Projekt #3

by Runo Lagomarsino

Work Book is a publication realised in collaboration with artist Runo Lagomarsino (born 1977, lives and works in Malmö) with a focus on his practice. The publication includes a cross over of materials from finished works to documentations of works in progress, from sketches to unrealised projects. The publication includes a text by curator Natasa Ilic and an introduction by Marianna Garin and Luca Frei.

To be published in Fall 2007

Project #2

GUERRA Y PA (2001)
by Juan Manuel Echavarría

Malmö Konsthall, C-sal, 11-17 April, 2007
Wednesday 11 am to 9 pm, presentation 7 pm.
All other days open 11 am to 5 pm.

Still from Guerra y Pa (2001)

From a dialogue between Juan Manuel Echavarría,
Marianna Garin & Luca Frei

– We are delighted to develop this dialogue with you, as it is a great opportunity to reflect on your practice and to talk about the three video works that will be screened in the auditorium of the Malmö Konsthall. One of them, Bocas de Ceniza (Mouths of Ash) from 2003-04, will be presented almost at the same time as the inauguration of a new library in Medellín, on 13th April, and as you’ve mentioned to us, the singers that participate in the video will be attending the event. For you it is always important to maintain a close relationship with the people who have been involved in your projects, could you tell us how this work has been developed?

It would have been a pleasure and an honour to attend the screening of my three video pieces at the Malmö Konsthall, but I had previously accepted an invitation to the opening of a cultural event in the city of Medellín, Colombia. At the event, called “Espacios de hospitalidad”, Bocas de Ceniza will be presented in the Museo de Antioquia and in a new library that is opening in the first days of April – an event I hope to attend with the singers that composed Bocas de Ceniza. Dorismel was the first of the seven singers that I met by chance in the small village of Barú, on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. It was at a small gathering at night when, out of the blue, he said that he had a song he would like to sing. It was a song composed by him, in which he expresses thanks to God for allowing him to survive a massacre. This song, I thought, has to be recorded. In Colombia a drug war has devastated the country for more then 25 years and I had never before heard of someone composing a song about survival. I asked him if I could film him. He felt very proud and the next day I was able to film his song a capella, just as he had sung it for us the night before in the village of Barú. For many nights Dorismel’s song rumbled in my sleep. The melody was very contagious and stayed within me. For many nights not only his song, but his strong face, his frozen gaze woke me up. Dorismel’s, I thought, cannot be an isolated story. There must be others who are composing their own songs about the horrors of war. This thought became an obsession that led me to look for others, to find other human beings who had been brutalized by war and who were creating and singing their own compositions. This intuition proved to be correct.

– The work has a visual impact, ‘contagious’ as you say. It’s both calm and dreadful at the same time: from the melodies to the words, to the portrayal of the singers; even the silences that precede and follow each song are deeply affecting.

For me what was most important in doing Bocas de Ceniza was that each singer had composed his or her own song. The two brothers in Dos Hermanos (Two Brothers) are from the Caribbean coast while the rest of the singers come from the Pacific region, both areas with a very strong presence of an Afro Colombian population that has a very rich oral tradition. These singers, I believe, are weaving the non-official history of the drug war that has trapped so many innocent civilians, and I strongly feel that these songs should not be lost to the thin air. They must be filmed and recorded. I still continue to visit these regions and I have found many other singers, both witnesses and victims of the war, who are composing their own songs.

Installation view, Bocas de Ceniza

– The testimony, the telling of an extreme experience, here in the form of songs, can be seen as a symbolic, cathartic reconstruction of the self. The singers aren’t represented as victims, but as new subjects that aspire to a new correlation of forces, that call for solidarity. It’s interesting to hear that if you hadn’t met Dorismel you would never have encountered this way of narrating. What is the collective consciousness, or awareness, about what is really happening outside the large cities?

There is not enough awareness, especially so in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia. There is little awareness about the suffering and the horrors that war has brought particularly to the peasants in Colombia. The repetition of violence in the media, the ongoing conflict, the words ‘WAR’ and ‘PEACE’ repeated over and over again have turned violence into a normal thing, into something that people prefer not to talk about. Apathy has enveloped us. And when the war hits the peasants out in the rural areas, it all seems very far away, as if it was on a different planet. There is a poem by W. H. Auden, “Musée the Beaux Arts”, in which he writes about the structural apathy within ourselves towards the suffering of others. Let me quote you some of his verses:

“In Brueghel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sallied calmly on.”

