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Sara Jordenö

Over the last decade, artist and documentary filmmaker Sara Jordenö has returned to her hometown Robertsfors many times to document the relationship between the residents and the largest employer in the area: the synthetic diamond factory. Her efforts have resulted in a number of different works shown in Sweden and internationally. In 2015, after the announcement that the factory was to close permanently, some of the employees asked Jordenö if she could come back one last time to document their place of work before it was gone for good. The finished film begins with former employees’ personal stories and focuses on how the factory and its closing have impacted the local community.

Diamond People is the third part in Public Art Agency Sweden’s series Industrial Society in Transition, which in different regions and through different artistic practices attempts to depict the societal transformation that has been going on in Sweden over recent decades. Rather than describing the transition to a postindustrial existence through an industrial-historical focus on buildings, machines, and products from peak manufacturing years, the artworks center on people and their contemporary experiences.

English title Diamond People 
Aspect ratio 1.78:1 (16:9)
Prod. format Generic HD-video & 16mm
Duration 00:30:59
Color Color
Sound Stereo
Year 2016
Latest screening Apr 10, 2024
Mar 21, 2019
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About the artist

Sara Jordenö

Born in 1974 in Sweden. Lives and works in both Europe and the United States.

Sara Jordenö is a documentary filmmaker, visual artist, researcher and educator, whose work resides in the intersection of site-specific and participatory art, ethnography and documentary cinema. Jordenö’s longitudinal projects often engage with groups and communities facing different types of marginalization. Part of an international network of filmmakers, academics and community-organizers working and thinking around hidden populations, Jordenö’s work is disseminated in contemporary art, film and the social sciences. Her projects often take the form of investigations, which over time can produce several works, such as a film, installation, text, artist book, or a discussion. Each of her projects dissects that which makes up a narrative (words, images, sound) and uses the narrative surplus (translation mistakes, information trash, myths, and constructed facts) to extract and accentuate other possible meanings and themes surrounding the “main” story.

Jordenö studied Feminist theory at Uppsala University and Creative Writing at Nordens Författarskola Biskops-Arnö and earned a BFA from Malmö Art Academy and an MFA from UCLA Department of Art. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre, Iaspis, Stockholm, NIFCA, Belgrade/Helsinki, Baltic Art Center, Visby, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Program, the Art & Law Residency in Brooklyn and recently Abrons Art Center in Manhattan.