A Travellerspoint blog

Day 17. I'm in Helsinki

but I have more to say about Stockholm

semi-overcast 64 °F

Something had been haunting me in Stockholm. When I awoke this morning, I knew what I needed to do – I needed to track it down, capture it, and take it home.

“Homeless Fox” is a sculpture by Laura Ford and is one of the pieces in her “Rag and Bones” collection. This particular piece is also referred to as “Rag and Bones with Blanket”. It depicts a small homeless fox and her cub, wrapped in a blanket, sitting on a corner waiting for someone to drop a coin into the old shoe next to her. She can be found on the corner of Drottninggatan and Stromgatan. She shares the neighborhood with the Prime Minister’s Office and the Chancellory, and is across the bridge from Parliament. The City of Stockholm purchased the piece and left it up to the homeless of Stockholm to decide where she should go. So a vote organized by a Stockholm based newspaper (that is sold by the homeless) decided the location. Per a local political blog site, the wretched fox is a “constant reminder that there are still improvements to make in the Swedish welfare society”.

Well, she was certainly constant on my mind. Carol, Fran and I encountered her on our freedom walk from the “Boat of Boredom” the other day. I was not at all sure what I was seeing at first. She looks real, but too small to be real. Yet I approached her slowly and respectfully, just in case. I stared at her for a minute or two, wondered about her, snapped a picture and then walked away. Somehow, my mind didn’t walk away though, and when I reviewed the day’s pictures I saw my one poor-quality photo of the little homeless fox and knew I had to make a place for her in my home. That meant a better photograph.

As such, after breakfast I was back on the streets of Stockholm, searching for the corner where my fox could be found. And here she is:

Homeless Fox sculpture by Laura Ford

Homeless Fox sculpture by Laura Ford

So. . . .what does this say about me? I am sad, appalled, concerned, indirectly responsible, and disgusted that homelessness exists. Yet the sight of homeless people on the streets of Sacramento has become so commonplace that I hardly pay any attention. . . .unless they have their dog with them, making it that much more pitiful. Do I care more about homeless animals than homeless humans? Is that bad? Do I need therapy? I don’t know and I imagine I won’t arrive at an answer any time soon – but I welcome any feedback.

Meanwhile, the effect of "Homeless Fox" is the souvenir that I will carry home with me from Stockholm.

Posted by Follow Carol 11:58 Archived in Sweden

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