The book and photography project Hemmakontor (Home Office) is a contemporary documentation of one of the biggest changes on everyday worklife during modern time. It is also a depiction of the human creativity and inventiveness.
When the pandemic hit the world people showed a rare ability for adaptation during current circumstances. Suddenly, our homes became workplaces and we were obliged – through technical novelties like Teams and Zoom – to invite our colleagues into our messy laundry rooms, our basements, our broom cupboards.
We’ve had wage negotiations in kitchens, surrounded by piles of dirty dishes. We’ve had cosy afternoon coffee breaks in spare rooms, alongside gym clothes hanging up to dry. . The home offices that popped up was a major work-life revolution – a change likely to be noted on any historical timeline. This is a new paradigm, where commuting to a workplace in a crowded city is no longer necessary.
Signed copies of the book can be ordered by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (325 kr including shipping, within Sweden)
The project Hemmakontor was awarded 1st prize in category Daily Life stories 2021 in the Swedish picture of the year award and awarded The Lars Tunbjörk prize 2022. The images has been published in several national and international magazines, newspapers ands television, and exhibited in several galleries and museums.
Awards, publications and exhibitions:
The Washington Post
Arbetets museum, Norrköping, Sweden.
The Washington Post: Surreal-images-celebrate-sometimes-absured-nature-working-home – Washington Post
Årets Bild (Swedish picture of the year): Årets Vardagslivsreportage 2021
Svenska Dagbladet: https://www.svd.se/kollegan-undrade-om-vi-satt-i-samma-sang
Kulturmagasinet Opulens: https://www.opulens.se/litteratur/ett-fantastiskt-tidsdokument/
Norrköpings Tidning: Här är Daniels bilder från Sveriges nya “Hemmakontor”
Galleri Lux, Östersund, Sweden
Östersunds-Posten: Så såg svenskarnas hemmakontor ut under pandemin
Folkets Hus och Parker utställning: https://www.folketshusochparker.se/evenemang/konst-utstallning/hemmakontor/
Galleri Lux Östersund: https://lux.nu/hemmakontor/
Borås Konstmuseum: Borås Konstmuseum – Daniel Nilsson – Lars Tunbjörkpriset 2022
Arbetets Museum: https://www.arbetetsmuseum.se/utstallning/hemmakontor/
Göteborgs-Posten Två Dagar
Kamera & Bild
Selection of images from the book:
JESSICA HÅKANSSON, teacher. Cat-frame & JONAS LARSSON, teachers, armchair.
Jessica: “If I’m writing something, I can stand up and use the cats’ climbing frame, even when my husband is teaching classes on the other side of the bed. It’s a real bonus that there’s so many places where I can put my coffee and my calendar and everything else. I’d like to keep working from home. I’m much more efficient this way.”
Jonas: “I rebuilt one side of the bunk bed, and glued on some small whiteboards. It’s good for writing up the maths solutions – it’s better than pointing the camera at me anyway.
LISA KJELLBERG, High school teacher. Ironing board
”I sat in the kitchen for quite a long time, on a bloody awful wooden chair. After a couple of weeks, I had to find a new solution. My ironing board is from the 70s, but I think I changed the cover some time in the 90s. I have a vague memory of my ex-husband giving me the ironing board cover as a Christmas present, which gives you a decent idea of why he’s my ex-husband. Who the hell wants an ironing board cover? I barely ever iron anyway.”
EMMA SVENSSON, Photographer. Caravan
“I realised early on that the corona virus was going to affect us. I take photos of events, so when things started getting cancelled I was thinking, ‘Shit, this is going to be bad.’ I’ve gotten rid of most the stuff that was here before, and now it’s full of things that look a bit out of place. A massive power bank, for example, that I need because I’ve got so many things to charge. The pandemic hasn’t been all bad for me. It’s given me some perspective on life. I’ve realised how much I value freedom and flexibility. ”
ERIK ADLERS, Software engineer. Basement
“We’d been using this room as a pantry, and when COVID hit we stocked up on food a bit more. So it became an office and a little bunker – quite a practical development! You can see that the shelves are filled with the things that we think are most important: pasta, crispbread, chips, washing powder and toilet rolls. I couldn’t get the height of my screen right, so I just sorted it out with whatever I could find down here in the basement: some tins of chopped tomatoes. A decent solution, if you ask me.”
JOHAN BÄVMAN, Photographer. Son’s room
“I’m a freelance photographer and I had a commission to shoot intensive care wards in Malmö. It meant I had to stay away from office after I’d been working, to quarantine myself. That’s why I set up shop in my son Viggo’s room. The only desk in the house is in here, and it’s the only room that’s in the shade. He’s got this high kid’s seat that I use. It’s comfortable enough, but it’s not that easy to get your knees under a desk designed for an eight-year-old.”
EMMA LEYMAN, Digital producer. Sewing room
“Usually, this is where I sit and sew clothes. I’ve only been to the office once in the last year, and that was just to pick something up. I spotted some of my colleagues sitting in the lunch room, behind a glass screen. I was almost in tears because I hadn’t seen them for so long. I work here from 9 to 5.30, then I get my sewing stuff out. Down with the screen, out with the sewing machine. These days, I can end up sitting here for 12 hours at a time. It’s nice to have my work so close by, but it can get lonely.”
ISA HARDEMO, UX designer. Garden
“We had to rush out and buy a parasol, and then drill a hole in the table so that I could block out the sun while I worked out here. When I’m finished for the day, I put my laptop and my notepad in the birdcage to carry it all inside. It’s my briefcase these days. The big extension reel is made for landscape gardening really, so my computer plug doesn’t fit it. That why I’ve got the extra extension cable. I’ve also got a food cover that I have to put over my plate. I can’t eat out here otherwise – the magpies swoop down and grab my food if I go in to the toilet.”