France & Sweden | Olympics 1912-2012 | Luleå & Facebook IVL | Uddeholm | SFI | Art & Culture
bulletin YOUR INSIDER’S GUIDE TO SWEDEN, STOCKHOLM & GOTHENBURG
SUMMER 2012 SEK 50
France & Sweden | Olympics 1912-2012 | Luleå & Facebook IVL | Uddeholm | SFI | Art & Culture
bulletin YOUR INSIDER’S GUIDE TO SWEDEN, STOCKHOLM & GOTHENBURG
SUMMER 2012 SEK 50
Dear Readers, This month Swedish Bulletin turns 10 years old. It was June 2002 when the magazine – formerly known as the Stockholm Bulletin – made its debut in the embassies and hotels in Sweden’s capital. S UMMER I 2012 PUBLI S H ED BY
Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! As we say in Sweden.
SWEDISH BULLETIN HB
RE S P O N S IBLE PUBLI S H ER AND C H IE F EDI T O R TERESA IVARS LAN G UA G E EDI T O R M AT T L U D LO W LAURA POINTING C O V ER COURTESY OF THE NODE POLE LAY O U T L LO Y D A X T E N
C O N T RIBU T O R S T O T H I S I S S UE D avid B arta L CHRISTINE DEMSTEADER ÖSTEN EKENGREN, CHRISTIAN VON ESSEN ELEONORA VON ESSEN E L I Z A B E T H D A C E Y- F O N D E L I U S MICHAEL HELANDER J U A N C A R LO S I V A R S JUDI LEMBKE CHRISTINA LINDEROTH-OLSON E R I C PA G L I A MADELEINE PERSON BOO RUNDQUIST MOIRA SULLIVAN AD V ER T I S IN G G LO B E I N V E S T M E D I A +46-(0)-18-418-6026 firstname.lastname@example.org w w w. g l o b e i n v e s t . s e
ADMINI S T RAT I O N AND S UB S CRIP T I O N S LARS EKHOLM +46 (0) 8 - 446 13 13 OR +46 (0) 70 - 235 13 13 PRIN T ER S PRINT STUDIO OÜ TA L L I N N , E S T O N I A
S WEDI S H BULLE T IN E N G E L B R E K T S G ATA N 3 3 A , 3 T R 114 32 STOCKHOLM +46 (0) 8 - 446 13 13
This issue includes a special feature where Lars and myself recount the past 10 years of the magazine, from its early, uncertain beginnings, to the successful publication of today. We also meet the most consistent writers who have helped shape Swedish Bulletin during the course of that fledgling decade in Meet the contributors by Christine Demsteader. “Sweden and France share a relationship rooted in the past, through the auspices of King Gustav III and Carl XIV Johan Bernadotte, as well as the presence of Descartes in Stockholm and Strindberg in Paris” in the words of former ambassador Patrick Imhaus, this is an old story rejuvenated. Links and contacts have been intensified between the two nations at all levels. France and Sweden are very close due to similarities in culture, history and traditions. The French are interested in what is happening in Sweden, and the Swedes follow with fascination what is going on in France. The Olympic Games heads to London this summer, and as the English capital looks ahead to London 2012, Swedish Bulletin looks back to Stockholm 1912, when the world’s finest athletes gathered in our nation’s capital city. Special feature Stockholm Olympics – 100 year Anniversary remembers “the sunshine games”, in its brief but glorious entirety. Sporting Diplomacy in the Olympic Year explores how Sweden, despite losing out to London in the 2012 bid, takes an active role in supporting the London games, as well as highlighting home-grown athletes to “keep an eye on” this summer. Art, as always, is another tool employed by Sweden when building bridges, both at home and abroad. The Swedish Film Institute’s Leading Lady focuses on the work of CEO Anna Serner, carrying the torch handed over by Harry Schein, founder of the institute. The article covers current issues from piracy, an issue close to home, and extremely relevant at present, to Sweden’s lucrative crime genre and its recent global success. So prepare for no doubt another beautiful summer in Sweden, with offerings of culture, music and, most notably, the opportunity to visit the countries picturesque archipelagos. Two such islands are uncovered in Öland and Ven – A tale of two islands. So there’s no excuse, embrace the summer and all its cultural, artistic and sporting splendour, and as always, Swedish Bulletin will be your perfect companion to this.
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© Swedish Bulletin. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any format or by any means, electronic or mechanical, �2�5 including photocopies, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Teresa Ivars Publisher and Chief Editor
S UMMER 2 0 1 2
34 Vineyards in Skåne - Visiting vineyards in the
rench Ambassador Jean-Pierre Lacroix F Appreciates open landscapes, adept diplomacy and cultural dynamism of Sweden
18 Mr. Guillaume Chabert, ecomonic Counselor 20
28 Uddeholm - World market leader in the supply
30 Radisson Blue Strand Hotel - Celebrating 100
CULTURE & MORE
The residence of France - French excellence
en years of Swedish Bulletin - The story T behind the magazine Meet the contributors of Swedish Bulletin
36 Dalarna - Unique folk art and a rich cultural
he French Chamber of Commerce in Sweden T - a network for Franco-Swedish business
of Swedish environmental technology
south of Sweden
27 Boliden and the mining boom - Investing and
26 IVL: System solutions are the greatest strength
at the French Embassy - Acknowledges the difference between France and Sweden
46 Franska Skolan - Celebrating its 150 year 50
Facebook likes Luleå
Stockholm Olympics 100 year anniversary
expanding in order to increase production
of high performance and corrosion resistance steel for industry tools years of hospitality
31 Waxholmbolaget boats - Exploring the archipelago and its islands this Summer
32 The Swedish Handicraft Society’s centennial includes several shows and events
66 Almgren’s silk mill and museum - Out with the old, in with the old
68 Bits & Pieces - Exhibiting soldiers’ belongings LIFESTYLE
Explosion-painting in action
should be on everyone’s radar this summer
from the past
52 Anna Serner
64 Hidden gems - Records, artists and projects that
- The Swedish Film Institute’s
S tacked in his favour - Swedish artist Michael Johansson takes the world by storm
60 Swedish actor Erland Josephson - Scenes from a
70 A Room with a View - Unique experiences this summer in Sweden
Öland and Ven - A tale of two islands
Björkudden - Northern summer nights
80 Pytte’s food - Chocolate meringue with hazelnut spread and berries
enowned Gothenburg Film Festival - Film R fund threatened
Reflection of the past two decades
44 Sporting diplomacy in the Olympic Year
THE UNCOMF ORTABLE TRUTH
Steel manufacturing is smelly, polluting and energy intensive. In the process of making steel, heavy metals, sulphur, solvents and CO2 are inevitably released into the atmosphere. Some of it sinks to the ground, where it is taken up by plants and animals and seeps into the groundwater. Producing steel also requires enormous amounts of energy. Fossil fuels further increase the emission of CO2.
Steel is endlessly recyclable. By recycling scrap metal you contribute to a sustainable cycle where you waste, pollute and consume less. Even better would be if you could buy back your own used product – worn-out tools and parts made from your own steel. Recycling also gets results when it comes to the humdrum habits of your co-workers. By separating rubbish at the source, you lessen the amount of waste coming from your plant (which your local council has to deal with) by as much as 85%.
WHERE WOULD WE BE WITHOUT STEEL?
Meanwhile, steel is one of the most important and widely used structural materials in the world. It is used as a construction material in practically every industrial sector, from automotive to building to manufacturing. When it is not a component in end products, steel is used in the tools that shape or mould them. It is, quite simply, hard to imagine where we’d be without steel. In short, steel is essential to life as we know it, but at the same time it puts a strain on nature. What can we do to lessen the unavoidable environmental impact of manufacturing steel? WHAT C AN BE D ONE?
buy our steel
Well as it turns out – quite a bit. It’s all about a shift in how you think. Some things are a given and some are not. Some steps mean large investments, others tiny. All contribute to the end result. By installing and continuously upgrading air and water filters, it is possible to reduce dust and CO2 emissions into the air and water by around 99%. By converting from fossil fuels to natural gas, dust emissions can be reduced by another 20% on top of that. Such a conversion can also be expected to further reduce sulphur emissions by a whopping 60%!
REUSINg EXCESS HEAT
A steel mill generates a lot of excess heat. Instead of letting it go to waste, some of our excess heat is fed into the district heating system in Hagfors Municipality. This has reduced the energy consumption of the surrounding households by 7,000,000 kWh/year, which corresponds to the annual consumption of 280 residential houses. TRUST IS SOMETHINg yOU EARN E vERy DAy
The figures you’ve just read are all real. They’re the result of 40 years of continuous efforts to reduce the environmental impact of our mill in Hagfors, Sweden. That’s why you don’t just get steel when you buy from us. you also get our commitment to producing steel that you can trust to be sustainable and as clean as it can get. getting there is a never-ending process. It’s a promise you make every day. That’s how trust is truly earned.
F O CU S
he years that Ambassador Jean-Pierre Lacroix’s spent in Washington and New York as a senior diplomat at the United Nations infused him with an appreciation for the wide open spaces that are rare in continental Europe. Since arriving in Sweden last August as Ambassador for France, he has had the opportunity to travel around the country and rekindle his spiritual bond with boundless landscapes such as those found in the far north. Swedish Bulletin had the chance to sit down with the Ambassador ahead of a busy weekend in the French ambassadorial residence, a vast interior landscape of palatial proportions. It was the Friday before the first round of presidential elections in France, and the following night the residence on Narvavägen was opening to the public for Stockholm Culture Night activities. During the interview, singers and musicians came and went in preparation for the live performances there that Saturday. “It is important to open the residence to people from other walks of life, not just diplomats, in order to dispel the wrong impression that diplomacy is cut off from the public,” says Ambassador Lacroix. Increasing contact, and promoting greater understanding in general, is of course one of his prime responsibilities as ambassador. To this end, cultural exchange and scientific co-operation are two areas the Ambassador has prioritized in furthering the already strong social and political ties between France and Sweden. Commercial ties are also of fundamental importance in the embassy’s efforts. “The relationship is very harmonious,” he says. “However I want to achieve a situation where we understand each other even better. On some European Union issues we come from a different starting point. And since France is a slightly different cultural area of Europe, I want to make sure we understand each other’s society in terms of the great challenges we are together facing today.” Ambassador Lacroix gained great respect for the engagement and acumen of Swedish diplomats such as Jan Eliasson during his years at the United Nations, where he served as Deputy Permanent Representative of France. “Swedes are very prominent and active in the UN, especially within human rights, crisis management and development assistance,” according to the Ambassador. “They have a natural gearing toward negotiation and compromise, something that is perhaps a Swedish national trait. The quality of Swedish diplomats has something to do with that.”
Ambassador Jean-Pierre Lacroix France’s ambassador appreciates the open landscapes, adept diplomacy and cultural dynamism of Sweden T E X T & P H O T O : E R I C PA G L I A
From the Ambassador’s experience, compromise is a pragmatic strategy for avoiding stalemate and reaching productive outcomes in complex multilateral settings. His time at the UN also taught him the importance of empathy in diplomatic work. “Being at the United Nations has two special characteristics: you meet and work with diplomats from all countries, and you negotiate a lot. This helped me understand other people, and put myself in someone else’s shoes,” he says. “It constantly puts pressure on you to go the extra mile to understand what determines someone else’s position, and their approach to a certain issue or problem.” France in fact often looks north in search of best practices. “Sweden is often selected as a country where we can get good ideas,” according to the Ambassador. “French delegations come to Sweden to explore a particular issue, for example health care, immigration or pensions.We compare notes and look at how we can improve based on the Swedish experience, and share our experiences so that they could be beneficial for Sweden. In the end, most of the problems we are facing are very similar; what is important is how can we create the best ideas and set of tools to address these.” Some of the social problems endemic to Sweden and France, as well as most Western countries, are brought to light in the Stieg Larsson Millennium series of crime novels. These were embraced early on in France and became massive bestsellers there. “Part of being an open society is to look at these aspects in an open way. The books further enhanced the image of Sweden as a county not only characterised by innovation, social welfare and respect for human rights, but one that is also able to look at itself in an objective way and reflect on the kinds of problems contained in the Millennium series,” according to Ambassador Lacroix. “Stieg Larsson, along with other bestselling Swedish authors such as Camilla Läckberg and Henning Mankell, as well as other factors like the tremendous development of gastronomy in Stockholm, has renewed the perception of Sweden as a country of cultural dynamism.” On the eve of French elections, the Ambassador placed emphasis on the point that the concerns of France were those common to Europe in its entirety. “There is not one issue that is particularly ‘French’, he says. “As in many other European countries, jobs and the economy are of great concern, but also awareness of other challenges in the world such as climate change. We have to deal with the crises not only as French citizens but also as Europeans. Hence the importance of working closely with our EU partners such as Sweden, which has an important role as a country focused on new ways of remaining competitive and staying on top of scientific and technological innovation, always geared towards progress and competitiveness.”
“Sweden is often selected as a country where we can get good ideas,” a c c o r d i n g t o t h e A m b a s s a d o r.
S PECIAL F EA T URE
Ten years of Swedish Bulletin T E X T: C H R I S T I N E D E M S T E A D E R
“The Swedish Bulletin has been a great source of interesting and useful information. A window into Swedish culture, history, personalities and unusual anecdotes, not otherwise available to the non Swedish speaking community. After five years in Sweden, I still look forward to learning something new.”, Kenyan ambassador HE Purity Muhindi
we thought about the hotels and the expats,” she says. “Still we know that even Swedes read and enjoy the magazine too.” They were quick to get a solid distribution in a number of Stockholm quality hotels, the Foreign Ministry, and Chambers of Commerce at home and abroad, which cemented a growing following of readers, among the business community, the expats and clubs for foreigners in Sweden. In the last ten years, there have been 47 issues of the Bulletin, with countless numbers of ambassadors, business leaders and politicians interviewed. The first edition featured an article with HE Cristina Barrios y Almazor, then Ambassador of Spain to Sweden. In the spring of 2003, the Bulletin secured its first interview with a Swedish minister, which made a lasting impact. Before her
he first quarterly Englishlanguage magazine of its kind has come a long way since the first edition was published in June 2002. The couple behind the publication, Teresa Ivars and Lars Ekholm, describe their dedicated journey with the magazine over the last decade. “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.” The famous quote couldn’t have been more relevant for Teresa Ivars who at the time was Colombia’s Ambassador to Sweden from 1995 to 2001.
“At that time there was not enough material about Sweden in English,” she says. “When my tenure as ambassador ended I though we had to do something.” At that time, the popular English news website The Local didn’t exist, and a weekly English round up in Swedish business paper Dagens Industri was welcomed but simply wasn’t enough to fulfil the need. So the couple decided to set the precedent and go it alone.Yet with no prior publishing experience, it was a quick learning process on the job.
Teresa had a decorated diplomatic career behind her while Lars had run a successful import company for many years. “When you are a happy amateur you don’t think things are that difficult,” Lars says. “We were of the opinion that if others can do it, so can we..” Getting the formula right proved experimental. Teresa drew on her contacts within embassy circles to get the magazine moving. “It was aimed partly at the diplomatic community because they were in more urgent need but of course
untimely death later that year, Anna Lindh, Sweden’s then Foreign Minister, talked openly on a range of topics from semla buns to the Swedish Model. Over the years, the magazine has worked in close collaboration with embassies to produce special themed issues, such as South Africa’s ten years of democratic rule in 2004 and Poland’s 25th anniversary of Solidarity in 2005. The positive response from readers was gratifying and it was that which kept Lars and Teresa going in the tough early days. “We believed in the idea,” Lars says. “And people simply liked the magazine; they enjoyed the content and wanted to be a part of it.” “It was extremely difficult to secure advertising at that time,” Teresa adds. “Most companies were not sure that foreigners were worth enough.” The concept proved its worth with a target
audience and a succession of journalists eager to write for them, a number of which have been involved from the very start. Now retired from their former professions, Lars and Teresa happily dedicate their time to the Bulletin. “For me it’s important to keep busy and to be in contact with people and real life,” Teresa says. However, their commitment and reluctance to take it easy comes at somewhat of a price. “Retired people can up and go on holiday at a week’s notice,” Lars adds. “We are tied down with deadlines throughout the year so we cannot which is a disadvantage.” But they wouldn’t change it. In the course of the last ten years, other English magazines in Sweden have come and gone but the Bulletin has established itself as a highly-regarded and quality magazine, offering that little bit extra for its readers who no longer find themselves out of touch in Sweden.