How can we human beings break this indifference, this structural apathy to which Auden refers to? In Colombia the internal exodus from the rural areas is enormous. There are between two and three million internal refugees brutally uprooted from their land and their homes, the land stolen by the victimizers. The option for the peasants is to flock to the cities where they are often looked upon with suspicion or simply turned into ‘invisible beings’ by the city dwellers. This forced displacement happens after threats from the far right paramilitaries* or by the left wing guerrillas** who are battling to control strategic areas of drug cultivation. Let’s not forget that both these irregular armies traffic with drugs. The displacement also happens after massacres that are treated as no more than a simple footnote in our daily lives, massacres that come with the mutilation of the bodies and often with the disappearance of the victims, their bodies dumped into secret mass graves or into the rivers – food for the vultures. This is an old practice that has been happening since long before our present drug war and yet in Colombia there is no collective voice that says, “ENOUGH”.

– This brings us to your first photographic work, Retratos (Portraits) from 1996, which consists of a series of black and white portraits of battered mannequins that were then used to sell clothes in the streets of Bogotá. It is a very charged work that mirrors the degree to which violence has permeated every aspect of everyday life; someone will eventually buy and wear the clothing that is hanging on the scarred mannequins!

Retratos allowed me to wake from a deep sleep. I was so unconscious of this violence, which permeates the everyday aspects of everyday life, as you say. I lived in a crystal bubble and it was this series that allowed me to break from it. The people in the street were going up to the mannequins and observing the clothes but no one was looking at the battered faces, they were not seeing the violence that these mannequins were exhibiting. It was invisible. And this behaviour became a mirror in which I eventually would look at myself. Before being a photographer, I was a writer who was looking to create a world of fantasy. Retratos revealed that I could explore, through photography and metaphor, some of the social conflicts in which we in Colombia have lived for so many years and that I had been ignoring for so long.

– How does your background as a writer influence your work? I am thinking about your use of metaphor as a tool to go deeper into the reality that surrounds you, to give a new light to that which has been obscured and dehumanized?

– Metaphor, I believe, is an essential tool that we humans have. A magnificent tool for the artist: A good metaphor will resonate on many different levels. My writing gave me a passion for metaphor and it also gave me an understanding of imagery and symbolism. I try to use all of these elements in my photography and videos. Even in a work as simple and direct as Bocas de Ceniza I use that very classical metaphor: the eyes as mirror to the soul. Each singer’s eyes look deeply into his own pain and deep sorrow, into his own feelings.

– What does the title refer to?

Bocas de Ceniza is first of all a metaphorical name. But it also refers to the mouths of the main river in Colombia, the Magdalena River, which runs from south to north and spills into the Caribbean. A river that runs through a long geography and mirrors in its dense waters the tragic realism that has enveloped this country.

– In the video work Bandeja de Bolívar: 1999 (Bolívar’s Platter: 1999) from 1999, a slow sequence of stills depicts a replica of a platter – commissioned by Simon Bolívar*** to commemorate Colombia’s independence that bears the inscription “Republica de Colombia para siempre” (Colombian Republic forever) – being destroyed until it is reduced to a neat pile of white powder resembling cocaine. The succession of images is accompanied by the penetrating noise of the platter being smashed, and I remember that in relation to Retratos you’ve said that the mannequins were like the stone that shatters the calm waters, though here the shattering is no longer a metaphor but assumes a real dimension. It is such a straightforward and yet complex work, which in just a few minutes brings together past and present, from the dreams that followed the independence from Spanish rule to the destruction of a nation by the illegal drug trade. The simple action of destroying the platter also becomes again a symbol or a metaphor of Colombia. Could you tell us how you developed this work and also how you relate it to the colonial history of Colombia?

