Scan Magazine, Issue 103, August 2017

Page 38

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Autumn Experiences in Sweden – Our Top Picks

Photo: Beatrice Törnros

Come and celebrate with Alfie Atkins It will be a busy year at the Alfie Atkins Culture Centre. In addition to its many fun activities, there are no less than three important anniversaries to celebrate. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Alfons Åbergs Kulturhus

Children’s book author and illustrator Gunilla Bergström first invented Alfie Atkins (known in Sweden as Alfons Åberg) in 1972 in the book Good Night, Alfie Atkins. Her series of 26 books has been translated into more than 30 languages and Alfie is a classic character for millions of children all around the world. These days, Alfie Atkins lives in an old seed shop located at the Garden Society in Gothenburg. Five years ago, this listed building was transformed into a creative cultural centre with authentic ‘70s décor. Here, the curious can play, get up to mischief, climb and discover the block of flats where Alfie Atkins lives, meet the scary monster and, of course, see the famous helicopter. There is also a mini cinema, a hot-dog stand and a jungle labyrinth to explore. “This is a playful centre where children can learn and understand, together with adults,” says CEO Anna Forsgren, who also talks about the importance of diver38  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

sity. “We want everyone to feel that they belong, regardless of language and ability. Therefore, our activities are adapted to encourage interaction and exchange between children with or without disabilities.”

Full schedule of activities This year, author Gunilla Bergström celebrates her 75th birthday, the Alfie Atkins character turns 45, and the centre is looking forward to its fifth anniversary. In addition to the busy schedule of activities such as theatre performances and storytelling, there will be plenty more fun to be had with Alfie, including book releases, book fairs and exhibitions. For instance, children can take part in the educational project ‘Chemistry with Alfie’, in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology and the Hasselblad Foundation. Other events include book readings and performances at Gothenburg Culture Festival, a traffic safety week named ‘Stop Look Wave’

(Stanna Titta Vinka) in partnership with Volvo, a mini book festival in conjunction with Göteborg Book Fair, a book-themed autumn break with activities around reading, and theatre performances at literature festivals in Oslo and Karlstad. The Alfie Atkins Culture Centre is incredibly popular and has more than 60,000 visitors per year. It is open every day from 10am until 4pm (5pm until 20 August), all activities are included in the admission fee, and visitors can take a well-deserved break at Malcolm’s Café or check out Daddy Atkins’ gift shop.

Web: Facebook:  AlfonsAbergKulturhusGoteborg Instagram: @alfonskulturhus

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