“The Swedish Bulletin is the only quality magazine about Sweden in English. I have learned a lot in general from the many very interesting interviews and and I hope you will continue for at least the next ten years.” A n n a B e l f r a g e , S e n i o r a d v i s o r, K r e a b G a v i n A n d e r s o n
S PECIAL EA T URE CUL TFURE & F O CU S
Ten years of Swedish Bulletin
Meet the contributors T E X T: C H R I S T I N E D E M S T E A D E R
You have probably read their articles; you most likely know their names... now here’s the chance to get to know The Swedish Bulletin’s core team of contributors that little bit better.
Elizabeth Dacey-Fondelius She first arrived in Sweden 20 years ago while interrailing between the two years she worked in Budapest. She met her Swedish husband on her second evening. It’s easy to say that the rest is history. That history includes working as a professional communication consultant, presentation trainer and cultural coach while writing about Sweden and Swedes in publications like Time Out Stockholm and The Local. She is also a copywriter with clients including the NASDAQ OMX, Invest Sweden and IKEA. ”I’ve been writing for the Bulletin since their first year,” she says. “I enjoy writing about Sweden and the different angles that interest both newcomers and people who have been here a while. Every time I write something about an aspect of Sweden I learn something new.”
Eric Paglia The founder of Rocket.FM – an English-language rock music radio station that began broadcasting in 1996. “Writing for the magazine gives me a chance to meet people I wouldn’t otherwise come into contact with in my daily life,” he says. Thanks to his involvement, he has travelled to Romania on a presidential visit and Lithuania to interview numerous government ministers. One of his most memorable articles he has written was The Singing Ambassadors, where he met the group’s leader, then Japan’s Ambassador to Sweden Seiichiro Otsuka. “I spent an afternoon with him; he was an amazing character and we shared similar interests such as baseball and fishing,” Eric says. Following an interview for the Bulletin with Andrew Mitchell, former British Ambassador to Sweden, he became a regular on Eric’s ThinkGloballyRadio.org - a radio show intended to help spread awareness and understanding on environmental issues.
Christina Linderoth-Olson Born and bred in Skåne, southern Sweden, Christina studied humanities at the University of Lund where History of Art became her favourite subject. With both parents from Gothenburg, she says her heart still remains on the west coast. With a background in publishing, books and magazines have been a passion since Christina was a child. She has worked at the Egmont Group, one of Scandinavia’s largest publishing groups and as Communications Manager at Stockholm’s Auktionsverk and the Financial Supervisory Authority in Stockholm. Since 1999 Christina has worked as a freelance journalist. “I grew up in Sweden although I have lived and studied abroad for some years,” she says. “I know aspects of Swedish life that I think would take many years for expats to find out about – such as history, customs and regional differences,” she adds. “So my involvement with the magazine helps me to contribute in creating a positive image of Sweden.”
She has been writing for the Swedish Bulletin since late 2002 as the ‘west coast correspondent’. “I’d never even heard of Gothenburg before I moved here,” she says. “When you hear about Sweden, you hear about Stockholm but west Sweden has a really interesting dynamic and the culture is quite independent in nature.” The American landed at the Gothenburg train station late one night in 2000, where she met her future husband. Since arriving in Sweden, Michael has worked at the West Sweden Chamber of Commerce as well as Lavasoft, an IT security software company. She now spends her days on freelance marketing projects and is putting her small business development experience to work with two other partners to launch a company focused on the development of artisans and small businesses that use recycled materials in their products.
Christian von Essen The challenge of writing in English remains a rewarding one for the Swedish freelance editor and marketing consultant. He began writing for the magazine in 2007, which he combines with various editor roles, travel blog Resekoll.se, music blog Skivkoll. se and ice cream blog Glasskoll.se. Christian is also editor-in-chief at the monthly Scandinavian travel trade magazine Travel Report and secretary at the Association of Swedish Travel Journalists. His studies in International Business and Marketing have taken him to Oslo, Singapore and Malaysia and his work combines his continued love of travel today. “Since I work a lot within the travel industry I see the magazine in hotels and people have come to respect it as a rather ambitious product that is much appreciated.” Recalling his first written piece for the magazine, an interview with Swedish opera diva Kerstin Dellert, he adds: “I was kind of nervous about meeting her, this old Swedish prima donna, so I went to the library and read up about her then stayed up all night afterwards to write the article – it was a memorable assignment.”
Christine Demsteader Also celebrating a ten-year anniversary this year, the British journalist arrived in Stockholm in 2002 and found The Swedish Bulletin soon after. She has been a contributor ever since. “I have learnt a lot about the country I now call home on the job, so to speak,” she says. Her most memorable articles include an interview with Jan Eliasson in Washington when he was Sweden’s Ambassador to the USA and the chance to be part of the Marrakesh Film Festival in Morocco. “The diversity of assignments and articles is what I enjoy about working with the Bulletin,” she adds. “It’s not only given me a deeper insight into Sweden but other countries too that I’ve been inspired to visit. Christine currently works as a freelance communications consultant, journalist and radio producer and began her career as a BBC sports journalist in London. Still a keen sport’s enthusiast today, she has attempted to turn her hand to a game of innebandy but has yet to develop a real fondness for ice hockey, even after ten years in Sweden.
Patricia Ricknell She is a Canadian writer who has lived in Sweden, France and Dubai. Since moving to Stockholm in 1994, Patricia has worked as a professional communication consultant and freelance writer, as well as a communication officer at NASDAQ OMX. She now works as a copywriter for clients including Karolinska Institutet and Wunderman and writes a blog about saints. “Since I started writing for the Bulletin, I have met the most fascinating people and had a great deal of fun,” she says. “I’d say my favourite articles have been my interview with Jamie Oliver and the piece I wrote about Halloween traditions in Sweden, which landed me on SVT’s morning show.”
David Bartal One of the things he likes best about writing for Swedish Bulletin is that the magazine covers such a wide range of subjects. “I have contributed articles about artists, Green technology, Thai kick-boxing, a female rock singer, cheese and chocolate, fashion designers, history and countless other topics,” he says. One highlight was a piece he wrote about an exhibit at Stockholm’s Army Museum commemorating the end of Sweden’s last war 200 years earlier. While waiting for King Carl XII Gustaf to cut a ribbon to open the exhibit, David started to chat with a fellow standing next to me who turned out to be a direct descendent of the Russian commanding general who defeated the Swedish troops at the most decisive battle. “That brought the Napoleonic War alive for me in a way I could never have anticipated,” he adds.
S PECIAL F EA T URE
Isabel Molina Having been involved with the layout and design of the Swedish Bulletin for five years, for Isabel, the magazine provides a great service for those who are new in town and those who want to constantly be in touch with the foreigners and expat community. Since Isabel had recently landed in Stockholm when she began working with the magazine, it helped her to discover the country and Stockholm, the Swedish mindset, history and personalities. As part of the team she was invited to attend exhibitions and presentations, meet members of the diplomatic community and even Crown Princess Victoria. “There are many articles that helped me discover special Swedish places and landmarks, places brimming with art and tradition, such as Waldermarsudde -, Steninge Palace, the Royal Summer Palaces, Grythyttan, Hallwylska Museum and Häringe Slott, among others,” she adds.
Juan Carlos Ivars From the very beginnings of the magazine Juan Carlos has been involved as a writer, editor and has even overseen the direction of the publication- “I have witnessed the Swedish Bulletin grow into a respectable and contemporary magazine,” he says. “I see it continuing its spiral of success, and I intend to stay a part of it.” Currently completing his Master’s course in International Relations and History, his continued involvement with the publication gives him an artistic respite from his everyday studies. “I enjoy working with the magazine simply because I love writing,” he says. “Academic writing and creative writing are very different things and only the latter allows me to indulge in what I like to do best.”
Lauren Dyer Amazeen A regular contributor to a number of publications around the world, including Artforum (New York), Tema Celeste contemporary art magazine (Milan), Paletten contemporary Swedish arts journal and as cultural correspondent for Crawford fashion magazine (Athens). Lauren is a member of Association of International Art Critics (AICA). While living in Stockholm she was President of the International Women’s Club and began writing for the Bulletin in early 2005. “I was inspired that Teresa and Lars had the determination to start the magazine,” she says. Lauren enjoys the freedom to write about what inspires her. “I love learning about the arts and culture of Sweden and the Nordic region,” she adds. Therefore most of my articles focus on creative individuals or the organizations and those people who support creativity and culture. It’s difficult to pick a favourite but my recent articles on Raoul Wallenberg (Spring 2012), who used his creativity heroically, gave me sleepless nights as my mind processed the historical context.”
Lloyd Axten Lloyd has been Head of Layout and Design with Swedish Bulletin for the last three years. He studied Industrial Design at Brunel University in London, providing him with great experience for designing the magazine. He worked for a large corporate company in London where he was project manager and designer for their monthly publication that was handed out to finance and compliance professionals across the world. Since taking over the design responsibilities in late 2009 he now also heads the team of editors and proofreaders to ensure that the magazine remains of excellent quality. His favourite articles involve subjects such as travelling and architecture, he also loves reading about the wide variety of experiences that can be had in Sweden throughout the year.
F O CU S
Mr. Guillaume Chabert, Economic Counselor at the French Embassy and Head of the French Economic Department of the Nordic Countries. Acknowledging the differences but emphasising the opportunities in further expanding economic relations T E X T: E R I C PA G L I A
rance and Sweden enjoy robust economic relations at the rate of 11 billion per annum.Yet there is room for relations to grow significantly in both directions, according to Guillaume Chabert, Head of the French Economic Department on the Nordic Countries. Mr. Chabert points to the automobile, agricultural and food and drink industries as areas that could see substantial growth in the years ahead. He puts great emphasis on the strategic sectors of infrastructure, information and communication technology and energy. Within the broader context of co-operation on energy issues, there already exists extensive bi-lateral collaboration within the nuclear energy industry. Sweden and France co-finance projects and research in both countries, and exchanges between French and Swedish experts and administrators is commonplace, according to Mr. Chabert. The office also helps inform French public policy. “We monitor certain indicators and reforms in Sweden and other Nordic countries to use as benchmarks to see what might be feasible for our own reforms in France,” says Mr. Chabert. “We also have a diplomatic function, promoting our positions on European or international economic issues, as well as to gain greater understanding of the Swedish positions on these topics.” Guillaume Chabert’s office also engages in explaining French economic policies and positions to Swedes, something that has been especially important during the recent European financial crisis.
PHOTO: JENNY SIGURS
Despite the strong ties between the two countries, significant differences do sometimes exist in negotiation situations. “On several issues our positions are not close at all, such as agricultural policy or international trade negotiations,” says Mr. Chabert. “Often France and Sweden start with opposite perspectives, but both countries are pragmatic. It takes some time to discuss, but compromises can emerge because the fundamental values of social protection and improving economic growth and competitiveness are not far apart,” according to Mr. Chabert. Business culture is another area where French and Swedish perspectives and approaches sometimes diverge. “There are more differences than one would think from the beginning,” Chabert contends. “But after a while it becomes easy to understand and apply the rules of the game of the other country.” One example is Swedish consensus culture, where decisions are usually made in advance of group meetings and controversy is thereby kept to a minimum. The opposite is often the case in France. “It is the tendency in France for meetings to be very open and frank, with the view to raise and settle all issues,” he says. “It is important for French businessmen to be aware of this difference.” Despite the occasional difference culturally or in policy perspective, pragmatism, common interests and shared values promise to carry economic relations between Sweden and France forward into the future.
Photo from a lunch Conference 25/4 2012 with Elisabet Thand Ringqvist CEO of Företagarna:
F O CU S
Johan Stenberg, vice chairman of the French Chamber of Commerce in Sweden Kristina Hulteberg, Managing Director of the French Chamber of Commerce in Sweden Pierre Maurice Aflalo,,Chairman of the French Chamber of Commerce in Sweden
The French Chamber of Commerce in Sweden – the network for Franco-Swedish business TEXT & PHOTO: COURTESY CCFS
Founded in 1918, from the economic ashes of WWI, the CCFS has kept to its original mission as a private organisation dedicated to the development of trade relations between France and Sweden in its 94 years of existence.
ccess to the right people and to the right information is critical to success in business. This is what the French Chamber of Commerce in Sweden is offering the French-Swedish business community. Our role is to develop business relations between companies and organisations in France and Sweden and give our member companies every opportunity to grow their businesses through our network and the events we organise. The French Chamber of Commerce in Sweden was the first foreign Chamber of Commerce founded in Sweden in 1918. Today our Chamber counts about 200 member companies - ranging from SMEs and entrepreneurs to world leading multinationals. The diversity and quality of our members - 50% of which are non-French nationals - largely contributes to our success and to the reputation we have acquired over the past 94 years of existence. Our Chamber is part of UCCIFE, a network of 115 French Chambers of Commerce Abroad, the largest private French network in the world with more than 23,000 member companies. The CCFS is also a member of the International Chamber of Commerce, or ICC.
Our main missions are to provide a platform for networking and exchange at the service of Franco-Swedish firms in Sweden, to promote our member companies and their interests and to help develop economic and commercial relations between France and Sweden. Our Business Consultancy department provides companies from the two nations with a large range of professional services. The 25-30 events we organise every year, with personalities from the Swedish and French political and business worlds, offer great opportunities for our members to develop their businesses and expand their network of contacts.
You are welcome to join our business network! Kristina Hulteberg - Managing Director, the French Chamber of Commerce in Sweden Franska Handelskammaren i Sverige Chambre de Commerce Française en Suède Grev Turegatan 10E - 114 46 Stockholm Tel. + 46 (0)8 442 54 44 www.ccfs.se
S WEDI S H C O MPANIE S
With 850 million actions and 100 million images uploaded each day, Facebook handles massive amounts of data to be processed and stored on servers. The heat produced by the servers requires electricity to run large cooling systems to prevent breakdowns. Engman explains, “Imagine that every ‘like’ on Facebook has to be stored on a server. And then each of those must have a back up to ensure the service never stops. That means a company like Facebook needs to deliver 100% on top of 100%. They are going to save nearly 70% on their diesel back up generator requirements simply by tapping directly into our stable and redundant grid. There are many benefits for locating high-tech industry in Luleå, Sweden. They include:
Facebook likes Luleå T E X T: M I C H A E L H E L A N D E R
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE NODE POLE
or every salesman there is that one ultimate goal, which begs the question: “How do I land that one big customer? How do you achieve that one substantial windfall?” Now imagine Luleå Business Agency is the salesman, and the answer is “With a lot of research, planning, and hard work.”
continued, “We saw our opportunity when Google bought an old paper mill in Finland to refit as a data storage centre and take advantage of the cooler weather.” That’s when a plan was initiated to contact some of the largest companies in the world to ensure they knew all about Luleå, Sweden.
Luleå Business Agency landed their big fish in social media giant Facebook. CEO of Luleå, Matz Engman, was originally hired as a consultant back in 2008 in order to identify new industry opportunities for the area.
