In this exhibit you will get to know five industrial workers who will tell you the tale of their every-day life, life at work and about their participation in society from 1950 and until today. The exhibition will educate you in the aspects of their work, their family relations and relations to the community itself. What answers may the historical industrial worker give us on the questions we struggle with in our contemporary lives?
From 1950 and up until today the Norwegian community has experienced vast changes. The welfare state has grown large and modern, and it has also had an influence on the daily lives of the workers. The work in the ‘50s was not only physically harder, but they also suffered through more hours than we are used to today. Family life was also different and more often than not it was the men that worked and had an income, while the women stayed at home with the kids. Nevertheless the pressure of time was also a factor in the minds of the industrial workers, who constantly had to consider working in shifts and big demands from the workplace, and their spare time was a lot different than the one we are used to today.
Large changes occurred in both communal settings and family structures when women started taking jobs as industrial workers in the 1960s. Pressure on the family increased now that both parents had a job, but the family also gained more income. The demands of reduced working hours grew stronger and over the next few decades the working conditions kept improving for the workers.
The industrial worker’s relationship to environment and solidarity has also experienced large changes over the past 60 years. Starting in the ‘70s the workers had earned an increasing influence in their own workplace, with representatives in the company’s board of directors and communal administration. At the same time the workplace changed its focus to preserve the external environment in a more sustainable manner.
The exhibition also displays how modern industry might appear in the future, and what challenges the globalised industry is facing today. To this day the modern industrial workers around the world are mainly children, and while our own industry struggles to become even more eco-friendly the industry in many other countries are damaging the environment. How do we relate ourselves to this?
We hope that when you leave the exhibition you will have made up some thoughts about your own life as well as your own standards of living.