Aspudden public bath – part III


A text message and a massive explosion of fireworks outside our kitchen window woke me up at 06.00 this morning. The police was down at the old public bath here in Aspudden, and the action group trying to save the bath from destruction wanted everyone´s attention. A little crowd of people gathered outside the bath when the police ended the 59 days of occupation. They emptied the building, sealed all windows and doors with sheet metal, and put up a fence around it. And just to make sure no one would try to save the house again, they pointed a flood light at it, and placed two guards outside.


What a waste of people´s efforts in trying to make their community a better place, and what a waste of historical value – the bath has been around since 1919! The responsible politician has never set her foot in this place, even though this matter has been discussed for almost two years now. I suppose travelling six kilometers from City hall is too much to ask to have a meaningful dialogue with the people you represent.

This has been in the national television news today, and in the morning papers. If nothing else, I hope this opens the eyes (ears!) of politicians who forgot to listen to ordinary people.

I wrote and drew about this before, here and here (and the same drawings were also posted at Urban Sketchers).

Oh, and if you want to see some actual photos of this place, check out excellent news photographer Lars Epstein´s blog posts about this subject, he has covered it over a period of time:
Nov 25 (evening)
Nov 25 (day)
Nov 21 (Aspudden public bath festival)
Nov 13 (oppositional politicians show their support)
Nov 8 (art barricade)
Sept 29 (the bath is occupied)
Sept 4 (about decision to tear down the bath)

Top drawing: 16 x 17 cm, Uniball eye pen and watercolours on Fabriano Rosapina paper
Black and white drawing: 14 x 9 cm, Uniball eye pen and Copic marker on same paper.

9 Responses to “Aspudden public bath – part III”

  1. Margaret says:

    Very atmospheric sketch. So sorry you are losing a respected public building. What is it with some of these politicians – why no dialogue with the people who matter?

  2. Catriona says:

    Great sketch, lets hope all this makes them sit up and listen for a change to the ‘little’ people.

  3. Felicity says:

    Gosh, what a very sad way to try and end this dispute. I thought it was fantastic that your painting was used for the poster, that you were part of a wonderful community of people, and how lovely it was that this was bringing the community together. Horrible, the way it’s being dealt with by the authorities. I do hope there is a happy ending and that the contacts and bonds you all have made are kept up somehow.

  4. You have been upset for quite a while and, from your post, so have many others. If nothing else, the councilmen will not be reelected. Maybe there is still hope. Good luck. You have expressed your protest so powerfully in your paintings.

  5. So sad! We have the same kind of beautiful old pool/public baths, but it’s part of the Hall of Waters, which also houses our City Offices and courtroom. Not likely to be demolished, but this is a flood town, and the 93 flood caused some serious damage to the pool, which is in the basement. No one’s been willing to cough up the money to restore it…

    That is TERRIBLY frustrating for all of you, I know, not even being able to dialogue with the politicians. I suppose they’re the same the world over…they often get a bit power-hungry and forget who elected them and why.

  6. So sorry to hear how it’s all turned out Nina. Sometimes I think all politicians should be voted out just to show them they need to listen to US. You made a nice picture but it is sad. So little respect for people and history.

  7. Dan Kent says:

    Your painting is dramatic, and aptly illustrates this sad situation. I am so sorry that this is the way it is turning out. The shortsightedness of some people astounds me – it is often why later generations lose so much of what prior generations have to give.

  8. Deborah says:

    Sorry about the bath house. I have been following the story through your post.

  9. Leona says:

    I always really do enjoy reading your pages…they are full of life and energy!

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