Located 100 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle and with a relatively small population of 74,000, Luleå has identified how to sell their cool climate to attract more IT data storage facilities. And a galaxy of companies is now expected to follow in those large footsteps of Facebook.
“I worked together with people in the community, representatives at the Luleå University of Technology, and Invest in Sweden to put together a ‘package’ of our city’s benefits to attract new business. And in 2009 we began to go out into the world to sell that package.” “Facebook would have never known about little Luleå in Sweden. We needed to go to them,” Engman said. “When I give speeches I joke about how nice it would have been if Facebook were just ‘driving by’ Luleå and noticed our fine city and decided to locate here. But that just isn’t the reality.” Engman
Luleå’s founding steel, mining and paper industries still exist today. “We’re combining steel band with broadband,” said Engman. “Companies like SSAB are very much a part of who we are today. Plus they are the reason that Luleå has such a welldeveloped electricity infrastructure.” Much like the requirements of the traditional industries, new tech companies like Facebook cannot exist without electricity – and Luleå offers lower electricity prices, thanks to the local river, that produces more energy than is consumed in the region.
•C ooler climate for ‘natural’ cooling of data storage centres resulting in dramatic energy savings. • An abundance of lower-cost renewable energy with highvolume access. • Direct proximity to the Luleå University of Technology with 16,000 students and 1,600 staff, access to world-leading research facilities and a highly skilled workforce. After the Facebook announcement, University applications are at an all time high since it opened in 1971. • The business park is 15 minutes from Luleå Airport, with good daily connections and easy access. • Access to renewable energy boosts the environmental profile of companies that locate in the region. The 105 million SEK invested by the government may sound like a hefty price to pay to attract a company like Facebook, but Engman counters, “That 100 million SEK turns into 300 million SEK in electricity revenue alone within the first three years. Facebook is investing between 3 and 5 billion SEK in this project. Over 300 local construction jobs have been created to build the facility, which will equal 33 hockey rinks in size when complete.” Engman shared one unusual experience with the Facebook project. “When we went to the municipal and community organizations for issues like land, building permits, etc., there was 100% consensus. That never happens in development!” It shows that the entire community understands the benefit of the Facebook project and stands firmly behind it. Facebook will initially employ 60 to 70 people in their facility on the appropriately named Datavägen. The steel required for the building of the massive storage facility was sourced locally, peripheral industry clusters will consider locating in Luleå to be near Facebook, and the local services including hospitality and housing will naturally increase as a result of the growth. “Even Luleå’s taxi drivers are positive about Facebook’s arrival in our community,” Engman quips. Luleå has their traditional industries to thank for their impressive electric grid, and now they have Facebook to thank for putting Luleå on the world map. Engman shared his thoughts about how a small town like Luleå was able to land a global giant like Facebook. “When I am out and speaking with other organisations, I ask them ‘What can you do to change your area in a positive way’. We did it.You can, too.” Looking towards the future, Engman is determined. “Facebook has not written the book on Luleå A-Z, we have to do it. We have to work hard. Facebook put Luleå on the map, and now it’s up to us to take full advantage.”
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ILV: System solutions are the greatest strength of Swedish environmental technology T E X T: Ö S T E N E K E N G R E N , E X E C U T I V E V I C E P R E S I D E N T I V L- S W E D I S H E N V I R O N M E N TA L R E S E A R C H I N S T I T U T E
owards the end of the 1970s, Swedish companies took the lead in developing new technologies to tackle environmental problems. These technologies were focused primarily on cleaning emissions and discharges to air and water from industrial and household sewage. One of the reasons that we, in Sweden could take a leading role in this was that we already had environmental authorities demanding measures to reduce the very obvious environmental problems of the day. To back them up, the authorities had environmental legislation upheld by enthusiastic and committed politicians. Over several years, the combination has enabled Sweden to develop a wide-ranging knowledge of environmental issues, along with an approach that looks at the bigger picture, as a result the country has become very accomplished at so called system solutions. By system solutions, we mean those that involve a variety of determinants and technologies, and not least the various stakeholders, including politicians. We are particularly outstanding in municipal water treatment systems, and recycling of water and/or chemicals in industrial production systems to take advantage of energy from waste, not to mention our proficiency in IT and transport. By recognizing synergies it is possible, for example, to harness the energy lost by putting waste in polluting landfills. The waste can instead be recovered as material or be used for energy production.
An ever-increasing percentage of the world’s growing population lives in cities. It is a great challenge to offer clean water, good housing, food, energy and transport within these cities. Wastewater and solid waste have to be handled in a sustainable way given that fresh water is limited in many countries, and the scarcity will increase with rising global temperatures. A new broad interdisciplinary way to work is necessary, where waste water and solid waste are seen as raw material for the creation of positive resources. We will therefore test subsystems that can lead to a production unit for water to be reused for a multitude of purposes; energy from wastewater and solid waste, phosphorous and other nutrients to be re-circulated, and removal of pharmaceutical residues, metals and other priority compounds. The consortium is strong, both in R&D with four Universities and two research Institutes, and in commercial aspects with Xylem (top exporter of environmental technology, ET) as the leading company together with several others. The pilot scale STP Sjöstadsverket is an important resource. A successful project will create an important export product. It could produce a threefold increase in ET export five years after demonstration, corresponding to 24 billion SEK. With a total world market for ET of 3,000 billion SEK we also seek strategic R&D co-operation with the big markets, China and the US.
Nutrients out Wastewater in
We have a treatment facility 26
Treated Water out Sludge out
Boliden and the mining boom
The sewage waste-water treatment plant of tomorrow – is a production facility for water, phosphorus and energy.
We want a production facility
The Nordic metal company is investing and expanding in order to increase production.
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t all began with a gold rush in the north of Sweden in 1924, when the Boliden gold ore was discovered near Skellefteå, the richest ore in Europe. Seven years and several turns later, two mining companies merged and Boliden was founded. The company was successful for several years and has since known periods of healthy growth as well as some hard times. Today, Boliden is a Nordic metal company listed on the Stockholm and Toronto Stock Exchanges. The two business areas are mining and smelting, and the major metals extracted are zinc and copper, as well as gold, silver and lead. The production includes every step from exploration to sales of the high quality metals (the finished article). The mining area comprises open pit mines and underground mines in Sweden with one underground mine, Tara, in Ireland.
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF BOLIDEN
“We have four major projects. The largest is the doubling of ore capacity in our artic Aitik mine. This expansion is almost done – 36 million tonnes of ore production will be reached by 2014. The investment of SEK six billion in the Aitik mine is the largest of Boliden’s investments,” continues Marcela Sylvander.
after. Exploration is a vital part of our company and geologists from all over the world are part of Boliden’s staff,” says Marcela Sylvander. Boliden’s headquarters is located in Stockholm and the personnel comprises around 4,500 employees. www.boliden.com
In June 2012 a metal recycling plant at Boliden’s Rönnskär smelter will be inaugurated by Environments Minister Lena Ek. With this investment Boliden will become a world leader in the recycling of copper and precious metals from electronic scrap. Boliden is also starting up its fifth gold mine, Kankberg, in the Boliden area, at the end of 2012. The mine will also extract tellurium, a rare metal used as alloying material in steel and as a semiconductor in solar cells.
“Demand for metals is increasing and China has been the single most important factor [in this] in recent years. Metal prices reflect the supply and demand and are set globally. Boliden’s customers, however, are mainly European,” says Marcela Sylvander, Director of Group Communications at Boliden.
Another major project is the expansion of operations at the Garpenberg zincsilver mine in the province of Dalarna. Garpenberg is Sweden’s oldest mine, dating back to the 13th century, 3.9 SEK has been invested and the ore production will increase from 1.4 million tonnes to 2.5 million tonnes per annum.
The current metals market is dynamic and the company is in a phase of expansion, investing a total of 12 billion SEK in organic growth measures.
“The great demand in metals has created a mining boom and skilled specialists, for example geologists, are really sought
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hen Johan Karlström spearheaded the building of the company’s first steel mill at Stjärnsfors, Uddeholm in 1668, the timing and location could not have been better to help kick start a legacy that would long outlive him. With a strong demand for steel coming from all across Europe, one of Uddeholm’s goals, even in those early days, was to look for customers abroad. In 1843, some 170 years ago, when then mill manager Erik Georg Danielsson spent a year in the US securing new orders, a hugely successful 12 months resulted in several export orders. To this day the close understanding of the market in which it operates has remained the corner stone of Uddeholm’s worldwide business strategy. The company’s global thinking means that it endeavours to always be ready to serve its customers, whenever and wherever they call upon it. Having a presence on every continent guarantees customers receive the same high quality tool steel regardless of their location.
Uddeholm a world market leader Built on almost 350 years of historic success, Uddeholms AB today remains the market leader in the supply of high performance and corrosion resistant steel for industry tools T E X T: B O O R U N D Q U I S T
PHOTOS: COURTESY UDDEHOLM AB
In conjunction with Associated Swedish Steel, the sales company set up specifically for Asia, the 20th Century saw Uddeholm reach a host of new and emerging markets where it has since gone on to build a commanding presence. Furthermore, the work it carries out in the development of new process technologies has led to the company becoming a world renowned leader in producing steel for industrial tools. Each and every year millions of products are manufactured using these tools, with products such as cars, buses, televisions, computers and various household appliances having their origin in tool steel from Uddeholm. The highest level of technological practices, combined with genuine
better than anyone else is that selecting a tool steel supplier is a key decision for all parties, from the producer of the tool, to its intended recipient. Throughout the course of its history Uddeholm has achieved unmatched levels of knowledge in the field of tool steel making. In many ways the company has made it a point of honour to be the market leader in the technological development of new tool steels. Its work in the field of research and product development commands a leading position in the industry. However it is not just a piece of steel that the company sells, what it does is offer a complete package of services including heat treatment, machining and welding, as well as technical and commercial support. knowledge of steel, and a passion for the product, can be found throughout the company, from its steel production unit in Hagfors, through to its worldwide sales organisation and its customer service teams. Uddeholm guarantees trust and reliability by offering the very best quality products, complete technical support at all stages of the project and a focus on having well organised co-ordination between tool and component manufacturers. The company’s reputation has not simply been built on the manufacturing and delivery of tool steel alone. What it takes equally as much pride in is the way it is able to sell solutions to its customers’ problems. For Uddeholm it is just as much a question of being available to provide consultation when a customer requires sound, expert advice, as it is about supplying a quality product on time. What the company understands
In the last 12 months the company has continued to make significant progress in several market segments. In hot work (where metals are plastically deformed above their recrystallisation temperature) it has turned its focus towards long run die casting production, while in the cold work segment (the opposite), it has developed a new generation of presswork tool steels. Further to these developments, Uddeholm has worked to cement its position as the leading manufacturer of high quality plastic mould steels by maximising the tool life and performance of these products, at the same time as achieving great savings in productivity. In order to continue to progress and grow as a business, the company most definitely needs to be even more focused on its use of research and development as well as on its sales processes.
Firstly, and at it’s heart, is the lush inner archipelago, which is relatively well developed and the core of archipelago life. Discover historic Vaxholm - the archipelago capital with its winding lanes and stately summerhouses - as well as pretty little villages and old fishing stations, still buzzing with activity, at least in the summer. Even though the number of year-round residents has increased in recent years, it is during the summer months that
t was five o’clock in the afternoon on Saturday, 24 February 1912 when the elegant doors of the Strand Hotel opened for the very first time. The Strand’s ‘Roof Garden’ opened and Stockholmers gained an aerial view of their city from an entirely new vantage point. What was the architect’s vision when designing the Strand Hotel? 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the opening by King Gustaf V of one of Stockholm’s most famous hotels. Perhaps the architect was thinking about the historical significance of the ground the hotel would be built on. Blasieholmen, previously named Käpplingeholmen, was the site where the ship-of-the-line Wasa was constructed prior to her brief and dramatic maiden voyage. Since it opened its doors 100 years ago almost three million guests have stayed at the Strand Hotel. Ludvig Peterson, the chief architect, chose a hard-burnt brick from Höganäs similar to that used when building Stockholm’s Stadion. The
owners of the land, the Swedish Order of Freemasons, were Peterson’s clients. At the time, Stockholm had a somewhat different appearance to that of today, and the newspapers wrote: “Whether it is wise from the view of its intended purpose to place a hotel and restaurant at such a remote location is something only time will tell.” Time certainly did tell, because today the Strand Hotel is one of the most central hotels in the city of Stockholm.
1912 - a year of festivity On the 24th of February 1912, a brand new hotel opens its doors. In the magazine Veckojournalen it was possible to read: “It is the new Strand Hotel that is opening its elegant hypermodern guestrooms and its magnificent function room, which in combination with the Masonic Order’s banqueting rooms will be the largest in the capital.” At the inaugural dinner, one could dine for the sum of four and a half Swedish Kronor and King Gustaf V, together with a large number of distinguished celebrities, were among the very first guests.
the area really comes alive. Fishing huts, summerhouses and old post offices are transformed into cosy inns, comfortable guesthouses and youth hostels, galleries, Enjoy shops and handicraft studios. Even during the busy summer season, it is never hard to find your own private paradise in the archipelago. Take a stroll through woods, past gentle meadows and along endless rocky beaches, with only eiders and red-breasted mergansers for company. As you edge nearer to the outer archipelago, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a seal. Out here the landscape becomes more increasingly barren, wild and windswept. In the past these islands were inhabited by people who made a living from the sea, but they have long since left their fishing stations and lighthouses and today it is mainly sailors, along with grey seals and sea eagles, who find their way to these archipelago outposts.
Information about the archipelago, including timetables and boat hikers’ maps, is available at Waxholmsbolaget We l c o m e a boutside oard terminals at Strömkajen, right the archipelago view aboard one of the entrance of Grand Hôtel. We can also our traditional Steamboats recommend visiting the archipelago’s very own travel agency,Visit Skärgården, on Strandvägen in Stockholm. Learn all about the archipelago and its islands, find out what activities are available and check out the special offers at Visit Skärgården, Strandvägen, quay 18, Stockholm, tel 08100 222. The information office and cafe is open Monday – Sunday, 10am- 4pm.
www.waxholmsbolaget.se.Tour information, tel +46 8 679 58 30.
The first century was only the beginning of the Strand Hotel’s glory years. Today the service at Radisson Blue Strand Hotel is characterised by the “Yes I can” spirit. All rooms are equipped with comfortable Dux beds, while cruises to the archipelago and Stockholm’s 30,000 islands leave from the very door-step of the hotel. Guests can experience and enjoy high quality food with seasonal fresh ingredients at Strand Restaurant & Lounge or drop in during the weekend for the best brunch in Stockholm. As part of the Strand Hotel’s 100 year anniversary a Time Capsule will be created. During the course of 2012 we will invite celebrities, dignitaries, hotel guests, citizens of Stockholm and the rest of world to participate. The item will be registered and an official certificate will be given to those participating as a souvenir to be passed on to the next generation. At the end of the year the time capsule will be sealed and not opened again until 2112!
To read the entire story, and share one of your own visits www.radissonblu.se/strand100years
Serenity on Stockholm’s Steps Welcome aboard with Waxholmbolaget, and take a quintessentially Swedish tour on a quintessentially Swedish boat. PHOTO: MAGNUS RIETZ
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Radisson Blue Strand Hotel, a Stockholm Landmark Celebrating 100 years of hospitality
enuine archipelagos exist in very few corners of the world and it happens to be Stockholm, which boasts the largest. Beginning in the centre of the city at Strömkajen, where Waxholmbolaget boats are moored, it stretches mile after mile out into to the Baltic. Some 30,000 islands and skerries are passed along the way, which gradually shift in character the farther out we get.
