During Musikkfest Oslo last weekend, we visited Hausmania and I was immediately intrigued.
The large building is covered from top to bottom in graffiti of all colors. From Norwegian words to sentences in English such as, “Chinese food rules,” it was an interesting assortment of art and chaos that I needed to explore more.
The building is a cultural center where artists, musicians and other creatives can use the space to work. Some people even take up residency as well. Through the years, there have been legal troubles and the threat of being kicked out continues today.
While in Norway, I will be covering the culture of Hausmania. Mrisha also wants to cover it, so this week, we headed there to see what information we could gather.
When we arrived, there was a lock on the gate. We were under the impression the building was pretty open, but someone entering told us that they are working on improving the area so they are limiting access. We must not have looked too shady because he let us in.
We sat for a while listening to someone switching between playing Norwegian hip-hop and a saxophone in one of the rooms above us. Someone finally came out and gave us an email address of someone who was too busy to talk.
We left shortly after and thought that was the end of the day’s reporting. We were wrong, however, as Mrisha decided to talk to some girls, Ida and Madeleine, who were receiving some sort of basket being lowered down from a room at the back of the building. They explained they were getting something, a pear and chocolate, from their friends. We explained what we were doing, they yelled something up in Norwegian, and the next thing we knew, we were being led up to a room in Hausmania.
The smell of essential oils filled the small but comfortable room. I really didn’t know what to expect inside the building, but the room was nicer that I assumed it would be based on the status of the hallways I had walked through during Musikkfest.
We spoke with Ida and Martin. Mrisha did most of the interviewing while I took photos:
Right now, I’m working on securing some more sources and getting more information to better solidify my plans, but I’m looking at a story that focuses on what the building is, why it is important and how it has managed to keep hosting people despite the troubles faced. I still need to do a lot of research and talk to more people before the story can develop, but I have a good idea of where I want it to head.