– My brother Andres had given this platter to me as a birthday present. He had found it in an antique store in Bogotá. For many years I had this platter in my bedroom and one morning, disgusted by the political situation in this country I felt that I had to break it. It was in 1999. We had just had a president who had ended his four years in office and whose campaign had been funded by drug money****. Since the beginning of his presidency we Colombians knew about it, but he was never impeached by Congress. Many of the congressmen had also funded their campaigns with drug money. I was frustrated and angry. I needed to smash that plate. Drug money had infiltrated our institutions. Colombia, I felt, had officially become a Narco Republic. With weak and illegitimate institutions how can a democracy not fall into pieces, into impunity and into more violence? It was a dark moment. But in our history we have accumulated layers and layers of other dark moments: since becoming a Republic in the early nineteenth century, Colombia had nine civil wars and sixty years of war in the twentieth century. Forty of those years, let me add, were a continuous war that has now spilled into this new century. How will we break away from this legacy? It is a legacy of violence that has become more intense, more insoluble with the present war, a war that will not be won militarily but through vast social investment and the legalization of drugs. This country is, I have to say, trapped in the global market of drugs.

Installation view, Bandeja de Bolívar:1999

– In Guerra y Pa (War and Peace) from 2001, you introduce the element of Christianity by symbolizing it with the cross-like perch on top of which two parrots argue, one having learned to say the word ‘Guerra’ and the other the word ‘Pa’. How do you see the role of the church in Colombia’s ongoing violence?

Actually ‘Pa’ is a shorten version of ‘Paz’ (peace). In the Caribbean pronunciation the ‘S’ sound is swallowed, thus the parrot copies the accent of its trainer and the region. And it was precisely this pronunciation that allowed me to think how peace (paz) is and always will be an incomplete concept. In the particular case of Colombia the word peace has been repeated over and over again, so much so that its meaning has been eroded, as with the word Guerra. And in this old conflict, I think the church plays an important role, though the church in Colombia is not homogenous. There are very conservative segments. However, in the area of Chocó, in the Pacific region, where most of the singers come from, the church is very progressive. For instance, among many of their activities, are their cultural festivals, which I believe are essential in restoring the social fabric that has been ripped apart by the war. In one of these festivals I met Rafael, one of the singers. When he saw me with the video camera he came up to me and said, “I have a song and I would like to sing it to you”. In 2005, it is worth remembering, the Church from Quibdó, capital of Chocó, won the National Peace Prize.

Installation view, Guerra y Pa

– There is a scene that I like in particular, when the parrots are silent and just stare at the camera, deeply, as if questioning us. In that moment it is as if I, the viewer, become powerless.

Your observation, I believe, refers to the body language of the two parrots. Don’t they behave like actors who perform in a play? Doesn’t the parrot that says “Guerra” invade continually and insatiably the territory of the other parrot, pushing and biting aggressively? And when this parrot, full of testosterone, screams “Guerra”, can we not see certain politicians around the world? And, when these parrots stare deeply into the camera, as you observed, don’t they seem to be aware that they, like good actors, must also question the viewer while performing?

– In both Guerra y Pa and Bocas de Ceniza the subjects are portrayed against a white background, while the real context is only suggested by the sound coming from the surrounding environment. What is your intention behind this aesthetic decision?

In Guerra y Pa I wanted ‘the stage’ to be very clean. Only three elements were necessary: the two birds and the cross-like perch. In Bocas de Ceniza, I wanted neither distractions, nor anything literal or folkloric in the background. No music either. Simple and direct.

– If we consider your work as a compromised art, in the way that you are critical to the violence and reveal the suffering of the people, we would like to know how you see the development of your work in the context of Colombia today?

I understand that if I am to continue with my work I must break constantly away from the crystal bubble that is my studio in Bogotá. I must go to different areas of Colombia, I must speak to the people who have been caught in this war. A few days ago I was in a small village, La Ceja, in Antioquia, where I saw a very moving exhibition of drawings and paintings by victims and their victimizers. There I was able to meet some of these young people, to talk to them and to listen to their stories. It was an intense and genuine conversation and after being so close to this dementia that war is, I felt an urgency to continue with my work.

Malmö Konsthall, C-Sal

* The AUC (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia/ United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia) funded in 1997, is the biggest paramilitary force in Colombia, functioning as an umbrella organization that seeks to consolidate different local and regional paramilitary groups. The main enemies of AUC are the leftist insurgent groups FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia / Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and ELN (National Liberation Army).
** Left wing guerrillas include the FARC, established in 1964 as the military wing of the Colombian Communist Party, the ELN, established in 1964 with strong influences from Roman Catholicism and liberation theology. Both the FARC and the ELN continue to operate to this day. The EPL (Popular Liberation Army), created in 1967, negotiated a peace treaty during the presidency of Virgilio Barco (1986-1990).
*** Simon Bolivar (1783-1830), also known as El Libertador (The Liberator), was the South American liberation leader who, in the early nineteenth century, liberated and gave independence from Spanish rule to Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.
***' Ernesto Samper Pizano (1950) served as the President of Colombia from 7 August 1994 to 7 August 1998, representing the Liberal Party.

