Barnbyn 1947-2005

Work in progress.

Barnbyn was an alternative educational experiment on Färingsö outside Stockholm. Barnbyn started in 1947 as a reaction to other conservative intuitions of the time which believed children with social problems should be punished to become better people.

In Barnbyn they believed that it was the context not the child that was the problem and worked on therapeutic forms of rehabilitation with children between the ages of 7–15. The leader of this initiative was Gustav Jonson, who became a parenting icon, participating in numerous television and radio program where people could ask questions around child rearing.
Gustav Jonsson declared that Barnbyn’s primary mission was to care for society’s most vulnerable people, which was an ideological and ethical standpoint Barnbyn stood by until the project closed.

Barnbyn is an on going research project that investigates the personal stories, tales and documents from the period when Barnbyn was active. I am developing an interview series with Elias a boy at Barnbyn during the fifties, who called himself Barnbyn-Pojke. (The boy of the children village). Contrary to Jonsson’s ideals, Elias feels like Barnbyn stole his childhood.