With this new piece I inaugurate a collaboration with the precious blog Le Donne Visibili (The Visible Women): from now on I am their “fourth official editor”! I start it with something about women empowerment dedicated to the Swedish #metoo.
For many women feminism means in some way denying a gender diversity perspective, as if it stood for some kind of weakness; some women tend to categorize themselves using a masculine measurement and this was important when patriarchal culture was holding its professional doors shut to women. The situation is slightly changing and here in Sweden, for example, the number of women working as plumbers or electricians is increasing, and you can see these sometimes tiny but very cool Lisbeth Salanders going around with a piercing and a hammer. Continue reading
[Some sad reflections about the flop of the #metoo in Italy. Originally published in Italy (in Italian) by “Le Donne Visibili”, “La Poesia e lo Spirito” and “Popoff”. Illustrated by Eliana Como. Translation edited by Cinzia Guerriero and Niko Despopoulos]
A feeling like a point of no return.
Like in H.C. Andersen’s tale – The Emperor’s New Clothes – at one point a scream was enough: so too were the first women in the Hollywood Star System who had the courage to let out and come clean of shame, anger, frustration, fear and uncertainty. From there, a few days later, the first post with #metoo hashtag starts to spread around and in a couple of nights it becomes an avalanche. Figures are updated by the hour to count thousands and thousands western women who have found the strength to tell their story from the multitude. Whether it concerned a harassment on a bus or a rape, so many hands rose, and the river became a flood, an event that was impossible to ignore. Thanks to the social networks, Western women finally met, though without having ever set eyes on each other, and in the sisterly and warm wave of saying “me too” formed a sort of alliance, with the strength that women have when they get too tired to slip anything else thru. Continue reading
Sweden has recently been in the news after Donald Trump referred to as fact a Fox News report based on the statements of a certain Nils Bildt, a Swedish mythomaniac who passed off as news the usual anti-immigration and anti-Islam propaganda spread by the “Sverigedemokraterna” (Swedish Democrats) party, a nationalist-inspired political faction founded by some neo-Nazi groups.
The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to reply by publishing a significant and exhaustive press release in English, “Facts about migration and crime in Sweden,” which demolishes some of the most widespread false opinions/news currently circulating, based on facts and statistics extracted through official channels, primarily Police Force data.
If I could make every adult inhabitant of the planet read one book in 2017, it would be Shadows Law [translated by Selina Öberg and published by Bullet Point Publishing, from the original Swedish Skuggans lag, published by Kalla Kulor Förlag] written by Stockholm policeman Simon Häggström. In just four hundred pages he makes us see a hidden world, one that it would be too easy and self-consoling to call obscene. In the narratives of his experiences of long squalid nights in a car trying to arrest clients of prostitutes, Häggström is able to tell the story of millions of women, of thousands of years of history, of billions of violations. A difficult book, obviously, but imperative, necessary, revelatory.
I return once more to discussing photography because of a new one-person show at the Elf Galleri in Gothenburg. Under the spotlight the Swedish photographer with the most international recognition Gerry Johansson, with an exhibit called “Antarktis” (“Antarctica”).
It consists of images printed from a negative obtained in analog large format (8 x 10 inches) taken during a long, six-week session while on an expedition in the Antarctic. In prohibitive conditions among polar temperatures and violent winds, which Johansson braved with great obstinacy, he would wait for the right moment to go outside and shoot in all directions. The composition of the images is one of the most rewarding elements of this collection, with images that are always that millimeter different from how we would have photographed them. A millimeter that truly makes all the difference between a sharp, clean image and a work of art. Continue reading
What distinguishes an artist of photography from a simple photographer? In this age of so much banality and an overdose of photography it should be difficult to find the boundary, and yet it isn’t. Because a photograph has energy, spirit, originality, a disturbing quality, or it doesn’t – despite filters, cropping and other post-production contortions. And the photography of Swede Thron Ullberg – currently with a one-person show called Vilsen (Lost) at the Elf Galleri in Gothenburg – is almost more art than photography. Continue reading