A printed version of this interview has been published for this exhibition. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to receive a copy.
Project #1

by Johan Tirén

Lund’s City Hall, 28-29 November
Open from 4pm to 8 pm.
29th of November, artist's talk at 6 pm.
Interview with Jonas Åkerlund, press secretary, Sverigedemokraterna

Interview with Daniel Poohl, journalist, EXPO

Interview with Jan Milld, party secretary, Sverigedemokraterna

Lund's City Hall from the outside

Artist's talk

From a conversation between Johan Tirén and Marianna Garin
Recorded in Stockholm in October 2006.

– We have invited you to show your video “Vi säger vad du tänker” (We’re saying what you’re thinking) within the framework of our project Public Manifestations of Creative Dissent in which we present work that questions and sheds light on the political systems, injustices and oppression that exist in our society. The title of your video was taken directly from Sverigedemokraterna’s* (Sweden Democrats) own propaganda. Can you explain something of the background to your video and how you came to concern yourself with Sverigedemokraterna?

The initial background is simply the fact that many of my works are informed by a political interest. More specifically one can say that I was interested in the political development of Europe in which extreme rightwing parties have gained increasing influence at the parliamentary level. I lived in Denmark from 1988 to 2002 and I saw how the Dansk Folkeparti** gained support and, most notably, succeeded in shifting the entire political spectrum far to the right. I did not want to have to experience the same thing in Sweden but it was already in progress.

– Do you mean that their rhetoric influenced the political agenda of the other parties?

Yes. One can claim that the other parties in Denmark – from the Social Democrats rightwards – with the exception of the liberal Radikale Venstre have taken over certain of Dansk Folkeparti’s policies. What has happened is that the entire field of politics has shifted; discussion and rhetoric have become more extreme and this allows a populist party like Dansk Folkeparti to move further to the right. This process in Denmark made me want to study what was going on in Sweden. In what is generally known as the nationalist movement, it is mainly Sverigedemokraterna and Nationaldemokraterna that have parliamentary aims but Sverigedemokraterna have been much the most successful.

– In this year’s elections Sverigedemokraterna were more successful at the polls than ever before.

In the 2002 election they gained roughly 1.5% of the votes in the parliamentary election and were still considered a marginal party. They were represented on 29 municipal councils but had little real influence. When I produced this video Sverigedemokraterna were not nearly as well established as they are today. They are currently represented in about half of Sweden’s municipalities, having increased their representation from 49 to 280 seats and their votes from 75000 to almost 170000. As a percentage this is a very substantial increase.

– The work will be shown in the foyer of the city hall in Lund, a public place with a very “open” architecture. How do you think your work will be received having regard to the political situation today?

The context here in Lund is very different from that in which it was shown at the Konsthall C gallery in the Stockholm suburb of Hökarängen in the spring of 2005. The work is concerned with a political party that a substantial number of local people have voted for. It is not a work that is controversial in the way that it was when I made it; or perhaps it is more controversial now.

– An interesting aspect of the election results is the care with which Sverigedemokraterna have cleaned up their background.

– Yes. There is no doubt about where they originated. Their background is as an extremist movement. It is strange that people speak so little about their history. In brief, Sverigedemokraterna developed from BSS Bevara Sverige Svenskt (Keep Sweden Swedish) in 1988 and, as late as the mid 1990s, there were people with evident neo-Nazi links in leading positions in the party. I don’t think that one can ignore that background when one interprets their message. Even if one cannot call Sverigedemokraterna a Nazi party today there are historical links. The rhetoric has been toned down considerably since the beginning of the 1990s and there are different people in the leading positions in the party; people who have succeeded in ridding themselves of the extremist identity. From uniform to business suit, one might term it. Another example is the change of party symbol prior to the 2006 election from a Swedish flag in the form of a flaming torch to a wood anemone. The torch was, practically speaking, identical to the British National Front’s symbol but Sverigedemokraterna presumably wanted to avoid that coupling. As I see it, Sverigedemokraterna are today a right wing racist or, as some would put it, culture-racist party. One may ask what the difference is but one always ends up with the notion that Sweden should belong to the “Swedes”.