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Exhibitions Lilli and the Prince – Treading in the footsteps of Lilli Zickerman 6th June – 16th September. Works by several important textile artists will be shown, for example Märta MååsFjetterström, Edna Martin and Annika Ekdahl. Another concurrent theme is the internationalisation of handicrafts. Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde at Djurgården in Stockholm. Open 11am – 5pm, Tuesday – Wednesday; 11am – 8pm on Thursdays and 11am – 5pm, Friday – Sunday. Phone +46 8 545 837 00. www.waldemarsudde.se
Handicrafts – a colourful history T E X T: C H R I S T I N A L I N D E R O T H - O L S O N P H O T O : M AT S L A N D I N , N O R D I S K A M U S E E T, M AT T I A S L I N D B Ä C K
The Swedish Handicrafts Society’s Centennial includes several shows and events.
he year 2012 marks the centennial of Svenska Hemslöjdsföreningarnas Riksförbund, SHR (The Swedish Handicrafts Societies). There will be several exhibitions, workshops and activities all over the country. In the second half of the 19th century, there was a growing interest in folk art and traditional native crafts. The handicraft societies were influenced by the British Arts & Crafts movement, with several Swedish artists and intellectuals, for example the painters Anders Zorn and Carl Larsson along with their wives,
finding inspiration in these ideas. Mrs Lilli Zickerman (1858-1949), a passionate pioneer, founded the first national association for handicrafts (Föreningen för Svensk Hemslöjd) in 1899, with Prince Eugen (a successful painter and patron of the arts) as chairman. Lilli Zickerman did a great job in collecting and documenting folk art (allmoge) textiles in Sweden. The colourful traditional textiles made in Skåne, often named Sweden’s textile treasury, were of particular interest to her. Several weaving schools were founded and women were encouraged to learn weaving by traditional techniques. Märta Måås-Fjetterström, one of the greatest textile artists in the 20th century, was Head of the Association of Swedish Handicrafts weaving school in Vittsjö, where Lilli Zickerman was Director. The traditional textiles of Skåne influenced Märta MååsFjetterström greatly.
Weave 9th May – 30th September The great hall in the museum is packed full of looms. Antique textiles from the museum collections are presented together with new textile designs inspired by traditional techniques.Visitors are also welcome to try weaving. Nordiska Museet at Djurgården in Stockholm. Open daily. Phone +46 8 519 546 00. www.nordiskamuseet.se Swedish Handicraft at Liljevalchs 6th June – 2nd September The exhibition focuses on the joy of handicrafts – the pleasure of creating something with your hands, the wealth of materials, techniques, traditions and the wealth of objects. Liljevalchs at Djurgården, Stockholm. Open Tuesday – Sunday. Phone +46 8 508 31 330. www.liljevalchs.se Lace Art 9th June – 19th August Vadstena Lace was once famous for its beauty and high quality. Learn all about the enchanting world of lace. Contemporary artists present their work, for example master goldsmith Marita Carlborg Olsson, who shows her lace-style jewellery in gold and silver thread. Vadstena Castle in Vadstena. Open daily. Phone +46 143 62 16 00. www.vadstenadirect.se
Sustainable Urbanization – a great challenge The world is undergoing rapid urbanization. Prob ably up to 100 million people a year are moving from rural areas to urban centres. This means high pressure on the environment and natural resources, an urgent demand to save resources and develop ecoefficient environmental technologies, and high demands on sustainable urban planning. A key factor to success in this regard is to identify and utilize the synergies between different segments of urban functions. We use the Swedish concept SymbioCity to visualize the interaction
between planning and different subsystems such as waste, energy, water and sustainable transport. China, India and Russia are all crucial countries with regard to the challenge of sustain able urbanization but also important markets for the Swedish cleantech industry. The Swedish Government has launched an initiative to support the export of environmental technology to these countries and collaboration with them on further innovation and development in this field.
If you would like to know more please contact one of the following.
Mats Denninger High Representative mats.denninger@ enterprise.ministry.se
Monique Wannding Director - Russia monique.wannding@ enterprise.ministry.se
Lennart Nilsson Director - China lennart.nilsson@ enterprise.ministry.se
Micael Hagman Director - India micael.hagman@ enterprise.ministry.se
Martin Rosvall Hansson, Managing Director of Flädie Mat & Vingård ( F l ä d i e Fo o d & V i n e y a r d ) w i t h a f e w b o t t l e s f r o m t h e v i n e y a r d .
Wedding in the vineyard. Flädie Mat & V i n g å r d ( F l ä d i e Fo o d & V i n e y a r d ) .
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T h e v i n e y a r d . F l ä d i e M a t & V i n g å r d ( F l ä d i e Fo o d & V i n e y a r d ) .
T E X T: C H R I S T I N A L I N D E R O T H - O L S O N PHOTO: FRIDA RUNDBERG, ÅHUS VINGÅRD
Vineyards in Skåne There are around 40 vineyards in the south of Sweden. You can visit some of them.
inemaking in Sweden is still in its infancy and is a fairly new occurrence. In the last 20 years there have been a few brave pioneers, for example Murat Sofrakis at Klagshamn Vineyard and Ronny and Gunilla Persson at Åhus Vineyard. Production really started, however, a few years ago in the southern province of Skåne. This part of the country has a rich agricultural tradition, and in more recent years, many of the old farms have diversified their production. The mild climate and fertile soils enable wine making to take place, even though the growth period of the grapes is very short.
“Wine making was an old dream. When I was twenty years old, I made wine from redcurrants and blackcurrants. After having met a winemaker in Gotland in 2004, my wife and I started our own production. Since the first year, Åhus Vineyard has collaborated with Murat Sofrakis,” says Ronny Persson.
There is currently around 40 vineyards in Skåne. The two most popular grapes are the blue Rondo for red wine and rosé, and the green Solaris, suitable for white wine.
Flädie Mat & Vingård (Flädie Food & Vineyard) near the city of Lund presented their first vintage in 2010.
Åhus Vineyard, located near the small town Åhus on the east coast, has been in business since 2004.
The vineyard produces several rosé wines, a white wine and a light red wine, with the aforementioned white wine, Interkardinal Solaris 2009, receiving top marks from Swedish wine experts. Åhus wines can be ordered at Systembolaget in Sweden. www.systembolaget.se
“I got the idea to start producing wine when I met a Swedish wine maker during my sommelier training. I already had this farm and the clay content of the
soil seems favourable for the hardy vines we have planted, with the result being quality grapes,” says Managing Director Martin Rosvall Hansson. The 6,000 plants at the vineyard in Flädie have so far produced white wine and rosé. Some of the varieties are Solaris, Phoenix, Rondo and Cabernet Cortis, and in 2012 the production will include a red wine as well.You can sample the Flädie wines if you dine at the restaurant or stay at the hotel. Strandåkra Vingård (Vineyard), situated near the community Abbekås on the south coast, has a small-scale production of ecological wines. The Olsson family has owned the farm since 1894 and if you’re in the mood for a rural getaway the farm has four holiday apartments to let. Åhus Vingård (Vineyard) - Groups are welcome to visit the vineyard by arrangement. There are wine tastings on
27th July and 10th August 2012 and an Open House at the vineyard on 25th August, including a 6-8 kilometre run, Vin(k)lunken, starting at one vineyard and finishing at another. Phone +46 (0)709 24 76 30, (0)44 24 96 96. www. vingarden.nu Flädie Mat & Vingård (Flädie Food & Vineyard) includes a gourmet restaurant, hotel, catering and conferences, and weddings can also be arranged in the vineyard. Phone +46 (0)46 320 338. www.fladiematvingard.com Strandåkra Vingård (Vineyard) arranges wine tastings on 22nd July, 19th August and 2nd September 2012. Phone +46 (0)411 53 31 16, +46 (0)705 47 54 06. www.strandakra.se
“I got the idea to start producing wine when I met a Swedish wine maker during my sommelier training. I already had this farm and the clay content of the soil seems favourable for the hardy vines we have planted, with the result being quality grapes” says Managing Director Martin Rosvall Hansson.
You will find a list of vineyards in Skåne, together with a map, on www.vinvagen.se (Swedish only)
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opular among international and Swedish tourists, Dalarna is both nationally, and internationally renowned for it’s beauty, aesthetically and culturally, during the summer months. However the province, located in the centre of the country, does have a lot to offer in the winter too. The unique folk art and culture, including naivistic paintings, often with Biblical motifs, music and handicrafts are well known, and the painted wooden horse, “Dalahästen” is a famous symbol to be found in many sizes. “The Siljan region is an attractive part of Dalarna, it is no museum. The traditional ‘kurbits’ (colourful Dala-style painting) is used in modified versions by local contemporary designers and we have a flourishing musical scene. Dalhalla arranges concerts with well known international and Swedish artists, and there will be an opera festival at Vattnäs Koncertlada near Mora in July,” says Project Leader Annika Hackner at Siljan Tourist Office in Rättvik.
Dalarna – unique folk art and a rich cultural heritage An eclectic mix of music, art, history and culture set against jaw dropping views of rugged landscape lend this region to all tastes. T E X T: C H R I S T I N A L I N D E R O T H - O L S O N P H O T O S : W W W. S I L J A N . S E , O R S A G R Ö N K L I T T, V I S I T FA L U N B O R L Ä N G E / P E R E R I K S S O N
In June, the midsummer festivities in places like Mora, Orsa, Rättvik and Leksand, are famous local events. Midsummer’s Eve in Sweden includes dancing around the Midsummer pole, tradtional music and a great deal to eat and drink. Leksand attracts a huge crowd of several thousand visitors, and in Rättvik you can watch the parade of folk musicians along with people dressed in traditional costumes.
wife Hilda, née Pennington Mellor. Munthe founded Villa San Michele in Capri and wrote the international bestselling novel, The Story of San Michele. Open 11am – 5pm daily from 15th June to 15th August. And from 16th August to 16th September, open Saturday and Sunday 11am – 5pm. Falu Copper Mine – world heritage sight, www.falugruva.se. Guided tours in the mine run from 11am – 4pm, Monday – Friday and 12pm – 3pm, Saturday and Sunday, during May and June. See above website for further details. Orsa Grönklitt, Europe’s largest Bear Park, this summer hosts Kodiak bears. www.orsagronklitt.se. Open daily. Places to stay: There are several well known hotels in Tällberg, with views of Lake Siljan. www.tallbergsby.com. A few examples: Dalecarlia Quality Spa & Resort, www.dalecarlia.se Gyllene Hornet – Hotel and Resort, www.gyllene-hornet.se Tällbergsgården. www.tallbergsgarden.se Fryksås Hotell & Gestgifveri in Orsa is located in the centre of old rural Dalarna. www.fryksashotell.se
“Geologists visit Siljansringen, the largest crate made by a falling meteorite in Europe. There are several good hikes in the region, some with special themes, for example a geologists’ hike. If you feel like a boat trip, you can take a cruise on Lake Siljan on the steamboat Gustaf Wasa,” continues Annika Hackner. In winter, the long distance cross-country ski race,Vasaloppet (the Vasa Race), commemorating the story of young Gustav Ericson Vasa, who later became King Gustav I of Sweden, escaping from Danish troops in 1520, is enormously popular. Places to visit: You will find more information on: www.siljan.se, www. visitdalarna.se Two of Sweden’s greatest painters, Anders Zorn and Carl Larsson, lived in Dalarna.You can visit their homes: Zornmuseet and Zorngården, www.zorn.se, in Mora, open daily from 15th May – 15th September. Carl Larssongården, www.clg.se, in Sundborn, with guided tours from 10am to 5pm daily from May to September. Dalhalla arranges concerts in spectacular natural surroundings, 7 kilometres from Rättvik. www.dalhalla.se. Among the artists booked for 2012 are James Morrison, Tom Jones, John Fogerty and Swedish opera singer Malena Ernman. Hildasholm located in Leksand, www.hildasholm.org. The estate was built between 1910 and 1911 by Swedish medical doctor and author Axel Munthe as a gift to his English
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S w e d i s h Te a m / Tr o u p f i l i n g p a s t t h e R o y a l B o x d u r i n g t h e opening ceremonies
1912 Stockholm Summer Olympic Games Facts • W WII General George Patton competed in the first modern pentathlon (finished 5th overall). He also competed in swimming, fencing, equestrian cross country, steeple-chase and was involved in a pistol shooting controversy. • F rancisco Lázaro (Portugal) became the first athlete in the history of the modern Olympics to die during the competition. • 1 912 was the first time an Asian country participated in the Games (Japan). • A Greco-Roman wrestling match ran 11 hours and 40 minutes, and remains on the record books as the longest wrestling match in history. • W omen were allowed to compete in swimming and diving competitions for the first time.
Stockholm Olympics 100 year Anniversary Stockholm celebrates the 100 year Anniversary of the 1912 Olympic Games Stockholm summers are legendary in their own right, but with the 1912-2012 Jubilee on hand, this year summer in the city will be a once in a life time opportunity to experience something unique. T E X T: J U D I L E M B K E
PHOTOS: ARCHIVES OF SVERIGES CENTRALFÖRENING FÖR IDROTTENS FRÄMJANDE)
t was known as both The Sunshine Games as well as the Swedish Masterpiece; now, 100 years later, Stockholm is pulling out all the stops to commemorate what some call the first real modern Olympic Games. Marathoners sporting vintage gear, a shelf full of newlypublished books, glamorous banquets, museum exhibitions, youth competitions, equestrian events and swimming competitions in downtown Stockholm are just a few of the things that promise to make the city’s celebration of the 1912 Olympics a year to remember. While Sweden has enjoyed a worldwide reputation as a sporting nation for many years it wasn’t always that way. According to Roland Berndt, Director of Communications for the 2012 Olympic Jubilee, prior to the 1912 Games, sports were mostly reserved for the upper class, particularly high ranking military officers. 1912 changed all that; the Stockholm Olympics helped turn Sweden into a sportsmad nation, with the number of sports clubs increasing dramatically, particularly for the so-called common man. In essence, the 1912 Games made sport a much more accessible and natural part of Swedish everyday life. It also had the added benefit of giving Swedes a more open-minded view of the world outside its borders, spurring a newly-found interest in travel and exploration for every day people that continues to this day.
Celebrating the 1912 Summer Olympic Games Jubilee is an opportunity, according to Berndt, to reinvigorate interest in sports among all Swedes, but with a focus on young people; participation in sports has dwindled somewhat in recent years, mainly due to funding cuts, and Berndt is hopeful the celebrations will stop Sweden from going back to the old days, when money and geography prevented many from pursuing their sporting dreams. While the 2012 celebratory year is packed with more than one hundred sporting and cultural events, the highlights will take place during the so-called Sunshine Week extended week (1 June-10 June). Stockholm’s famed City Hall will be the venue for a glamorous banquet attended by members of the Swedish Royal Family, International Olympic Committee members from around the world, and representatives from the many Embassies in the city. Attendees at the banquet will be treated to a sailing race, held in the waters of Lake Mälaren, which abut City Hall. There’s also the Jubilee Marathon, where runners and spectators alike are encouraged to dress as they would have in 1912 – and many, such as the New York City Runners Club, have taken up the challenge. The race will closely adhere to the original 1912 route (never more than 200 metres astray), finishing at Stockholm’s Stadion, purpose built for the 1912
• A merican Jim Thorpe won the pentathlon and decathlon but was stripped of his medals over a technicality. In 1984 the IOC overturned that decision and presented his heirs with duplicate medals. • 1912 was the final time solid gold medals were issued. • 1 912 was the first Olympics to have art competitions. The last being the 1948 Games.
Games and the oldest Olympic venue still in continuous use. Sollentuna, south of Stockholm, will hold a special ceremony during the race to dedicate a plaque to the famed ‘Lost Japanese’ runner Kanakuri Shizo (see above), which will be attended by Japanese dignitaries.
