A Game of Chess in Alby

The last weeks of 2018, the artists Aris and Cesar Fulgencio from Subtopia created works of art in the doorways of Albyvägen 12 and 14 together with the residents. The initiative came from the housing company Botkyrkabyggen. This is Aris' reflection on the process and the result.

The inspiration for this work of art is no one but the tenants themselves. During a two-week period, my colleague and I organized a small table serving coffee and cookies in the doorways. We waited eagerly to meet the tenants and visitors to Albyvägen 14 and 16, in order to hear their wishes, visions and ideas. What did they want to see on their gate when they got home?

Children drew, the adults and elderly contributed ideas and some showed pictures on their phones. Everything from snails kissing to abstract paintings by Picasso. Happy colors! Bright colours! Alby! Nature! Boats! Birds! Love! These were some of the most popular desires and ideas.


What are happy colors?
What are bright colors?
What is Alby?
What kind of nature?
How to paint love?

The more people we met, the more ideas we got, and the more we were scratching our foreheads. How do you really express all this? How can you combine all these ideas into ONE piece? As the days went by we were scratching our foreheads more and more. Should we paint the nature nearby Alby? – Yes that sounds like a plan! Should we paint with colors reminiscent of summer? – Yes, those are happy colors! They said.

Slowly but surely, the puzzle pieces began to fall into place. For what is Alby really if not its proximity to beautiful nature, sports facilities, the view of the magnificent Flottsbro Mountain, a home, and of course the swans on Alby lake?

The game of chess being played between the fox and the mouse represents the sense of community between people here. No matter how young or old or different people can sometimes look, there is always a way of understanding each other – even if it isn’t through language. Did you know that in the game of chess there are more possible sequences of moves than there are atoms in the observable universe? Will you play a game with me?

Aris, December 2018