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lördag 16 april 2011

Know your enemy E002

With some problems sleepin yesterday i set out to do one of the most dedicated things in a long time, namely translating a whole article from Swedish into English. This newspaper clipin' is from way back in 1982 and is about some of the first skinheads in Sweden. Like they still do today the media somewhat demoniced the whole group but i must say that i think these kid's thugs or not seem a whole lot more honest and true than most baldheads today. I will post the original clipin's first and then end it with the translated text.

The front cover of "Aftonbladet Ung" has the legendary skinhead called Tommy aka "Mongo" posing.
The text under the photo reads "A real skinhead should look like Mongo with his big boots, crooped hair and rolled up jeans with braces"
The photos on this page is of "Lasse Skåning" that also gets interviewed in the text.
The text under this photo reads "Lasse and Johnny demonstrates the dance of skinheads called The moon stomp where they jump around and kick each others boots with to rhytmic ska music.

Swedens most feared youth-group SKINHEADS.

Another evening in Stockholm:
A 24 yearold gets assaulted with a beercan containing cement. He was robbed for a beer.
Same night a 16 year old boy gets assaulted. The attackers loot... 35 kroners.
In both cases the perpetrators where skinheads. A new and feared youth-group in Sweden.
Kristian Petri, that followed one of these groups for a couple of months tell us what is hidden inside their short cropped heads.

The first time i met skinheads was when i was shooting a documentary about the punkband Incest Brothers. I needed various youthgroups for the film and met a couple of skinheads in Stockholm on a Sunday afternoon. They stood and compared billyclubs with a group of cops.
I asked them if they where the one's that had trashed Cioz (a punkshop).
-No, no, that wasnt us. It was commie punks, you know those fuckin' Boljeviks. They should get their heads kicked in.
I ask them if they would consider appearing in my documentary.
- Hell yeah! You can start shootin us in a long shot when we get of the subway. Then a close-up on the boots and in the background you can play "These boots where made for walking". Then a long shot again when we go and beat up some bitch.
-No thanks, i said, thats not necessary. You're just going to walk straight ahead through an underpass on you're way to a concert.
-What, we're not going to beat anyone up, said one of the skinheads dissaponted.

Trashed the looker room.
-Come to the Madness concert on monday. It will be a lot of broken glass, says another one as he smacks his fist into the wall and laughs.
-And i don't mean only glass. We where at Rock Palais the other night when Rude Kids where playin. We actually threw a punk THROUGH the stage but it took some time. Then we trashed the entire fucking locker room.
On the day when we where going to shoot the scene we meet up at Cloz.
-Are we really just going to walk down the underpass, asks a skinhead that still thinks he can get me to change my idea.
We rented a Dodge-van to haul the crew in. We set out for the Rådhusets subway station to shoot some scenes with a group of punks. The skinheads stay in the van. They are restless and have started the day with some beers.
When i come back from shooting the scene i come back to fullblown chaos. The skinheads have scared away every all passers-by and one has torn of a drainpipe.

Pissed all over the cars in the parkinglot
My sound-technician and the driver are scared to death. On our way to Östermalmstorg one of the kids puke in the glove compartment. Cropped heads and big boots pop in and out of the carwindows. At a redlight one of them jumps out and starts pissin on the other cars in the tailback.
It feels as if the situation is getting out of control so i decide to turn back and shoot the scene at Kungträdgården instead.
We start as soon as we get out of the van. One of the skinheads comes up to me and says:
-I don't wanna be an asshole or anything, but you know we are goin to kill you if this turns out bad. Thats just how it is, we know where you live.
Thats often how it sounds when skinheads meet up. Even when there is no direct violence it still surrounds them. The skinheads talk about various fights they have been part of, they talk about defence moves and what weapons that can be used. All the time.

Started in 60's England
In Sweden skinheads mainly exist in Stockholm. there is a couple of hundreds.
The movement originated in England. It was groups of mod's that in the late 60's shaved of their heads and started up different crew's that where notorious for their rascism and violent lifestyle.
It was conservative workingclass kids that created the headline's and during that time they where often the scapegoats for many reactionary tendensies.
There are 3 holy things for a skinhead: work, nation and football.
Most of them hate any kind of odd groups. In England some crews walk out with the sole intent to assault as many foreigners (most often asians), homosexuals or hippies as they can.
Skinheads look at all other youthgroups as their enemys - punks, greasers, hippies.

They also believe that there is no morals in the modern society. It's to much bleeding hearts and social welfare. They are nationalists andmost of them wear the Swedish flag on their clothes.
Within the group there is a strong sense of solidarity and they chare most things like brothers. If anyone needs money for a gig or a bottle of vine, then there is always someone willing to help. If anyone gets attacked the others are always there for his defence - and revenge.
Lasse was one of the first skinheads in Sweden. He comes from Malmö and is often refered to as "Lasse Skåning" (Skåne is the area where Malmö is situated in the furthest south area of Sweden).
He jumped out of school and has worked various jobs like newspaper carrier, piccolo ("I quit cause it was so hard lookin happy all the time.") and now he works at a repro firm.
This is how "Lasse Skåning" tells his story of how he became a skinhead.