• Electric timing was first used in 1912. • Stockholm was awarded the rights to host the Games in 1909 – because they were the only country to apply. • Deer shooting was an Olympic event in 1912. • Sweden, as the host country, refused to allow boxing events (today Sweden remains one of just three countries to outlaw boxing). • 1912 was the final Olympics to allow ‘private entries’ – athletes not part of a country’s officially selected team. • Japan’s Kanakuri Shizo went missing during the marathon. He fainted during the race and ended up at a garden party hosted by a Swedish farming family. He went home to Japan without informing race officials, but returned to Sweden in 1968 to ‘finish’ the race with an unofficial time of 54 years, 6 days, 8 hours, 32 minute and 20.3 seconds. He became the Father of the Modern Marathon in Japan, where sporting events are still held in his name and candy bars are named after him. • With a total of 83, Stockholm’s Stadium has seen more athletics world records broken than any other stadium in the world.
Stadion/Stadium under construction
Stadion, the oldest Olympic arena in the world that is still in use, is also the sight of a special luncheon for all living Swedish Olympians, as well as members of the Royal Family and representatives from every country that participated in the 1912 Games. More than one thousand past and present Olympians will stream into the stadium as they would at the Olympics, accompanied by young Swedish Olympic hopefuls. The luncheon will feature music, speeches, dedications and the obligatory fireworks later in the day. The 1912 Regatta took place mainly outside of Nynäshamn, south of Stockholm. This year, more than forty thousand spectators will be on site to enjoy not only the Jubilee Regatta, but also Nynäshamn’s newly built waterfront and the spectacle of more than 250 old wooden boats participating in the Jubilee, including a number from the original 1912 race. Once again, participants and spectators are invited to play dress up and don clothes from the early 20th century, which should make quite the spectacle. S w e d e n ’ s G u s t a f ‘ To p s y ’ L i n d b l o m w i n s t h e g o l d m e d a l in the triple jump (14.76)
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Sweden’s Erik Lemming winner of gold in the shotput with 60.64
FRANSKA SKOLAN ECOLE FRANÇAISE
Visitors to Stockholm during the summer will be delighted by the plethora of opportunities in the city streets and squares to try out or observe a new sport, or even an old one that’s gone out of fashion. The standing long jump, the standing high jump (Sweden’s Rune Almén set the unofficial record of 1.90m in 1980) and throwing the javelin with your second, weaker hand are just a few of the ‘old’ sports on offer, while Segway Polo and Roller Derby are among the ‘new’ sports that might pique one’s interest. The goal, according to organizers, is to inspire and encourage both old and young alike to take up physical exercise, whether for fun or with the intention of becoming an Olympian themselves. Other events that promise to draw crowds and competitors is a 330km bicycle race in August, swimming competitions in the sparkling waters of central Stockholm, and the laying of 12 plaques in and around the city to commemorate various special moments at the 1912 Games. Because the Celebrations are being held, in part, with an eye towards boosting interest in sports amongst young people, organizers have come up with a rather unique opportunity: a special competition is being held for young Stockholmers, who have been invited to invent a new sport, something completely unique that hasn’t been seen before. It can be a team or individual sport and it must be proven playable. The winner will be awarded ten thousand Swedish kronor at a prize ceremony in mid-October. Some of you might remember that back in 2004 Stockholm launched it’s own bid for the 2012 Games, losing out in the end to London. While disappointed, the city has taken a typically Swedish pragmatic point of view, working in close co-operation with the British Embassy and Visit Britain to wish London 2012 all the best by holding a series of special events at the central Stockholm park Kungstragården, all with a touch of British flavour.
More information: www.arenastockholm2012.se
K e n M c A r t h u r, S o u t h A f r i c a , w i n n e r of the marathon
Timekeepers on a specially-built stair before a race. Camera was attached to the starting pistol
Franska Skolan offers:
Preschool class Compulsory school (Grades 1-9) Upper secondary school with the Natural Science Programme, Social Science Programme and Humanities Programme
Franska Skolan has 950 students and is located in central Stockholm.
Franska Skolan | Ecole Française is a Swedish private school with a French profile. All classes are held in Swedish, and all students learn French from First Grade. Apart from French and English, our students have the possibility to study either German or Spanish, Chinese and Latin. For more information, please visit: www.franskaskolan.se
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and is now chair of the London Olympic Organising Committee,” Ambassador Johnston adds. The embassy has extended an invitation to Lord Coe to join the City of Stockholm’s centenary celebrations at the capital’s Olympic Stadium on June 9. “We want to use it as an opportunity to promote the London Olympics and what the embassy is doing in Sweden and we are very honoured to have been given the opportunity to take part,” he says.
B r i t i s h A m b a s s a d o r Pa u l J o h n s t o n w i t h O l y m p i c G o l d M e d a l l i s t a n d t r i p l e j u m p e r Christian Olsson and sailors Astrid Gabrielsson and Lisa Ericsson A l l t h r e e s p o k e a t t h e c o n f e r e n c e “ B r i t a i n , G R E AT f o r B u s i n e s s ” a b o u t t r a d e a n d investment opportunities during this Olympic year and beyond.
Sporting diplomacy in the Olympic year T E X T: C H R I S T I N E D E M S T E A D E R
P H O T O S : U K I N S W E D E N , C H R I S C A I G , S I LV E R B U T T O N
lympic gold medal winner Christian Olsson was among guest speakers at the ”Britain, GREAT for Business” trade and investment event in Gothenburg on April 18. The programme was hosted by the British Embassy in Sweden and marked the 100-day countdown until the opening ceremony of London 2012.
This is a big year for the UK where all eyes will be on the Olympic hosts in July and events leading up to it including the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II in June. To commemorate 60 years on the throne, the embassy threw a party on June 5, with streamed TV coverage live from London and fish and chips on the menu.
The event was intended to raise the profile of the UK on Sweden’s west coast and further strengthen the strong business links between Sweden and the UK. Partners included the WestSweden Chamber of Commerce, the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in London, and the British-Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Sweden. Vattenfall, Handelsbanken and Stena – all major Swedish investors in the UK – sponsored the event.
In the run up to the Olympics, the embassy turned towards the next generation of potential medal-winners and organised a mini-Olympics event in cooperation with the British International Primary School in Stockholm.
Former triple-jumper Olsson, who recently retired from athletics, took the opportunity to speak about the importance of sponsorship to enable young athletes to fully commit to their sport.
On April 19, the British Ambassador to Sweden, Paul Johnston, together with pupils, teachers and parents boarded a red London bus around Stockholm visiting 10 embassies to collect flags for the main event, an Olympic Sports Day on April 26. It was held at the Stockholm Stadium, the original Olympic arena built and used for the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games. “There were 250 schoolchildren from 48 different countries which made for
quite an inspiring day,” says Ambassador Johnston. “It just seemed to sum up the essence of the Olympic spirit – young people from around the world all cooperating and enjoying sport together.” Ambassador Johnston admits to be more of a spectator than sportsman but is looking forward to London 2012 from the comfort of his Stockholm office. “As Winston Churchill once said about one of his opponents, I’m modest with a lot to be modest about. I love sport and enjoy watching sport, I’m just not very good at playing it,” he adds. “I will be at work but I have a TV in my office so I will be eagerly trying to watch as much of the Games as possible.” One of Ambassador Johnston’s earliest Olympic memories was seeing Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci in Montreal 1976 score the first perfect 10 in the history of the modern Games. Fellow Scot Allan Wells claiming gold in the 100 metres in Moscow 1980 was another memorable moment. “Four years later in Los Angeles, Sebastian Coe won the 1500 metres
Indeed, the meeting of nations and the genuinely global nature of the event is what keep the momentum of the Games alive in the modern era. “The great thing about the Olympics is the global democracy,” Ambassador Johnston says. “You can have some of the poorest countries in the world competing in events such as athletics in which you don’t need fantastically complicated equipment. There remains an idealistic idea of people from around the world coming together to take part.”
Ones to watch – Swedish hopefuls for London 2012 Christian Olson – triple jump With an Olympic title to his name already, Olson returns to the starting line-up after a long period in rehabilitation after injury. He claimed a triple jump gold medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and after sitting out Beijing in 2008 he is back in contention. But at 32 years of age, he may struggle to meet his previous form. Carolina Klüft – long jump This will be Klüft’s final outing on the competitive stage, having announced she will retire after London 2012. She claimed gold in the heptathlon in Athens 2004 and after having dominated the event since her junior years, she switched allegiance to the long
jump. Another event to watch out for her is the women’s 4 x 100m relay. Jörgen Persson – table tennis Table tennis was introduced as an Olympic sport in Seoul 1988 and Persson has competed in every Games since, making London his seventh attempt to claim Olympic glory, which has, up to yet, alluded him. Now at the tender age of 46, he has tasted success in the World and European championship, and in the late 80s and early 90s was a rival of fellow Swede Jan-Ove Waldner - considered the best table tennis player of all time. Therese Alshammar - swimming The short-course freestyle and butterfly specialist made her breakthrough at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, where she broke through the ranks to claim three medals, two silvers and one bronze. Now she is vying for gold in London after becoming World 50m freestyle Champion in 2011. She is the current 50-metre butterfly world record holder in both long and short course events.
Collecting the flag from the German Embassy
Collecting the flag from the Canadian Ambassador Kenneth Macartney
The Swedish women’s football team Women’s football has a decent following in Sweden and the fans are hoping the squad, currently ranked fifth in the world, can up their game and come home with a medal. Their tournament kicks off with a match against South Africa, followed by Japan and Canada in the group stages. Isabellah Andersson – marathon The Swedish-Kenyan long distance runner, currently the Swedish national record holder, has won four consecutive Stockholm marathons. Since meeting her Swedish husband and trainer Lars in 2006, Andersson has been competing all over the world and will fulfil a dream when she takes part in the Olympics for the first time.
Collecting the flag from the British Embassy
“There were 250 schoolchildren from 48 different countries which made for quite an inspiring day,” says Ambassador Johnston. “It just seemed to sum up the essence of the Olympic spirit – young people from around the world all cooperating and enjoying sport together.”
44 BIPSS children gather in front of the bus
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One of the traditions of the school is to present the French Nobel Prize winners with the school “students hat”
s one should not judge a book by its cover, neither should one judge a school by its name. Ranked among the ten best schools in Sweden, Franska Skolan, is undeniably a Swedish School. According to Johan Stenberg, Chairman of the Board, the schools model is Swedish in form, French in profile and open to embrace modern teaching methods. In spite of this, it upholds old traditions that have been practiced for decades. This amalgamation of principles makes the school so popular that almost every day a newborn baby is added to the school’s waiting list by their parents. Located in central Stockholm, this is not a “French school”, and even if it co-operates with the French embassy for cultural programs, it is not under the directives of the French educational system.Yet through its one-hundred-and-fifty years of history, Franska Skolan has maintained the affiliation to the French language and culture. The most important values of the nuns, Les soeurs de Saint Joseph de Chambéry that founded and managed the school until 1980, was to educate the children to be good and loving individuals, and to make them independent, responsible, strong and competitive. The school still keeps its traditional values close to heart.
The school contemporarily remains a friskola, or private school, which means that it receives funding from the municipality of every student who attends. The school now has 900 students, with an age range of six to nineteen years old, and a staff numbering 120. There is no entrance requirement for the pre and primary levels, though admission is on a first come, first served basis, and there is a quite long waiting list. Additionally, the Swedish gymnasium, or secondary school, admits applicants on academic merit. Competition for the few places available each year is tough - applicants need 290to 300 points of a possible 320 points to be guaranteed admission. While all attending students are required to study French, there is no minimum level for new students. The school provides language classes in 17 different global tongues including Latin. Among these are Spanish, German, and Mandarin - they also have an exchange program with a Chinese School. Franska Skolan even promotes languages to science students, emphasising its importance in the modern world.
While celebrating this numeric landmark Franska Skolan expects to continue to provide quality education to enhance Stockholm’s diverse student population, while staying true to its honourable origins and enviable record of academic excellence! At the time of its founding in 1862, state funded Swedish Schools refused to enroll children of non-Lutheran faith. Contrary to modern Sweden’s liberalism and religious tolerance, Catholics, Jews and Muslims alike were denied a public education in Swedish schools. As a result there was a significant need for independent private schools (friskolor in Swedish) to educate children from backgrounds that stood outside the domain of the state religion. During this intolerant era in Sweden’s history, Franska Skola was one such school to fill the vacuum.
Franska Skolan - L´Ecole Francaise 1862-2012 Celebrating its one-hundred-and-fifty year anniversary
Queen Josephine, the widow of King Oscar I, inspired the founding of this academic institution that is open to all religions and backgrounds. The Queen herself, originally from France, was controversially Catholic and her sympathy for her fellow Catholic subjects manifested in the founding of the school. Historical records give the lion share of the credit of its founding to the Sister of Saint Joseph, a French order of Catholic nuns that ran the school until thirty years ago. However, without their royal Catholic patron, the school might not exist today. Franska Skolan, has always welcomed children from all religious faiths and continues to embrace cultural diversity.
The students that opt for the French language profile acquire proficiency in French, which allows them to enter French universities as native speakers. The French universities do not require these students to take French language tests. In its one-hundred-and-fifty year history, there have been only 10 headmistresses, the first half of which have been nuns in the Order. While celebrating this numeric landmark Franska Skolan expects to continue to provide quality education to enhance Stockholm’s diverse student population, while staying true to its honourable origins and enviable record of academic excellence!
All are welcome. Bienvenu!
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The Residence of France - French Excellence Kings and Presidents rave about it. Ex-pats hope to be invited to the garden party of the year. A visit to the French residence in Stockholm will give you food for thought, and if you’re lucky you’ll get to savour the cuisine as well. T E X T: S W E D I S H B U L L E T I N P H O T O S : J E N N Y S I G U R S
The dining room, overlooking the park, now hosts the official dinners offered by the Ambassador. The residence hosts nearly 5000 people per year and almost 300 events including lunches, dinner parties and award ceremonies. In this room you can admire an Aubusson Tapestry, performed on a carton of Jean-PicartLe Doux(1902-1982). The Broms Palace was built on a plot of 3200 m2 that allowed the creation of a park separated from the street, enclosed by walls that included a tennis court and the possibility of taking care of animals creating the ‘warm country’ atmosphere the Broms loved. This park, where the Loving Ecstasy statue by Emile Dubois can be admired from the dining room will be in full bloom by the French National Day party on the 14th July.The Bastille Day party is a highlight among French expatriates as well as members of Stockholm’s diplomatic corp. About 650 guests are invited to this function, having learnt about the unpredictable Swedish summer weather a massive marquee will be erected for the occasion.
The tapestry room
alk down south from Karlaplan along Narvavägen Boulevard and you will see the French flag waving on number 26.Here is the French residence, at Bromska Palaset, one of Stockholm last private palaces. Gustave Emile Broms (1849-1903), the principal shareholder and President of the iron mines of Gallivare in Northern Sweden, built this beautiful mansion for his family, to establish his status as an important and rich entrepreneur. The “Hôtel Broms” is one of Stockholm’s last four palaces built in the late 19th century. It was constructed from 1898 to 1900 by EW Berggren on the plans of two architects; Erik Lallerstedt (1853-1930) and Ludvig Peterson (1864-1955) some of the most important and prominent architects of Sweden at the time. The French government acquired the property in 1920 in order to install its legation in Sweden. The legation
became the Embassy in 1947 and the Hôtel Broms has remained the residence of the Ambassador of France to this day. However the offices of the Chancery, which were located in the north wing of the building until 1997, now occupy the renovated building of the old Palmgren school, located at Kommendörsgatan 13. The exterior and the general layout evoke an Italian Renaissance villa; wider than high. The Italian influence, due to the well travelled Mr Lallerstedt is evident in the style of the building inspired by the Renaissance villas he saw when travelling in southern Europe. The Hôtel Broms was planned as a ‘modern’ building for the age and could offer a lot of comfortable facilities such as hot and cold water, toilets, electricity, ringtones in every room and even central heating, produced by two boilers and an air- drying oven placed in the basement. The Broms also installed Swedish tiled stoves and fireplaces of
sculpted stone in much of the building, reception rooms and private apartments. The original furniture from 1890’s was replaced with antique French furniture when the legation of France moved in during the 1920´s. If you are lucky enough to be a guest at the French residence, you will be welcomed into the vestibule which is adorned with several contemporary paintings. The evening often starts in either the Directory style Bernadotte salon or the Désirée Clary Drawing room which is decorated with a series of crowned framed portraits of Bernadotte, who became King of Sweden and of his wife born Désirée Clary, who became Desideria of Sweden.You could also admire the Yellow salon, where the shape of the ceiling suggests it was probably the music room during the Broms family time.
