by Andreas Bjunér
The film that we hope to produce through this project is intended as the final installment in a Bajen trilogy. The first part,Vi är bäst ändå (This is Söderstadion), tells the story of Hammarby's Söderstadion stadium and team supportership. Part 2, the short 79', is a tribute to the legendary Kennedy Bakircioglu and his last, magical goal for the club. This short movie is intended to be a bridge between the two feature films. The goal of the third and final part is to create a film about the spectators in the stands – not as supporters, but as people. Two or three times a month, from April to November each year, more than 20,000 people gather in Nya Söderstadion's stands. It is a diverse crowd of people from different social classes, backgrounds, and genders, and with widely differing interests. One is a carpenter, another a stock broker, and a third has not had a job for several years. One was born and raised in Stockholm's Söder, another comes from Skåne in southern Sweden, and yet another found his place in the stands after a long, difficult journey from Somalia as a refugee. Some of the forces here are exclusive; others are inclusive. Some are left-leaning, others right, and yet others are somewhere in between. There are cops, lawbreakers, partygoers, and loners. Hipsters, traditionalists, and jazz lovers.
I think this is the most important film in the trilogy, because it describes what once attracted me to the stands – and the thing that makes Hammarby unique: the diversity of its supporters.
It also tells the story of Södermalm and its suburbs. Once home to the working class and artists, it's increasingly becoming a place for people with SUVs and fat paychecks. The working class and the artists have moved south. For Hammarbyism, as the belief in Bajen is often called, this has created an enormous variety in the ranks. Rivals have previously used epithets such as Pundarbajen ("Stoner Bajen"), at the same time that Hammarby fans sang rhymes such as (roughly translated) "Hashish and paint thinner, Bajen's a winner, allez, allez, social group three!". Rivals now poke fun at newer supporter types, often mocking the club for all its "nouveau-riche bumpkins", who love "that cool Söder vibe" and frequently have moved to Stockholm after landing a top job in the capital. Today, "Hipster Bajen" is a more widespread label than Pundarbajen, but the truth is that both groups exist and stand side by side in the stands.
Hammarby's geographical support base is usually called "Bajenland". This area is generally considered to include Södermalm and most southern suburbs.
Stockholm's Green Line subway serves this area, as does the Red Line. The nickname Bajenland brings to mind a nation, and for many supporters, the Bajen identity is much stronger in some ways than their connection to the nation of Sweden. Indeed, Bajenland possesses many of the characteristics of a nation. It has its own national anthem, Just idag är jag stark (Today I am Strong); its own flag in green and white; a king (Kennedy!); a "national team" (both men's and women's) in several sports; a capital (Södermalm), fervent patriotism (for better or worse); and not least, an enormous diversity in its membership.
In a time of great divisions and growing ethnic and socio-economic segregation, events that gather people from all parts of the spectrum – on an equal playing field, as it were – are increasingly important. Such places bring to mind the significance of ancient gatherings of citizens for trade, worship, or community.
Project Bajenland is not a film about soccer; instead, it will showcase the people and the lives they live when they are not in Hammarby's stands. Therefore, to be able to illuminate Bajenland's wonderful diversity in the best way, we are currently searching for a wide range of its "citizens".
PREVIOUS MOVIES IN THE BAJEN TRILOGY
About: Kennedy Bakircioglu is a legend in Swedish cult Football club Hammarby. In his last season before retirement Kennedy is watching the games from the bench. Can the old hero rise for a moment of glory?
Duration: 20 minutes
IMDb rating: 8.8
Venues: COPA 90 (over 300,000 views total), C More (TV).
Festivals: Shoot Copenhagen Football Film Festival, Kennedy Football Film Festival at Bio Rio, Stockholm.
VI ÄR BÄST ÄNDÅ / THIS IS SÖDERSTADION (2014)
About: The days of being a supporter of the Hammarby football team are hard, even for the most dedicated fan. The unwilling step into the future is embodied by the leaving of the classic home stadium Söderstadion.
Duration: 1 hour 22 minutes
IMDb rating: 8.3
Venues: SF Bio, Reflexen, SF Anytime, Plejmo,Hammarbyfotboll.se
Festivals: The film was nominated and an Official Selection in the OffsideFest in Barcelona 2015, 11mm festival in Berlin 2015, and Cinefoot festival in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Belo Horizonte 2015. It has also been shown at festivals in Greece, Denmark, and Switzerland.