these spaces have been progressively disappearing. As a consequence, spontaneous conversations and exchanges between different social groups have been substantially reduced.

This project analyses and recovers the old tradition of the Swedish "bagarstugor", which in addition to having a practical function (making bread) managed to weave networks of socialization and mutual support throughout the country. Additionally, these constructions had a pedagogical character, since there was a clear transfer of knowledge among its users.

Taking these structures and their double functionality as a model, a public and mobile oven was built in the summer of 2020 with the aim of providing a space for collective baking and exchange.

During the first phase of the project, the oven and its mobile structure was built at Storvreta’s Fritidsgår. Later on, it was activated through a series of workshops with youngsters from the same place. Now the oven travels through different locations, inviting people to collectivelly knead, cook, bake, eat and discuss. Through this continuous work, it wants to recover dialogue and cooperation as tools for social cohesion.

The Public Oven was initiated in the framework of Konstarplats and it is supported by Region Uppsala.

The Public Oven during the workshops held at Storvreta, Region Uppsala, 2020.