T h e Pa r k
The Bernadotte salon
For the crowd gathered at the French residence the evening often concludes at the Tapestry room, or Gobelins Drawing room, that former French ambassador Patrick Imhaus jokingly called the swimming pool, maybe due to the descending stairs. The two large tapestries decorating it were crafted at the Royal Gobelin Manufacture in the late 17th century. Here the guests can relax comfortably, on the white oversized couches with a coffee and a calvados, while admiring these two remarkable pieces –The Triumph of Bacchus(1658-1690) and the Triumph of Philosophy (1685-1690) designed by Noël Coype. According to writer Anders Modig the two tapestries with opposing themes are not a paradox. They simply symbolise a perfect visit to the French residence.
The Broms Palace was built on a plot of 3200 m2 that allowed the creation of a park separated from the street, enclosed by walls that included a tennis court and the possibility of taking care of animals creating the ‘warm country’ atmosphere the Broms loved. 51
CUL T URE & M O RE
A n n a S e r n e r, C E O o f t h e S w e d i s h F i l m I n s t i t u t e ,
Not everyone knows the building even exists,” she says. “But those that do have an opinion about it. Many think its depressing and ugly but the interior is fantastically decorated and has captured a huge part of Swedish film history. Everyone has a relationship to film so I believe that if people knew about it, they would be more curious about the building
The Swedish Film Institute’s leading lady T E X T: C H R I S T I N E D E M S T E A D E R P H O T O S : S W E D I S H F I L M I N S T I T U T E , P E R M Y R E H E D, L A R S Å S T R Ö M
nna Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute, talks about directing the renaissance of Swedish cinema both at home and abroad.
A group of mothers are chatting over coffee and bouncing babies, while across the room academic types seem deep in discussion. Upstairs, a gang of teenagers are making their way to a short film screening and a television recording has instigated the forming of a long queue. An average weekday of happenings under the roof of Filmhuset in Stockholm, the concrete construction on the cusp of Gärdet that has caused contention since it was inaugurated in 1971. “No ordinary bloody building,” promised Harry Schein, the opinionated founder of the Swedish Film Institute whose mission was to bring film to the forefront of Swedish culture. In its early days everyday Stockholmers came flocking to the building to mingle with famous faces of the Swedish screen. The classic collection of Astrid Lindgren films was made there, as was Ingmar Bergman’s Oscar-winning Fanny and Alexander in the early 80s. The studios have since declined but this house remains a living tribute to the past, present and future of the Swedish film industry, now under the direction of Anna Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute since October 2011. 52
“Not everyone knows the building even exists,” she says. “But those that do have an opinion about it. Many think its depressing and ugly but the interior is fantastically decorated and has captured a huge part of Swedish film history. Everyone has a relationship to film so I believe that if people knew about it, they would be more curious about the building.” The Swedish Film Institute has 22,000 films in its archive and introduces 600 of those per year - ranging from modern shorts to experimental documentaries and foreign classics - to new audiences through its own cinema programme Cinemateket in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo. The SFI hosts the annual Guldbagge awards (the Swedish Oscars) and has a comprehensive library of film literature. It works to support film from initial idea to final edit, providing funding and promotion in Sweden and around the world. The institute was originally the vision of Harry Schein who also acted as SFI’s first managing director from 1963 to 1978. Schein’s biggest role was pushing through the film reform of 1963, which resulted in the Swedish Film agreement, ensuring that 10 percent of the money from cinema ticket sales was handed to a central film organisation. Between the Swedish state and the film and media industry, the
government, the TV companies involved with the agreement, and cinema owners the SFI is jointly funded and thus, indirectly, Swedish filmmaking too. This unique system – the only one of its kind in the world - has supported production ever since. “Schein thought Swedish film was awful and believed it had a very important place in the culture of society,” says Anna Serner, who admits that the film agreement is a debatable means of finance. “If we could guarantee the interest of politicians and annual funding, that would be, in my eyes at least, the most optimal way,” she adds. “But in the sense that those who make money from a very commercial cultural form should pay back – or support in a way that new films are made, then the agreement still works best.” However, with the global film industry struggling to make the transition from analogue to digital and still lacking clarity on how the audience will pay for film in the future, in her role as CEO, Serner has found herself defending the Swedish system. She has also spoken out about the problem of piracy, which is especially renowned in Sweden thanks to the infamous BitTorrent website The Pirate Bay.
“On average people watch around 60 movies a year legally and we believe there are between 20 and 60 million illegal downloads,” she says. In the context of Serner’s former career as a lawyer, it is a subject she feels very passionate about. “On the one hand, I’m annoyed that the industry has been slow to act and is still not adjusting – on the other hand I’m really upset about the attitude that they shouldn’t have to pay, otherwise it’s an issue of censorship,” she adds. “Opinions are turning a bit now so people realise that it’s not as simple as everything being for free.” Serner says one of her missions during her tenure is to oversee the digitalisation of the whole SFI film archive – a pressing challenge both in terms of time and cost with over 20,000 titles in their stock to the tune of 50 to 100 thousand SEK per film. “On a less pragmatic note, I also want to open up the debate and conversation regarding the society we live in,” she says. “And I want the film house to be the centre of new dialogue for people within business, film and politics. Film has such a large impact and I would like to get that understood and organise new meetings between these types of people.”
CUL T URE & M O RE
Aside from practising law, Serner has enjoyed a high-profile business career, having been CEO of the Swedish Advertising Association (Reklamförbundet) and the Swedish Media Publishers’ Association (Tidningsutgivarna). However, as a young college graduate, film was a passion that led her to continue her studies in production at the Stockholm Film School. “Being a creative person, I loved it but I soon realised a lot of others love it too and I questioned the possibility of me making films,” she says. “The competition was too tough for me to feel it was worth it at the time but now I’m very happy to have come back to it via a different route.” Those years provided a valuable foundation for the understanding and appreciation of the art form, and it is now her job to nurture it in Sweden. “We have a fantastic reputation regarding short films, documentaries and more artistic films that make it in [to] festivals, so right now people are really looking at us but of course we have to take care of it.” The country’s most famous film maestro Ingmar Bergman donated his entire private archives to the Swedish Film Institute in 2002 and he remains a reference point of Swedish film on the international stage. But, according to Serner, a new wave of Swedish cinema has emerged from Bergman’s shadow and begun to build a reputation of its own. “It started with Tomas Alfredsson’s Låt Den Rätte Komma In (Let The Right One In) in 2008 which was a huge success abroad.
As soon as another country comes with something new that makes it on the US market, the industry gets interested.” Since then, the Swedish crime epidemic has taken both the literary and film world by storm, with the Millennium trilogy and the Hollywood remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. “You can see it’s got a much higher budget,” Serner says. “It’s really well made in a lot of technical ways and it’s a slicker movie in that sense. But the female character Lisbeth Salander was much more interesting in the Swedish version. Every film is a reflection of the day and the culture and the time that they are made in - 10 years ago you wouldn’t have seen that in Swedish films so in that sense it’s sad the US version didn’t allow for a stronger female lead.” As Serner concludes, film can contribute to a greater tolerance spanning both generations and cultures. “People are usually quite afraid of conflict but what you like and don’t like about a film is ok,” she adds. “Film encourages a common ground for dialogue and in a society where people are becoming more individualised, we need such common matters to maintain understanding.” Her outlook is similar to that which motivated the origins of the Swedish Film Institute that celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2013.
T H I S S EA S O N
eel like some action? This summer, Moderna Museet in Stockholm shows paintings, performances and conceptual art from the late 1940s up to today, with a focus on the two decades between 1950 and 1970. Works in different mediums from around fifty artists from all over the world are presented, with the inclusion of contemporary artists.
Zen Buddhism has been a source of inspiration with its emphasis on living in the moment. The Japanese artists Shozo Shimamoto and Jiro Yoshihara started the Gutai group in 1954, and in a performance two years later, Shimamoto constructed a five metre long cannon to throw paint onto a large canvas.
“The exhibition explores the conceptual and formative qualities in painting, and on the other hand the painting side of conceptual art and performances. Conceptual art and performances, often seen as opposed to traditional art, has in fact derived a lot from the act of painting. We also want to show the fun and energy in action painting and performances”, says exhibition curator Magnus af Petersens. He is clearly fascinated by this different approach to art and quotes Polonius in Hamlet: “Though this be madness, yet there is method in it.”
“Jackson Pollock’s drip painting is an example of the artist letting go of artistic control - chance became part of the act of painting. Pollock considered himself a painter though, not a performance artist,” continues Magnus af Petersens. You will come across works by Yves Klein, Janine Antoni, Niki de Saint-Phalle, Saturo Murakami and many others. A programme of events accompanies the show. One example Moderna Dansteatern arranges a John Cage Centennial event in September, celebrating the American composer, a central figure in contemporary dance, performances and pop culture.
Zen Buddhism and Action Painting The history of action painting, emerging after the Second World War, has been compared with the birth of Dadaism following the trauma of the First World War. In both cases, young artists attacked traditional art, as they wanted to create something new and different. Their approach spanned from the aggressive to the playful. For many artists, the creative act in itself was as important as the painting resulting from it. Some artists invited spectators to witness, as did Yves Klein while executing his famous body paintings. The on-lookers then became co-creators of the work of art.
Explosion! Painting as Action; 2nd June – 9th September 2012. Yoko Ono – Grapefruit; 5th June – 16th September 2012. You will find Moderna Museet at Skeppsholmen, a few minutes walk from Grand Hotel. Open Tuesday – Sunday. Phone +46 8 5195 5200. www.modernamuseet.se
Explosion – Painting in Action Action painting takes centre stage at Moderna Museet, Stockholm this summer with performances from the 1940s right up to the present T E X T: C H R I S T I N A L I N D E R O T H - O L S O N
P H O T O : M U S E U M O F O S A K A U N I V E R S I T Y.
CUL T URE & M O RE
his month we visit Michael Johansson as part of Swedish Bulletin’s ongoing series introducing Swedish artists and artisans. We caught up with the young artist, who is literally bursting on to the global art scene, at the airport en route to Japan. SB:What takes you to Tokyo? “I spent three months in Tokyo last fall on a studio grant at AIT supported by IASPIS, and fell in love with the city. Shortly after, I received an invitation from Hermès to collaborate on a project in their flagship store in Ginza, which is very exciting. For me this is a completely new context that comes with both new challenges and new possibilities.”
Stacked in his favour Swedish artist Michael Johansson takes the world by storm T E X T: M I C H A E L H E L A N D E R PHOTOS: COURTESY OF MICHAEL JOHANSSON A N D G U S TA F W A E S T E R B E R G
“While I’m in this part of the world I will also make a quick stop-over in Sydney - a research trip for a public art installation I will create this summer.” SB:When looking at your exhibition résumé, I see that you stacked items in a cube from the very beginning.When and where did your interest in this form of art evolve? “I actually began to stack ordinary items in a similar way as I do today for my Masters exhibition at Malmö Academy of Art in Fall 2005, with the piece titled “He had been packing all night”. At that time I tried to come up with a system to illustrate a particular idea, a kind of folded out box in a box system, and realized that working with objects that already have a defined colour and shape, and also carried a certain history, was a great resource for other issues I wanted to address as well.” SB: I see that your Platsspecifikt piece was at several exhibitions during 2007 and 2008. What happens to an art piece like this after it is ‘retired’? Do you sell pieces to individual
collectors? Or are your pieces primarily shown at exhibitions and then ‘retired’? “The work Platsspecifikt was actually exhibited last time in Kiruna in the fall 2010, and is still in the game.With few exceptions, all the free-standing works I’ve made have been sold to private collections and museums. Several of the galleries I collaborate with are also on a waiting list for new works. But for me the possibility to sell a piece has never been either a trigger or the main reason for why I do what I do. It is other aspects of the work that are always in focus.” SB:When creating the Tetris series and other cubic exhibitions, is there meticulous and never ending measurement and drawing before you begin to stack and build your piece? Or do the pieces evolve through the building process itself? “I almost never make sketches, I think this would be more time consuming than making the actual work itself since it would be impossible to catalogue all of the items I have in my storage. Most often a piece begins when I spot an empty space I feel needs to be filled, Either a gap or niche in an exhibition space, or the cavity in a piece of furniture.The measurements within this gap then set the standard for the smaller items to follow, and the puzzle continues until all the gaps within the empty space are gone.” SB: Are your cube and stacked pieces held together with some kind of adhesive material or are they simply tightly packed together? “For a long time the free-standing works I made were just temporarily packed together, dismantled after the exhibition, and then put together again the next time it was exhibited. But after exhibiting the same piece a few times too many, this method started to feel a bit exhausting and there’s a limit to how many times you can do the same thing without loosing focus. So today the sculptures I make in my studio are always glued together and can be shipped to an exhibition somewhere in the world even without me being there, which really simplifies my busy schedule. But the glue is only a method to make the piece stronger as the objects within each piece of work pretty much hold each other in place.” SB: Do your Tetris pieces always remove the function of the stacked pieces?
“I still sometimes use things that could have a function, or at least that is my goal. In Monochrome Anachron I included a clock. At first I wanted to see if the old clock would increase the feeling of time gone by within a week, and the sound characteristics of the clock made the sculpture feel partially still alive. But I soon realized that the function of the clock would have the opposite effect, so I chose to use the clock stuck in time as a symbol of the other stacked items that were frozen in time as well.” SB:Which is your favourite Strings Attached piece and why? “I think that is still the TOYS‘R’US piece, which was also the first piece I created in the series.This might make it sound like all the other pieces in the series that came after was less satisfying, but that’s not the case. I appreciate some aspects of later artwork much more in comparison with TOYS‘R’US, such as steps towards using objects that become even more abstract when presented within the cohesive frame. But I think it is the fact that TOYS‘R’US was the first work in the series that makes my feelings for it stronger, I still remember the process of putting it all together.” SB:When did you know you were destined to be an artist? “I have been interested in things related to art as far back as I can remember. At an early age I used to draw a lot, but I still don’t feel I am ‘destined’ to be an artist. Don’t get me wrong, I love it it’s a very inspiring profession and I am grateful for being able to do something I enjoy doing every day. But if one day it doesn’t feel as inspiring and I don’t get as much out of it as before, I don’t think I would continue just so that I can keep calling myself an artist.”
enjoy creating works on site - it is more or less impossible to predict the final result before you are there.” SB: It appears that you have been very busy over the past 5 years. Can you attribute your success and the positive acceptance of your work to something specific? “The past years have been quite overwhelming in many ways, and I hope it will continue a while longer since there are still many parts of the world where I have just recently begun to exhibit my work. Usually one thing leads to another, and thanks to the rapid spread of images across the internet, I suddenly find my work in a blog or a magazine somewhere on the other side of the world the day after an opening, without a clue of how it got there. But I don’t think the art world is much different from any other profession. There are many great artists out there, so to make it you have to work for it.” SB:Where can your artwork be viewed this summer? “In Sweden I will create a new piece for an exhibition at Museiparken in Karlstad as well as contribute to a group exhibition at Gallery Christoffer Egelund in Copenhagen. A little further away I show work at Beaufort04, a triennial along the Belgian coast, until the end of September and I will participate in a group exhibition in Belgrade in early June. I’m also hoping to take at least two weeks holiday this summer, which would be my first vacation since graduating. I’m not completely sure it will happen, but there’s a first time for everything.”