– If we consider the work itself it consists of interviews with the former party secretary of Sverigedemokraterna Jan Milld, with the former press officer Jonas Åkerlund and with journalist Daniel Poohl who is engaged in the politically non-aligned foundation Expo which studies right wing movements in Sweden. I query the interesting ambivalence in the fact that these representatives of Sverigedemokraterna are given so much space to put their points of view without having to defend their positions. Though your own position becomes clear from the questions that you ask.

– My own position is not something that I try to hide in the work. There is no reason to do so and I am highly critical of their policies and their ideology. But it is true that I give them space. I want to learn how Sverigedemokraterna work, how they argue for their policies and how their ideology functions. One can do this in various ways. But in this particular instance it is a matter of giving them space to express themselves and their ideas and strategies. At the same time it was important to me to hear how they define the fundamental concepts on which they build their policies. Given that they find building a homogenous nation with a homogenous culture, common origins and a common language to be so important. Then it should be important to define what these things are. The interviews were based entirely on their own written materials, their policy document. If Sweden is to be a country for Swedes it becomes interesting to ask which people are included in the concept. The “others”, those that cannot be “Swedes”, should not be here. I think that it becomes evident from the interviews that they cannot actually define these concepts. In the last analysis it is all a matter of feeling; something that Åkerlund also gives expression to: “It is not a serious problem... when we go to the coop to shop... we know who is Swedish”. In the interview with Daniel Poohl there is a different image of the party than the one Sverigedemokraterna normally seek to communicate and this gives perspective to what was said in the conversations with Jonas Åkerlund and Jan Milld. People can then relate to what was said as they wish.

– I am interested in your strategy and methodology in the interview. You undertake a critical survey of Sverigedemokraterna’s ideology when you ask them to define different concepts that are important to their political programme. At the same time, discussing migration and asylum policies is not entirely unproblematic in that there have been conflicts on these issues within the party executive. There is also a strength in the fact that you do not assume any form of superiority in your effort to understand.

– There is no reason to feel superior to anyone. What I wanted to do was to let two Sverigedemokrater talk about their ideology. I wanted to listen to them formulating their policies and to see whether they really can argue for the policies that they put on their programme. I am not sure whether it is correct that they do not want to talk about migration and asylum for even though there have been conflicts within the party on these issues they are still their main policies. What Jonas Åkerlund was not keen to talk about in the interview – and this is what you are referring to – is how the policy could be put into practice. How is one to determine who is sufficiently Swedish to be worthy of inclusion in the Swedish nation. How much violence should be used in expelling the non-Swedes who do not return to their countries of their own volition or let themselves be assimilated in accordance with Sverigedemokraterna’s programme.

– Their problems increase the longer the interview lasts but are they aware of this themselves?

I really do not know. I think that they were pretty happy with their presentations. I do not believe that they are aware of the problems that I see myself in their arguments. These are extremely difficult questions to answer. I certainly could not answer the question as to what is a specifically Swedish culture but I have no interest in actually trying to define it. But if you build a party on the fundamental notion that if you do not embrace “Swedish culture” then you should not be here – well then a definition ought to be a dire necessity. Then claiming to be antiracist seems, from that perspective, idiotic...

– How do you think that Sverigedemokraterna would react to such a question?

You mean that they are racists? Sverigedemokraterna would claim that it is the Swedes who have been subjected to racism since for decades they have been forced into multiculturalism, have been forced to take part in a gigantic experiment – the multicultural project. It is the Swedes in Sweden who are oppressed by the political establishment and the media. This is evident in their slogan “We’re saying what you’re thinking”. This claims that it is Sverigedemokraterna who dare to give expression to what the Swedish people really think, to what people would like to say themselves but cannot or dare not because of the pressure to which the people are subjected. Sverigedemokraterna aspire to be the voice of the entire “Swedish people”. But I would claim that it is a racist party for this is very evident if one reads between the lines in the political programme. There is no doubt that they are cultural racists. This is the raison d’être of the party. The link that holds them together is the struggle for a homogeneous nation and their dissatisfaction with immigration.

– The material is largely unedited. Can you explain your approach? What were your intentions?

