Candide —
Journal for Architectural Knowledge

Candide No. 9 — 6/2015 — Fiction

Hélène Frichot
Söder Pops Island: My Own Personal Gentri-Fiction

In late 2011 I arrived in Stockholm, Sweden, and before long I discovered myself mired in a milieu of realty, by which I mean the near ubiquitous transformation of homes into real-estate commodities. Every Saturday morning my observation of this inexo­rable process was further confirmed as the lifestyle and real-estate pages arrived at my front door. This also has an impact on architectural modes of production, which cannot avoid being somehow complicit. Today a relation­ship of near indiscernibility can be posited between images composed to portray the privileged point of view (‘money-shot’) of an architectural project, and images dedicated to the commodification of architecture as real estate. No doubt an acute consciousness of real estate and the sometimes crippling debt with which it is associated has become further exacerbated after the American sub-prime mortgage crisis of 2007 / 2008, but here amidst the cafés and boutiques of the gentrified inner city island of Söder Pops (aka Södermalm) it is all too easy to reassure oneself that we have found a safe haven from such global economic storms. This ficto-critical essay will tell the story of the ambivalent role of gentri-fiction. This is a concept I have invented to help me understand some of the ways in which we fortify a dominant image of thought concerning our local urban environment-worlds.

Candide No. 9, 6/2015