Learn more about Michael and his work at www.michaeljohansson.com.
SB: Is there a piece that gave you the most satisfaction during the creative process, and continued to inspire you after it was complete? “One of my favourite pieces when it comes to the process is still the installation Ghost II that I made in the summer of 2009. It was the second time I created a work using only white objects, and even though I had a vision of how I thought it would work in the space, the result surpassed my expectations. And that is also one of the main reasons why I still
CUL T URE & M O RE
CUL T URE & M O RE
S PECIAL AR T & CUL F EA T URE
“Erland Josephson and Liv Ullman in “Scenes from a Marriage” (1973)
Renowned Gothenburg Film Festival Film Fund Threatened
Scenes from a Marriage: Swedish Actor Erland Josephson (1923-2012) T E X T: M O I R A S U L L I V A N
T E X T: M O I R A S U L L I V A N - S W E D I S H F I L M C R I T I C S A S S O C I AT I O N
PHOTO: SWEDISH FILM INSTITUTE
In late February the acclaimed Swedish actor Erland Josephson passed away at the age of 88. He was one of the best-known actors of Ingmar Bergman’s films, especially his famous feature, “Scenes from a Marriage” (1973), which for many filmgoers this was Josephson’s signature piece.
of the New York cab driver. An interesting anecdote from Josephson’s film career is about a part he turned down –the oceanographer played by Richard Dreyfuss in Jaws (1978). Josephson said he preferred his battles with “Marianne” in “Scenes from a Marriage”.
Liv Ullman, who played opposite Josephson in “Scenes from a Marriage”, was invited to a special tribute to the actor at the Swedish Film Institute Cinemateket on the 18th of April. The memorial evening was presided over by Jannike Åhlund, director of the Bergman Week Film Festival in Fårö. Engaging Liv Ullman in her anecdotes about Josephson was the Swedish actress Lena Endre recently featured as “Erika” in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. Liv spoke about her and Josephson’s international breakthrough, which was a result of the extraordinary attention the film received. She also added that what appealed to her about Josephson as an actor was that he was sensitive and intelligent.
In 2003, Bergman finished the latest installment to the saga of Marianne and Johan in “Saraband”, where the couple meet 30 years later having sustained a warm connection through the years. It was certainly clear at the tribute that Liv Ullman and Erland Josephson had the same connection in real life.
People were glued to their TV sets the night “Scenes from a Marriage” was first broadcast on Swedish television. The story concerns the disintegration of the marriage of a perfect couple in a rational relationship with an apartment in town, good jobs, and a summerhouse. The cult film of six parts is said to have caused an increase in both the divorce rate, and the number of couples seeking marriage counselling in Sweden at that time. Liv said she and Erland became famous overnight as a result of “Scenes from a Marriage” and that people, including one Charles Bronson, would approach them to tell them they were the best actors that they had ever seen. But fame doesn’t exclusively bring about plaudits. Ullman also jovially reminisced about a time when she and Erland arrived in New York City and a cab driver yelled at Erland Josephson, telling him that he treated his wife really badly. Erland plays the role of Johan, who works at a ‘psychotechnical institute’, and Liv plays his wife Marianne, a divorce attorney. The dialogue between the pair combined with their outstanding on-screen performances make for such compelling and realistic viewing that you forget that you are watching a film. Perhaps that explains the reaction 60
Josephson, who made his theatrical debut in 1956, was foremost an accomplished stage actor before his work on the silver screen. He followed in Ingmar Bergman’s footsteps in becoming leader of the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm from 1966 to 1975. The friendship between Bergman and Josephson lasted over 50 years and during this time he starred in several of the director’s provocative films: “The Touch” (1971), “Cries and Whispers” (1972), and “Face to Face” (1976). One of his unforgettable roles was the Jewish intellectual “Isak” in Bergman’s “Fanny and Alexander” (1982). He also starred in Andrej Tarkovsky’s “The Sacrifice” (1986), a film the celebrated Russian director made just before he died. The beautifully crafted art house saga, for which Sven Nykvist won a cinematography prize at Cannes, tells a tale of an ageing intellectual living in a small house on the mythic Swedish island of Gotland. A touching tribute to Josephson was made in the 2006 documentary “Spelar du I Kväll” (Are You Performing Tonight?) by Ulf Peter Hallberg and Torben Skjødt Jensen. The exceptionally assembled piece, shown at the memorial, features four actresses Josephson had worked with on stage: Maria Bonnevie, Stina Ekblad, Ghita Nørby and Lena Endre. Along with these actors, Josephson comments on dramatists and reads excerpts from Shakespeare, Beckett, Peter Brooks, Bergman and Strindberg. The Swedish Film Institute tribute to Erland Josephson revealed how truly exceptional and magnificent this wonderful actor was and highlighted his outstanding contributions to the Swedish stage and cinema.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF GÖTEB ORG FILM FESTIVAL
The Virgin Goat by Murali Nair (India).
he Gothenburg Film Festival held annually for ten days in January for the past 34 years is an excellent festival with many provocative selections of world cinema.The festival is equally renowned for a special film fund granted each year to young filmmakers in developing countries.The recognition of gender issues and the work of young women are issues of special importance. Up to one-hundred-thousand-SEK can be awarded by the fund for new feature films, documentaries and shorts. Assistance is also offered in the form of project development, technical assistance and post-production. Filmmakers receive guidance for their films and the provision of training workshops at local partner centres.These centres are monitored by the film fund foundation, which selects films from the respective regions. An expert panel then considers them for approval.Technical assistance includes the creation of centres with training for local personnel to work on films. Postproduction assistance comprises technical assistance and distribution support. The Gothenburg Film Festival Film Fund is co-ordinated in co-operation with the major financier - SIDA (the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency).This year the government organisation trimmed its cultural budget and in turn its support of the film fund.The motivation behind this drastic decision is that SIDA needs more
concrete evidence that the projects they support are about freedom of expression and democracy. Hopefully, new financiers will emerge for the internationally renowned program in Gothenburg. In 2011, 13 films from the fund were finalised and of the notable films that received support, the shadow of oppression and political intrigue are conspicuous themes and it is apparent that SIDA’s goals are represented. “Kano: an American and his Harem” is a film by the Filipino writer and first-time director Monster Jimenez. It is a piece about an American Vietnam war veteran from Oregon (Kano means “amerikano” in tagalog). He moved, in 1969, to the province of Negros Occidental in the Philippines. After marrying a Filipino woman, he took many other wives between the ages of 11 and 35, many of whom were sold to him by their poor families. Kano was charged with 80 counts of rape and sentenced to 80 days in jail. Since 2007, Jimenez has followed the war veteran’s extended family and documented a circle of abuse and betrayal. In “Fast Foods Off the Shelf“ (Por qué quebró McDonald’s) from Bolivia, Fernando Martinez tells the story of how McDonald’s closed all its restaurants in 2002 after five years in his country. No official reason was given for the abrupt departure but this documentary is evidence of how the will of the people can outweigh the powers of globalisation.
“abUSed: the Postville Raid” made by Guatemalan Luis Argueta, is about the arrest of 300 undocumented workers at a kosher slaughter house in Postville, Iowa in 2008. It was considered the most expensive and largest immigration raid in US history.The workers were taken to a detention centre, convicted of felonies and then deported.The film examines the makeshift judicial process that criminalised the workers in order to extradite them from the US. “Virgin Goat” (Laadli Laila) by Murali Nair from India, is about the poor middle-aged farmer Kalyan who adores his goat Laila but has been sentenced to death for stealing coconuts. His female goat is the last remaining descendant from a line of animals given to his ancestors by the king 500 years earlier, but the goat cannot bear any offspring. A trip to the local vet proves promising for the goat’s fertility and sparks a turn around in the farmer’s fortunes. In total, the Gothenburg Film Fund has financed and supported 150 films from around the world. The projects receive international recognition and are often awarded prizes. Two films from 2012 – “Captive” by Brillante Mendoza from the Philippines and “Postcards from the Zoo” by the Indonesian director Elwin – were selected as part of the official selection at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, which is one of the largest film festivals in the world.
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Hidden gems T E X T: C H R I S T I A N V O N E S S E N
Sweden continues to produce high quality, internationally acclaimed music. But competition is fierce, and the amount of music that actually makes it to the charts is limited. Here are some records, artists and projects that should be on everyone’s radar this summer.
Iamamiwhoami Founded in 2010 as an increasingly mysterious and intricate arts project – iamamiwhoami lives only on YouTube and through scarce live performances. Fronting the videos is singer/songwriter Jonna Lee, but neither she nor anyone else will speak about the project. The music videos (23 at this moment) offer a beautiful, scary and often gloomy dreamlike world lit with arctic light and images of sex, fear, nature, suicide and abandonment – as well as sophisticated art, design and choreography. To some extent this confirms all possible aspects of the Swedish stereotype. youtube.com/iamamiwhoami
Don’t miss! Stockholm Music and Arts, 3-5 August From the ashes of Stockholm Jazz festival on Skeppsholmen, this August sees the birth of Stockholm Music and Arts festival. Antony, Patti and Björk in the same weekend! Friday: Antony and the Johnsons, Patti Smith, Marianne Faithful, Frida Hyvönen and Jamie N Commons Saturday: Laleh, Emmylou Harris, Tinariwen, Ane Brun, Rumer, Amanda Jenssen Sunday: Björk, Buffy Sainte-Marie, iamamiwhoami, Fatoumata Diawara, Anna von Hausswolff stockholmmusicandarts.com
Soso – T.T.I.D.S.D.I.E.U.I.C I assumed Sophia Somajo would be the next big thing after her full length debut The Laptop Diaries in 2008 and the EP Chinese Tekkno in 2010. Her eclectic and cocky electronica seemed so fresh and relevant. Maybe it was these kinds of anticipations that led her out of the spotlight and made her leave the major label she was contracted to. Her new album The Time I Dug So Deep I Ended Up In China was recorded in her bedroom, and this time the atmosphere is raw and untamed as usual. With her strong soulful voice, do-it-yourself attitude and production competence, there is no valid reason why Sophia Somajo shouldn’t be mentioned along with Swedish superstars like Lykke Li and Robyn. At the same time her entire project is a middle finger to the established music industry, and her album will be distributed for free on Swedish site The Pirate Bay. Youcancallmesoso.com Holmes – Burning Bridges (Black Star Foundation) Holmes has a soft Neil Young sound, and throughout four beautiful albums they have spread their slow and melancholic take on alt-country – or “Scandinavian Americana” as the magazine Rolling Stone put it. Still waiting for their breakthrough, they may look to the US for greater exposure.
The Virtues – Rerepeater (Zip Records) These anonymous Stockholmers have hit a potential homerun with this beautifully illustrated and musically tight 11-track soup of catchy rock ‘n’ roll. With fragments of inspiration drawn from most decades of rock, it is the 70s that evidently influenced the band the most, and they also follow a Swedish rock nostalgia tradition led by more aesthetically appealing bands like The Hellacopters. The Virtues also have the guts to trust their more pop inspired instincts and not only lean entirely upon genre clichés. If that is a smart choice, time will tell. Facebook.com/thevirtuessweden
Fanfarlo – Rooms filled with light (Warner) The only Swede in Fanfarlo is front man and lead vocalist Simon Balthazar, but I’ll let that slide on this occasion. I don’t know if it’s the resemblance to an early David Byrne that makes me like Fanfarlo so much, but their catchy sound is more folk-pop than new wave, and the music sounds completely natural as a soundtrack to an idyllic life.
CLU T URE & M O RE
S o n y a E n b u s k e w e a v e s o n o n e o f t h e 1 5 0 - y e a r- o l d J a c q u a r d looms still in use at K.A. Almgren Silk Mill in Stockholm
Almgren’s silk mill and museum
Out with the old, in with the old T E X T: D A V I D B A R TA L
lmost every Swede old enough to walk has access to a computer and internet - our country’s love affair with machines and technology isn’t new. A past example of this, and the story of an all-but-forgotten chapter in the history of Sweden’s industrial development, can be discovered on the south side of Stockholm. K.A. Almgren Silk Mill in Stockholm is the only remaining silk mill in operation in Northern Europe. At Almgren’s, visitors can see how silk is still woven on 150-year-old Jacquard looms; the looms have some uncanny resemblances to early computers. Nowadays, the mill functions as a museum as well as a gift shop. Information about the weave on these ancient machines is collected on punch cards, which look surprisingly similar to the punch cards used by IBM in the 1960s. Surprisingly, the card system has been in use on Jaquard looms for two centuries. The punch cards were highly innovative when introduced because they had the ability to store information on them. English inventor and mathematician Charles Babbage planned to use punch cards like these to store programs in his analytical engine, a predecessor to the world’s first computers. The loom operator could automatically control the warp and weft threads by feeding punch cards, tied together in long chains by string, into the loom. It takes an enormous amount of cards to create a piece of fabric, approximately 5,000 cards are needed to make an intricate pattern on a single square metre.
P H O T O : A L E X A N D E R FA R N S W O R T H
The cards are manufactured at Almgren’s on a machine resembling a small piano; each time one presses a key, a hole is punched in a different part of the card. The looms at the silk mill produce handmade, elaborately patterned fabrics, which are of a much finer quality than the mass-produced silk manufactured in places like Asia. Nowadays, the small quantities of fabrics produced at Almgren’s are mainly used for wallpaper, upholstery, and special pennants and ribbons (like the ones used when Nobel Prizes are awarded). The silk industry was Scandinavia’s largest workplace for women for several decades in the 1800s after Knut Almgren, the chap who got it all started, secretly imported innovative silk-weaving technology to Sweden. The Jaquard loom was a state secret in France, where it was invented in 1804. The Jaquard looms used at Almgren’s may have been a state secret during the infancy of the industrial revolution, but anyone can view them now. Almgren’s silk mill and museum, located on Repslagargatan, 15 is open Monday-Saturday during the summer, from 11am to 3pm. Museum webpage: http://www.kasiden.se/
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Bits & Pieces between Life and Death T E X T: J U A N C A R LO S I V A R S
P H O T O S : L E N N A R T D U R E H E D,
ANDREA BELLUSO/ARMY MUSEUM, STOCKHOLM
stark reminder to those of us lucky enough not to have been directly affected by war, Bits & Pieces, currently running at Brussels’ Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History in Brussels, provides an insight into the lives of the people that went to fight for their ideologies and their flags. The display, from the collection by Torbjörn Lenskog, a member of the Swedish Academy of Design and one of Sweden’s most renowned artistic directors, sheds light on the life of soldiers during conflict. Ranging from the eighteenth century to the present day, one is astounded by the changing nature of warfare and the horrors it so readily exhibits. The assortment of trinkets and articles of clothing serve as a crude reminder of the injustice forced on these young individuals, most of whom were men. Being a student who is continuously obsessed with the history of war, and currently how to prevent it in our modern world, I am reminded of the reason behind why I chose to study in this particular field. The little joys these soldiers may have found in their belongings may bring a smile to your face; a deck of cards or a photograph of a long lost love ensure the spirits of these perished youths live on. A collection of canteens in varying shades of grey, brown and green, which were used to carry water in long marches, illustrate all too well the harsh environments soldiers had to endure.
belongings ranging from Japan and Germany, to Great Britain, Sweden, France and the United States. The trays these people had to use when making their food, with a simple tin plate and spoon can be likened to a so-called ‘TV dinner’, but the extreme environments were too unlike what most of us will have experienced, and in these differences resonate the wretchedness of wartime. If you are, like me, interested in the histories of war and adore the differences between cultures then I recommend you visit the aptly named “Bits & Pieces of Soldiers between Life and Death” exhibition in order to experience the melancholy of humanity in violent times. This display, already presented at the Army Museums of both Stockholm and Oslo, is to be exhibited in cities worldwide.
