My latest book purchase.

Cover image, Gräv där du star.

I’ve been thinking a lot about a book I haven’t read lately.

As someone with an enduring interest in community history, my work is informed, in part, by the writings and legacy of England’s History Workshop, which began at Ruskin College Oxford under the leadership of historian Raphael Samuel. The history of History Workshop has been extensively documented and remediated; because of this, public historians in the U.K. and North America owe its early practitioners a great debt.

I’ve also been aware of a sister movement, Dig Where you Stand, that emerged in Sweden at about the same time but under somewhat different conditions. The movement was inspired by a 1978 book by author Sven Lindqvist, Gräv där du star, which was translated into German and therefore had a significant impact on the practice of public history in Berlin. The book was never translated into English, however, although apparently a French translation appeared at some point, so my knowledge of it has been limited to secondary sources.

I’ve just learned that the first English translation of Dig Where You Stand was published by Penguin Random House last year and a copy is now on its way to my studio. While I still haven’t read it, the discovery feels fortuitous as I’ve recently started digging into the hidden histories of my newish neighbourhood, which still echo in the built environment that surrounds my home. I'll share some of what I'm finding here.