What you actually see is a very small part of the production process but it is true that the interviews are largely unrefined. I naturally had access to much more material in the form of pictures, texts, etc. but I wanted to focus on what was actually said in the interviews. Many of the pictures were precisely what we expected when dealing with rightwing extremism: demonstrations with uniforms, Swedish flags and suchlike. Showing such pictures can be important but, in this particular context, I thought that there was a risk that the pictures would get in the way of the interviews, of what was actually being said. Something that struck me afterwards was the fact that Sverigedemokraterna often complain about being misquoted or censored. That is part of their self-image. But it is difficult for them to claim such treatment here in that the arguments have not been edited. Also, I was not interested in any sort of “instant effect” but wanted to allow space for reflection and discussion.

– Which is emphasized by the structure of the interviews with the pauses.

The brief pauses make it easier to understand the material with an interruption of a few seconds before the next aspect of the argument is introduced. The pauses allow one to think one’s own thoughts. But the pauses also act as “gaps”, as interludes which make the subjectivity of the work more apparent.

– How did you come into contact with the representatives of Sverigedemokraterna? How accessible were they at that time?

There was not great difficulty. I rang the press officer and asked if I could do some interviews. They did not seem to have a problem with this. I imagine that they saw an opportunity to spread their propaganda. They need publicity. So I was naturally ambivalent since it was not my ambition to spread their message. But I wanted to understand it. How, otherwise, are we to deal with these currents? And the interviews which I undertook are, to say the least, clearly critical of their policies.

– You have previously worked with issues regarding asylum policies in Europe both individually and with others and your works are highly political. Do you consider that art can be a form of resistance or can the person who resists only survive by fitting in? In that case, how do you see your position as an artist?

These are difficult issues. But personally I have never felt like a complete outsider. Art is not separate from the rest of society. And in other contexts too, like demonstrations, I have not felt that I was outside society. But this does not mean that art cannot be a way of resisting. I think that there is a critical potential in art. This critical potential can form the basis of some sort of resistance. On one level there is a relevance in that the resistance has to come from within. If you remain entirely on the outside there is a risk that you will become isolated and neglected. What you say will never be heard except within the group that you form a part of. But then, surely, there is also the question of the extent to which you are prepared to adapt in order to “fit in”?

– It is interesting to see the political standpoints of the other parties regarding the ideology of Sverigedemokraterna. Take the Folkpartiet (Liberal Party of Sweden), for example, and their cultural canon in which those in power form a people in accordance with a common, cultural goal. But a similar attitude found expression in the early socialist ambitions for citizens of the Swedish welfare state − or Folkhemmet***.

The construction of the welfare state is a rather large topic but it is interesting that Sverigedemokraterna see themselves as the party concerned with managing the continued development of the welfare state with the emphasis on a “Swedish” welfare state. But an important aspect of the work is, of course, analyzing it with regard to today’s policy. To see the continuity. Even if the focus is specifically on Sverigedemokraterna. I think that it is evident that some of their ideas already exist in society. For example, what is the impact of the Folkpartiet’s proposal for a language test for people seeking citizenship? This is a policy that might have been taken directly from Sverigedemokraterna. What do the Swedish Social Democrats really mean when they talk about “social tourism”. Is this not just the same thing that Sverigedemokraterna are saying when they claim that “foreigners just come here and exploit the system”? And we have not even discussed discrimination, social issues and class. Perhaps the most distressing aspect of this work is the fact that we can see that the racist structures already exist here. How do we meet that? How do we confront the problem when, finally, it is about us and not about them?

* In the tradition of European politics Sverigedemokraterna would be categorized as a nationalist or ultranationalist party particularly concerned with immigration and integration as they affect Sweden.
** The official aim of the Dansk Folkeparti (Danish People’s Party) is to promote Denmark’s independence, to protect the Danish people’s security in their own country and to preserve and develop democracy and the monarchy. The party is represented both in the Danish and the European parliaments.
*** The concept of Folkhemmet or people’s home was given wide currency by Per Albin Hansson (1885-1946), leader of the Swedish Social Democrats. It was intended to describe the new society that the Social Democrats wanted to build by eradicating economic and social divisions. The people’s home or welfare state would be a society of consensus and equality. The term folkhem had been used earlier, for example by the conservative politician Rudolf Kjellén (1864-1922).

A printed version of this interview has been published for this exhibition. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to receive a copy.