POC receives The Grand Award of Design 2012 for Trabec bike helmet POC
THE PEOPLE’S FAVOURITE
THE GRAND AWARD OF DESIGN
POC develops personal protection equipment for gravity sports athletes. www.pocsports.com
The winner of The People’s Favourite award is Index Braille Box – braille embosser – from Index Braille and designed by Skapa Design. www.indexbraille.com www.skapadesign.com
The Grand Award of Design is presented annually to a company and its design supplier for a commercially successful product, services or range of products/services. The design should be the key factor in the success. The award has been initiated to highlight the importance of design to the economic success of engineering companies and to serve as an inspiration in business development focusing on design. Sponsor of the award is Teknikföretagen in co-operation with the Swedish Society of Crafts and Design and the Swedish Industrial Design Foundation. www.facebook.com/storadesignpriset
THE JURY’S MOTIVATION
Where: The Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History Jubelpark 3 1000 Brussels
Open this year March 15th – September 16th
“Trabec takes the new generation of MTB bikers to unexpected heights. The helmet is constructed to handle tough terrains with a higher cycling pleasure. The design is challenging with high protection without compromising performance. Trabec has a comfortable and solid touch and radiates adventurous freedom. It has already obtained an obvious place among the world’s best cyclists. The company behind this success knows how to detect trends and to turn them in to ultimate solutions for its target group.”
The impressiveness of the exhibition lies in its demonstration of soldiers’
LI F E S T YLE
A Room with a View T E X T: M I C H A E L H E L A N D E R
ooking for a unique experience this summer? Book a room at the Hotell Utter Inn located one kilometre from Västerås in Mälaren. It won’t be a tough decision which room to take as there is only one available – and it’s 3 metres under water! Hotell Utter Inn (Hotel Otter Inn) is the brainchild of artist and entrepreneur Mikael Genberg. It is the second of three ‘alternative lodging’ hotel rooms that he owns, and it has been in service for over 10 years. When I asked Genberg what inspires an artist to develop a hotel room he replied, “It started out as a way to expand art and the way of the artist into something closer to real life, when compared with exhibitions in galleries and museums.”
PHOTOS: VÄSTERÄS & CO
Guests are taken by boat to this selfcontained floating hotel room, which consists of an above-water level and the sleeping quarters, located entirely underwater.You’ll have access to a small utilitarian kitchen with a hotplate, a set of dishes, and 10 litres of fresh water, but you’ll want to bring your own groceries, as there will be no opportunity to order room service from this floating guest room. A day at Hotell Utter Inn includes watery vistas in every direction, motor and sailboat passes, and the chance for quiet contemplation on the water. Guests are also welcome to explore the surrounding archipelago islands on the inclusive dinghy boat. To preserve the views through the large glass windows
that sit on each of the four walls in the sleeping room downstairs, fishing from the upper deck is prohibited. Not inspired by the aquatic adventure offered by Hotell Utter Inn? Then you may want to consider Genberg’s original hotel room concept, Hackspett (Woodpecker), nestled 13 metres up in the most magnificent oak tree in central Västerås.You’ll get a bird’s eye view of the entire area with a leisurely breakfast on the terrace of this hanging tree house, which is suspended by special load-bearing wires instead of boards nailed to the tree. The high-flying adventure begins upon arrival when guests are lifted up to the tree house in a harness.
If what you are looking for is a bit more space, while still inhabiting one room, Genberg’s latest creation, Ooops, may better suit your needs. Located at Västra holmen in Västerås, the installation opened for business in April 2012 and upon arrival guests could be forgiven for thinking the hotel has actually sunk! But alas, this stationary floating hotel is actually the result of a roof-gone-wrong. When Genberg heard that the entire roof intended for a newly built house was too large and was lifted off, he knew that he could do something fun with it, and he did! This floating hotel room is larger than the others, at 100 square metres, and can even host
meetings and day groups. Ooops comes complete with a sauna, kitchen, and outdoor deck. So what’s next for Genberg? He’s lobbying to have a house built on the moon, painted Falu red of course! According to Genberg, “There are always plans for new things. The only problem is that it takes a lot of time to realize these things. I am currently working on an underwater hotel room on the island of Pemba (the north island of Zanzibar). It will open at The Manta Resort in October. Rooms are available Apr-Oct via Västerås Tourist Office at
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Ven This charming little island is situated in the strait of Öresund, between Sweden and Denmark, it was actually part of Denmark until 1660. The landscape is varied, with beaches, steep hills and enormous fields and its size makes the island perfect for biking and hiking.
Öland and Ven
A tale of two islands Borgholm Castle, Öland.
Visit the Royal Family’s summer residence in Öland or taste the single malt whisky distilled in Ven. There’s many places of interest on these two islands.
The eccentric Danish 16th century astronomer Tycho Brahe, lived and worked in Ven.You can learn more about him at the Tycho Brahe Museum. www.tychobrahe.com
Spirit of Hven at Backafallsbyn is a distillery, as well as a four star rated Conference and Hotel resort with a restaurant and pub. The distillery is probably the world’s smallest Pot Still distillery, with every step being carried out at the site. The whisky bar here is said to be one of the best of its kind in Sweden. www.backafallsbyn.se More information on www.visithven.dk
T E X T: C H R I S T I N A L I N D E R O T H - O L S O N P H O T O : Ö L A N D S T U R I S T BY R Å , S P I R I T O F H V E N , B A C K A FA L L S BY N
here are many islands along Sweden’s coasts, and several are worth a visit. Öland and Ven are two popular tourist resorts, combining a sunny climate, beaches, beautiful scenery, culture, history, good food and comfortable hotels. Many artists and artisans, both professionals and amateurs, have been drawn to find inspiration on these two islands.
Öland You can reach Öland easily by car; it’s a drive across the bridge from the mainland. The island’s largest city, Borgholm, offers shopping, restaurants and hotels and Borgholm Castle, said to be Scandinavia’s most beautiful ruin, holds many events in the summer time. www.borgholmsslott.se
The summer reside of Sweden’s Royal Family, Solliden Slott, was erected in 1906 on the initiative of Queen Victoria. Solliden, which boasts Mediterranean style architecture, is open to visitors in summer time, and Crown Princess Victoria’s birthday is celebrated there on 14th July in the presence of members of the Royal Family. www.sollidensslott.se For those wanting to visit art museums and galleries Oland has several worthy of note.Vida Museum near Borgholm exhibits contemporary art and art glass, and its gift shop is certainly worth a visit. www.vidamuseum.com Alvaret, the large, open expanse of countryside in southern Öland with its limestone rock and rare flora and fauna, is a must see for any nature lover. The agricultural landscape of the southern part of the island has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2000 farming has proved an important part of preserving the landscape.
Places to stay:
Urania 5 – Spirit of Hven Single Malt whisky produced at the distillery with the same n a m e , a t B a c k a f a l l e n , Ve n . Ty c h o B r a h e , the famous 16th century astronomer in the background.
Fa s a d – S p i r i t o f H v e n a t B a c k a f a l l s b y n – C o n f e r e n c e a n d H o t e l r e s o r t w i t h a d i s t i l l e r y. Ve n .
Hallstorps Gästgiveri is considered one of the island’s best hotels, offering first class food, personal service and comfortable rooms. www.hallstorpsgastgiveri.se Hotell Borgholm, located in the city centre, is well known for good food and wines. The restaurant has been dubbed “one of the best in Sweden”. www. hotellborgholm.com Strand Hotel is ideally placed for both relaxation and conferences and it boasts a guest port close to the hotel. www. strandborgholm.se More information on www.olandsturist.se
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Northern summer nights T E X T: M A D E L E I N E P E R S O N P H O T O S : B J Ö R KU D D E N , M A D E L E I N E P E R S O N Evening sun nearby the Björkudden Hotell och Restaurang.
he Unesco World heritage site, The High Coast, is considered by many to be the most beautiful area in Sweden, and one of the best examples of quintessentially Swedish landscape. With its favourably mild climate on the Baltic coast some 450 km north of Stockholm, it became the northernmost outpost of the Swedish kingdom during the Middle ages - Härnösand being the bishopric and administrative centre. North from here lay the colder and more rugged area of Lapland, which was not exploited until the mid 17th century with Linnés travels. By 1850, with the construction of the railways and the mines in the north, the Sami population had moved north to the region we call Lapland today. The High Coast area was the world’s largest exporter of wood products during the last decades of the 19th century, the remnants of which - industrial buildings, oversized harbours and mansions - are still visible today. Situated on the river in the impressive Ångermanälven river delta, north of Härnösand, lies Björkuddens Hotell och Restaurang. The building was inaugurated in 1892 but has kept much of its initial charm. Since 2001 it has been thoroughly renovated and updated. In the restaurant, adorned
with traditional 1890’s romantic style complete with crystal crowns, high quality cuisine made from the finest local ingredients is served. The lighting is generous thanks to its 2 metre high windows which give the hall a great, illuminated atmosphere. Also from the rooms you have a magnificent view of the Ångermanälven river delta and the Höga Kusten bridge, known as the spectacular entrance to the High Coast area. Here you can enjoy different High Coast Packages. When you arrive at Björkuddens Hotell och Restaurang after a stressful week you will be well taken care of. Take a walk along the river through the magnificent surrounding area with the sound of the river flowing beside you, or join the river and take a dip. Alternatively you could just enjoy the extended warm northern Swedish sunset while your shadow gets ever longer, an unforgettable experience.Visit the extraordinary beaches at Norrfällsviken, take one of the many boat trips to the most popular islands, visit a museum or the typical Swedish fishing villages bedecked in red paint and try local fish dishes, or hike a section of the High Coast trail, following the coastline.
In the winter snowy landscape is guaranteed. Sit down and enjoy a three course dinner with an unforgettable view folowed by a locally produced whisky in the bar. With only silence to wake you, you can sleep in the following day, then unwind with a sauna and a bubble bath on the roof and let the panoramic view recharge you.
www.bjorkudden.se and www.hogakusten.com
When you arrive at Björkuddens Hotell och Restaurang after a stressful week you will be well taken care of.Take a walk along the river through the magnificent surrounding area with the sound of the river flowing beside you, or join the river and take a dip.
2009 A new ecofriendly complete leisure complex, pool with international competition standard, gym and rehab facilities.
2011 Cutting edge multifunctional center for knowledge. A new high school for 800 students, multi sports complex, library, school of music and dance studio.
2011 We are conducting different methods of dialogue that empowers our citizens to involve themselves in ongoing development projects.
VÄSBY TOWN – TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY Väsby is the first community in Sweden that is entirely eco-certified, which means that we are particularly committed to work for a sustainable development in several aspects. We are creating a modern town with
active participation from residents and business. We build on diversity that empowers all citizens. Väsby town offers good service and attractive living in the expanding Stockholm – Arlanda region.
S WEDI S H DIARY
G O URME T
Pytte’s Food T E X T AND P H O T O S : E L E O N O R A V O N E S S E N
In the summer time we Swedes could live on nothing but berries, the cover photos of numerous food magazines and newspapers displaying recipes are testament to this. Berries including strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are found in abundance in our woods and gardens. Alternatively, they’re not too expensive to buy in the stores when the season is right.
Twenty years. Two decades. A lifetime for some. It was 20 years ago this June when I first visited Sweden. I arrived in the late afternoon by train from Malmö after starting out at 10pm the night before in Berlin, and the night before that in Prague. It is easy to say that I was tired and very sick of riding trains, even if they were mostly very nice trains. I knew nearly nothing about Sweden when I arrived. What I knew came from popular culture and reliable
Chocolate meringue with hazelnut spread and berries All that’s needed is serving suggestions for all these berries. Below is one where I have combined the berries with crisp and chewy chocolate meringues, creamy hazelnut spread and whipped cream. Too hard to resist – and why should you?
sources which followed the preamble, “I heard that…” In sum, I “knew” three hard “facts”: 1. Long summer days 2. Tall blondes
As you clearly understand, my original “facts” turned out to be more fantasy than reality. But they are the starting point of the ensuing storyline that brings us 20 years forward. The beauty of the summer
3. The Swedish chef from the Muppets
Approximately 15 servings
Preheat the oven to 150°C, then line a tray with baking paper and whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until you get soft peaks – this process is quicker if you use an electric mixer. Add the sugar a tablespoon at a time and whisk until it creates stiff, glossy peaks. Next sprinkle on the cocoa and the chocolate, followed by the lemon juice, and gently fold into the meringue using a large metal spoon until combined. Spoon out the mixture on to the tray until you have 15 portions, and then make a small indention in each using a teaspoon. Put the tray in the oven on the bottom shelf and lower the heat to 100°C. Bake for about 90 minutes or until the meringues are completely dry underneath.
Long summer days. Stockholm doesn’t have the
After the meringues have cooled, pipe the Nutella onto them followed by a dollop of whipped cream and then top with berries of your choice. If you want a sweeter dessert, sieve icing sugar over the meringues. Mmm...
of investigative adventure once on the Stockholm-
• 2 egg whites (at room temperature) • 1 dl caster sugar • 1 tbsp high quality cocoa powder, sieved • 25g high quality dark chocolate, finely chopped • 3-4 drops of lemon juice • 2 dl Nutella, or another creamy nut or chocolate spread • 2 dl whipped cream • 2 dl mixed berries
Cut out this recipe and try it for your self!
midnight sun but it was the farthest north I was willing to travel while backpacking solo. I arrived on June 24th, just a few days off the summer solstice. I
evening directly led to meeting my future husband who is darkhaired by Swedish standards and shorter than the average Swede (making him about average height in the US). And while he doesn’t talk like our beloved Muppet he owns a toke and can cook up a fantastic gourmet meal.
must say that each June I am equally in awe of the
So what if you were to ask me to summarize Sweden for today’s
beautiful light of Stockholm’s summer nights. I’ve
backpacker in three short points, what would I say?
been to the Arctic Circle since and I can’t say that the midnight impresses me more than that glow and deep blue of Stockholm’s night sky in June. Tall blondes. Well, Swedes are not as tall as I thought
1. Long summer days. Summer is the season that Sweden shows off its most fantastic side. 2. Beautiful people. They are a little reserved and often
would be and they are certainly much less blonde.
misunderstood, but Swedes mean well and are fundamentally
The children run around in their white hair, but by the
kind. They have their failings. We all do.
time they pass puberty, their hair normally darkens. The Swedish chef from the Muppets. What did Swedish sound like for real? It was my first order bound train after departing from Malmö. I wandered up and back the length of the train trying to nonchalantly listen to Swedish conversation, ears peeled for the hurdy-gurdy. I was sadly disappointed. No one sounded like the chef. The Swedish chef, while still a favourite Muppet, was merely a travesty. I had to deal with my disappointment.
3. It ain’t perfect, but it works. I will spare everyone my analysis of Sweden and Swedes. Too many people already are experts in who and what a Swede is. For some Swedes are cold, rude, racist and boring. For others Swedes are open, outgoing, outdoorsy, kind and organized. I tend to lean towards the latter with reservations for cultural idiosyncrasies which will still make me want to pull my hair out and scream. But I do find myself settled quite happily surrounded by some of the best quality people I could ever hope for. Of course there is still a need to pick and chose, but in Sweden I find that I have a large pool to choose from.
By Elizabeth Dacey-Fondelius 80
A high-speed train for the Nordic climate