Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Oslo’s hidden gem

HPR Abroad | July 18th, 2017

By Mrisha Sharma

mrishamsharma@gmail.com

Photos: Mrisha Sharma

“I really enjoy being a functional human being in the society, still living like this. This way of life is actually working out and I am actually happy with it.”

Ida Frisch and her boyfriend, Martin Osvold, are temporarily crashing in an art studio in Hausmania, located in the center of Oslo, Norway. Hausmania was an abandoned building occupied by squatters until 1999. Now it is a cultural center for artists and musicians in the city of about 650,000 souls.

Ida grew up in a hippie family where she got used to people moving in and out of the house as well as her life. She started her career as a puppeteer in September 2016. Her professor encouraged her to study abroad in Prague for a semester where she was introduced to the art of puppetry. This intrigued her so much that she randomly decided to carve a niche for herself in this art form.

Martin on the other hand is a professional pirate of the good kind. He is an actor and his assignments as a pirate include organizing treasure hunts and magic shows for kids. He says that people believe in the romanticized version of pirates, in which they are generally associated with treasures, but it’s all a myth. He started this career as a gag and then just got rolling with it.

“The kids are being taught that the world is not magic anymore and I find that quite horrifying. I just want to make some magic,” Martin said.

Some artists and musicians come to develop their creativity. Others, well, they might stay a little longer.

“There Is a Director who has the right to use the room so we contacted him and he said send me a glass of dry white wine every day and that would be it for the rent,” Ida said.

Ida and Martin were homeless when they first met in one of Ida’s children’s puppeteer show called Home. She believes it was symbolic, as they now co-exist in a tiny room at Hausmania.

According to Nicolai Gulowsen, a cultural worker and activist, Hausmania is run by the artists and everyone currently renting there has a vote. “It’s like a direct democracy style we are operating,” he said. “It’s like running a small village in a way, with its local politics. We have the same issues you have in city council but on a smaller scale. Everybody has to take some responsibility about the house and the future of the house. It’s a very good school to learn about society.”

Gulowsen said the difference between neighboring squats and Hausmania is mainly the relationship with the owner where the squat is part of a “housing action,” which has a main goal to create social housing, communal housing as a free place. Also, because there is a big need for social housing due to the sale of social housing from the city to private owners.

“The politicians say that they want to protect Hausmania, but they signed papers to sell all the rest except Hausmania,” Gulowsen said. “We would be surrounded by new buildings. Those things can work to our benefit, but it can easily kind of whitewash everything. We will be like a little spot in between that nobody is enjoying.”

Gulowsen said while the squats are kind of illegal, they are accepted since they have been working for so long.

According to Gulowsen, Number 40 squat, a neighboring building to Hausmania, has always wanted to get a rent deal with the community to acknowledge their responsibility and ownership. “There were negotiations and stuff but it failed,” he said. “While Hausmania got a contract in 2008 so we are not here illegally.”

Gulowsen is scared for the future of Hausmania and its tenants. The land and building once had very little value, but now with the city growing, Hausmania’s value has increased dramatically. “Our contract is expiring in five years,” he said. “Many of us feel a little bit choked by the development around us.”

As for Ida and Martin, they enjoy their unique lives at Hausmania. “It’s an active choice to live here,” she said. “It’s so good because it’s so different from the way that everyone else lives. I really enjoy not having my own bathroom and we have to walk through the building to take shower and walk outside to get water.”

“We don’t call it our home as such,” Martin said. “We have given it a name, ‘the cabin’ or ‘ship’s cabin.’ We know it’s temporary and just because we know it’s temporary we really appreciate all the hours we have here,” Martin said.

Martin calls Hausmania a ‘hidden gem.’ “It feels like I get very creative while I am here, because it does not feel like I am in the thick of the soup of Oslo. It feels like I am somewhere else,” he said.

[Editor’s note: link to Ida and Martin Video: https://vimeo.com/223056807]

Recently in:

By Alicia Underlee Nelson and Sabrina Hornungalicia@hpr1.com                                                             sabrina@hpr1.comThe friendly folks at Drekker Brewing company have something exciting brewing, in fact,…

MayKenny Wayne Shepherd KWS creates genre-defining rock n' roll.Fargo Theatre, Sunday, May 1,…

May 14, 7am - 11amForest River Park in Fargohttps://fargoparks.com/events-and-deadlines/fargo-birding-festivalHike the wooded trails, learn from experts and look for dozens of different migrating birds during this free,…

By Kaylah Stangler  kaylahstangler@hotmail.comGuest editorial: You say you want a revolution Five years ago, my husband and I bought our first home in…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.com How Can We Know Democracy When We Have Never Experienced It?Some Americans have said we had democracy when one rich man wrote that all men were “created equal and endowed by their Creator with…

Well shiver me timbers. After weeks of sampling some of the finest drinks in F-M from more bars than we could shake a belaying pin at, the results of High Plains Reader’s 6th Annual Cocktail Showdown are in! For nine weeks,…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.comEgg bake is about as North Dakota as knoephla soup. You betcha! Two local breakfast bests serve different versions of this dish. Let’s taste which restaurant’s bake is the most…

By Jim Fugliejimfuglie920@gmail.comUkrainians are much on our minds right now, with the Last World War apparently beginning in their country. North Dakota has a smattering of them. I’m going to tell you the best Ukrainian story…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.comPhoto credit: Amazon StudiosAmy Poehler’s nonfiction feature debut as director is a solid and informative account of the inextricably linked personal and professional lives of two visionary…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comPlains Art Museum celebrates silver anniversary1997 was a big year. The Spice Girls were the hottest thing since sliced bread, George Clooney was voted the sexiest man alive, we lost Princess…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comDrag shows, for me, feel like a celebration of artistry, esthetic, music, and camaraderie. With a dash of confetti thrown in.The local drag community is a close-knit family. Giving back to affiliated…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comCharlie Berens is a man of many hats. The creator of the “Manitowoc Minute” is a newsman, comedian, writer and musician. We had the opportunity to speak with the Wisconsin native about his new…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

By Lonna Whitinglonnawhiting@gmail.com When we talk about the healthcare system being broken or failing us, what does that actually mean? It’s a question I’ve been grappling with since 2013 when my mom was diagnosed with…

By Curt Stofferahn  https://drcinfo.orgRecent news about proposed economic development strategies in North Dakota had me thinking that…