Laboratory ABC

Research project


During the summer of 2021, the Swedish art mediators started the research for the upcoming project. What picked their attention and interest was the lack of public spaces and premises in Tensta neighbourhood and its negative effect on the inhabitants. The discussions revolved around the closed Tensta gymnasium and citizen house/meeting venue Tensta Träff.


The research inspired the mediators to communicate this problem to the public and start a broader discussion on how the lack of premises and places to meet can affect a society and, above all, a Stockholm suburb that is already socio-economically vulnerable.


These thoughts were the basis for the first meeting with the artist and architect Apolonija Šušteršič, who is known in the art world for having worked with socially engaged art and practices. The artist was chosen by the team of art mediators.


Based on the discussion among the artist and the Swedish team of art mediators, Apolonija suggested creating a so-called Laboratory ABC – a visual representation of the conducted research. Among the elements presented, there was a timeline with important dates from 1900 to 2021, a list of different local organizations that used to use Tensta Träff as a base for their meetings, a library section with books and magazines about the chosen topic. Collaborative and interactive Laboratory ABC invited the public to add to the research – visitors could add their quotes, stories, and thoughts. The Laboratory ABC was presented as a part of the larger exhibition “Phantoms of the Commons”.


Some of the mediators have been employed by Tensta konsthall to mediate the Laboratory ABC, as well as the larger exhibition. This has been a great learning experience for the mediators as they have gotten to apply the techniques they have learned and know the konsthall and its staff better.


Moreover, as part of the project, the group organized and facilitated a roundtable discussion about the future of public meeting places in Tensta neighbourhood following a purchase of Tensta gymnasium and citizen house/meeting venue Tensta Träff by a real estate company Hemsö. Art mediators lead a creative and participatory workshop on the future of public places, helping people develop concrete proposals.




The next part of the project is moving from research to creating an artwork. The team of art mediators communicates with Apolonija regularly regarding the project. More information about the artwork will soon be available.

Apolonija Šušteršič

Apolonija is a visual artist, architect, and researcher. Her work is related to a critical space analysis, usually focused on institutional and cultural politics, urban planning, and architecture. Apolonija is known in the art world for having worked with socially engaged art and practices for a long time. Her approach is embedded within the interdisciplinary discourse and usually includes collaborations with other professionals such as architects, urban planners, curators, sociologists, and the local population.