UFFA (Norwegian: Ungdom for fri aktivitet; English: Youth for free activity) is an anarchist youth house in Trondheim, Norway. The house provides a location where youths are free to hang out, spending their time by attending concerts, playing Foosball and socializing with their friends. In the weekends, concerts with bands (usually local or regional punk-bands) like Rama Lama -das Pönkabteilung, Mob 47, Brutal Kuk, Bitre Barn, Tomrom are held.
UFFA is politically active and has, among other things, participated in anti-racist demonstrations and demonstrations against the NATO summit in Åre. They are against racism, homophobia, sexual discrimination and capitalism. In contrast to the attitude of the Marxist Blitz in Oslo, UFFA is predominantly anarchist in view, and has locally been clearly less militant than Blitz has been in Oslo. This approach was made possible through the decision of the Trondheim police and politicians to take a relatively pragmatic approach to the phenomenon of youthful autonomy. Trøndelag has an extended, far-reaching radical tradition which informed the municipal approach in setting up a relationship with UFFA, and harsh confrontations, as between the conservative management of Oslo municipality and Blitz, were avoided. UFFA's external positions promoting anarchy and autonomy are in clear contrast to their marked willingness to cooperate internally on political and administrative matters, both in relation to the UFFA-house and in the nearby Svartlamo neighborhood.
The balanced local approach does not completely suppress strong political action. In December 2006 people from both UFFA and Blitz participated in the violent demonstrations supporting their compatriots from Ungdomshuset in Copenhagen, and several were arrested. Protestors from UFFA and Svartlamo blocked traffic on Trondheim's streets but let public transport through. The demonstration picketed the Danish Consulate.
UFFA was established in 1981, and has been in operation ever since. The original location in Kjøpmannsgata burned down in 1982. UFFA signed an agreement with Trondheim municipality and resumed activities shortly afterwards at the current premises on Innherredsveien (taking over the defunct Østbyen kindergarten).
UFFA was established as an independent place, where everyone can do what they want. Founding members talked about how in the 1980s there was nothing for young people to do in Trondheim.
UFFA includes a number of facilities that encourage youth to seek their own identity and structure. One example is the Ivar Matlaus Bokkafé. The café is named after a Norwegian anarchist named Ivar Mortensson-Egnund, who among other things, lectured the Norwegian people about politics, religion and social issues. One of the lectures he held was named “Matløysa i Noreg”. Translated to English it means “Foodless in Norway”. After this lecture he was called “Ivar Matlaus” – or “Foodless Ivar” in English.
At UFFA the youth are enabled to do whatever they have an interest in. Participant can, as an example, form a theater group, participate in political meetings, paint graffiti, be a chef in their café, or "run around naked and scream like an elephant." Specific activities include:
- Kafè Knaillhard - city hardest vegetarian cafe - youth are encouraged to participate
- Ivar Matlaus Bokkafé (named after the Norwegian anarchist nicknamed Ivar Matlaus) - a bookstore and cafe which specializes in selling underground music, fanzines, political literature, etc.
- Aksjonsgruppa [AG-UFFA] - The "action group" organizes of demonstration and political activism
- Bandgruppa - The "band group" operates the practice room
- Lydgruppa - provides technical support including light and sound for concerts and maintenance of audio equipment
- Bookinggruppa - The "booking group" books bands and organizes concerts
- Pressegruppa - The "press group" promotes concerts, prepares and maintains websites, develops press releases, etc.
- Stuntfilm - arranges both weekly and special film showings at UFFA and promotes film production
The broader context
UFFA shares characteristics with a number of anarchist, communist and socialist communities in Scandinavia. Other examples include the Blitz (movement) in Oslo, the Ungdomshuset in Copenhagen, Kafé 44 in Stockholm and Freetown Christiania in Copenhagen.
- "Ungdomshuset eviction protests - News from 4th day (English translation from Modkraft.dk)". Retrieved 21 May 2009.
- "Historikk" (Norwegian). Retrieved 20 May 2009.
- Storstein Spilker, Hendrik (2014). "In search of the "hacker-punk": Digital music technologies for countercultural measures?". In Fahlenbrach, Kathrin; Sivertsen, Erling; Werenskjold, Rolf (eds.). Media and Revolt: Strategies and Performances from the 1960s to the Present. ISBN 978-0857459985.
- "Om UFFA". Retrieved 20 May 2009.