,, Around 78/79 i met this dude who looked like this and i thought it looked cool. Back then there wasn't really any fights and trouble like it is today. You hung out with your old friends, even the punks. I just thought it looked more sharp with short hair.
But today there is a whole bunch of fresh cuts and with them comes trouble. Many of them have what i call UK-complex. They try to be nazi's like the English skinheads. I mostly laugh that whole nazi thing of. Sure it can get annoying with all the fights and your friends runnin' around yelling "Sieg heil, sieg heil" and "Fuckin packi's" etc.
Well sure, no one really likes the packis when they go around sayin things like "Fuckin Swedes" in bad Swedish grammer. But if they don't mess with us then i couldnt care less about them.
All foreigners aint like that. I actually know a lot that are quite nice. But i think i am one of the least rascist one's in the group.
I think the same thing that happened in England will happen here. Maybe not as bad though, cause here the cops have guns that are a bit more effective than the wooden sticks the coppers got in England. There isnt a whole lot who would walk up to carryin a brick if the cop has a gun.

Mostly aggro when drunk
But off course there will be fights here to. Foreigners gettin attacked by Swede's. Then they retaliate.
There has been some fights with other groups to, junkies, normal blokes, greasers and all sorts of people. But most fight occure when you are out drinkin.
Politics is something i just don't get into. I don't think it matters who is up there runnin the show. It's all the same shit if you ask me. They all just want to advance in their game an make more and more money. But one thing i do know is i think people should have the right to earn a good salary and not have to pay 90% to taxes.

Hitler was a good guy
The skinheads are firmly against communism. Yes, they stand further to the right than most others. But i dont think anyone of them can actually fence about politics.
Not many of them are nazis really, more like rascists. Many walk around with swastikas and think Hitler was a good guy, have a photo of him in their wallets or on their walls at home.
But when you actually ask them who he was and what he did - there is only a few of them that actually knows. I mean what happened in Europe 40 years ago isnt really that relevant for us today.,,

All skinheads are not the same off course. Backgrounds and thoughts differ. But most come from true working class homes. The music, the clothes and the football unites them in a way.
The skinheads have their own dance caller "the moonstomp". They jump around with their large army boots to English ska music. The top bands are Madness, Specials, Bad manners and Selecter.
The skinheads drink large amounts of beer and strong liqour. Sometimes they smoke a little weed, but they dont like junkies or strong drugs.
A perfect night out on the town might look like this:
You all meet up at some friends place and get drunk. Then you go out to town, maybe to a gig or a football game. It is considered a failure if there is no fights that night. And most often fights happen.
After a couple of weeks the brawl has turned into something off a bloodbath and the myths about the violence is a constant subject when they speak among each other.
This is how it sounded when i meet up with Lasse and Hazard at Mosebacke's Pub.
- Last week we got in a fight with Magnus Ugglas friend (Magnus uggla is a mediaclown that somehow has released a lot of records in Sweden). We had just been to Big Brother. It all went so fast that i hardly know what happened. But the nose went bust on one of the guys and a whole lot of ribs on the other guy.
- On the Clash concert this spring Drutten got hit over the head with an iron pipe. They cracked it open. We all got pissed but he didnt know who had hit him so we basicly beat up anyone who walked past. Three people was sent to the emergency.

We just started beatin on everyone
- Yeah, sure it was unnecessary that all those innocent got smacked up, says Lasse.
- Yeah but a friend of ours was attacked, says Hazard. We got upset. We never start anything but there is always lots of people willin to start it for us.
- Sure sometimes we start it. Like chasing down some fuckers.
- A lot of people fear us and it's not for nothing, so yeah, says Lasse.
I dont think skinheads are better or worse at fighting than the next man. They win on their aggressiveness and the way they look.
An experienced fighter is more dangerous than someone that never turns to violence. In a situation where most would just shout, swear or threaten the other person a skinhead would strike first without thinking twice.
And they also have an advantage by looking menacing. They look like a bunch of Syberian convicts or a group of lobotomized murderers escaped from a mental hospital. Their clothes reminds me about "A clockwork orange" with their braces, big boots and short jeans.
Most have tattoos that enhances their aggresive attitude. Hazard has a tatto that says "Today red, tomorrow dead" around a skinhead with a giant axe that has blood drippin from it. Lasse has an enormous tattoo on his left arm of a skull in a German pickelhaube with two crossed axes in the background.
Everything in the world of skinheads is exaggerated and exremly masculine. Everything is sort a trial of strength. How many beers can you drink? How many fights have you been in?
At a party a skinhead walked around braggin about his dicksize and calling it "the monster". In all conversations with the girls attending the party he insisted that they would "get a taste of his monster".
The girls in the crews are not skinheads themselfs. They look like your average girl next door.
- Girls do not look good in short cropped, says Lasse.

The media guys where scared shitless
The latest year skinheads have been portrayed in media more and more. Aftyer the socalled "punkmurder" youth violence has been debated more in both tv and radio. Statistics shows that the old one on one violence has been replaced by a more anonymous violence where the people involved most oftenly dont even know each other.
In Swedish TV's "Studio S" they tried to sort out what was going on. "Do you kick twice or more when someone is layin down", asked Pelle Bergendahl the skinheads attending the show.
What did the skinheads themselfs think about the show?
- The guys from tv where scared shitless when we walked in. They offered a couple of beers in the tv-companys restaurant. Sittin ext to us was Anders Gernandt (he worked for the companys show about horseracing) and we imitated him. They got really upset.
- The show was shit but that didnt matter. We got a dinner, some beers and 400 kroners.

The text and interviews where made by Kristian Petri and the photos where taken by Martin Sjöberg.

3 kommentarer:

  1. This site is so far above most other sites. Almoust ridiculous.

  2. Interesting stuff. thanks for the effort
    //Anders V

  3. Great article! Love the blog by the way, don't ever give up!