In these unprecedented times, art and culture and engagement are perhaps more important than ever. Not only do they help us connect with others and remind us of our shared humanity, empathy and understanding, giving us new perspectives, but also of course entertainment and relaxation.

Nothing can beat sharing live experiences together, we know that. Thanks to scientists we even know that experiencing a live performance together synchronizes our heartbeats.
Now, when the arts and cultural institutions throughout Sweden and the United States have closed to the public, and a lot of the planned concerts, shows and conversations of Swedish arts and culture that was on their way here to the US have been cancelled and postponed – I have compiled a list with some highlights for you to enjoy from your home.


Several Swedish and international artists are helping brighten up their fans' time at home by performing online concerts from their own homes. Little Dragon was scheduled for a US tour this spring. Instead they created a live session from their studio in Gothenburg.
Jens Lekman, who’s extensive US tour also got cancelled is posting new quarantine songs every day for everyone to enjoy and First Aid Kit are doing home concerts.
On the classical side you can enjoy livestreamed concerts with the Swedish Radio choir and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra from Berwaldhallen in Stockholm - this spring they are for the first time ever performing without audiences. Förklädd Gud by Lars Erik Larsson with the Swedish star soprano Malin Byström (who has performed at both Metropolitan opera and the San Fransisco opera), or perhaps Beethoven 250: Eroican, conducted by Malin Broman, with Peter Mattei (Mattei was btw recently praised for the title performance in William Kentridge’s version of Alban Bergs Wozzek at Metropolitan opera in New York).

Ballet, dance and opera
The Royal Swedish Opera has an online streaming service, Operan Play, where you can watch ballet and opera performances from the comfort of your living room. Choose from a full-length opera, the bitesize 20-minute Short Stories, the Life at the Opera documentary and more. No log-in or payment is required.
Another great dance company from Sweden is Göteborgsoperans danskompani. Until May 5, you can see them online from a performance at Théatre de Chaillot in Paris, dancing SKID by the Belgian- French choreographer Damien Jalet.

Stockholm's Stadsteater has closed due to the virus outbreak, but you can watch some of its previous plays ad events, on Stadsteater Play online, and Dramaten, the Royal Dramatic theatre, also has an online service with everything from Mats Ek’s danced version of Vilhelm Mobergs Utvandrarna, to Liv Strömqvist tanker på dig.
By the way, Liv Strömqvist’s comicbook Fruit of Knowledge is available in the US,and comes highly recommended.
Unga Klara, Sweden’s National Theatre for Children and Young People, toured the world and the US last year, and performed at House of Sweden in Washington DC, Alley Theatre in Houston and finally New Victory theatre in New York on Broadway. They have made several of their plays available online, for ex Because I say so that performed on New Victory theatre in December but also critically acclaimed My True selves, Girls will make you blush and X.

The first name that comes to mind at the mention of Swedish film is perhaps Ingmar Bergman. In 2018 it was his centennial – and the Embassy of Sweden co-arranged film screenings, performances and exhibitions and screenings in over 34 different cities, from Minneapolis, Seattle, San Fransisco and New York to Oklahoma, Detroit and Winnipeg with an incredible response.
Many of the revered director’s classics – from ‘Persona’ and ‘Fanny and Alexander’ to ‘Scenes from a Marriage’ – can be rented digitally via Amazon and iTunes.

For insights in Sweden's indigenous people, the Sami, we recommend the 2016 film 'Sameblod' (Sami Blood). This coming-of-age drama depicts how main character Elle-Marja (and other Samis) living during the 1930s are subject to racial profiling and discrimination. The movie is available on Amazon.

Here are also some exciting series from the vibrant Swedish film landscape that are available to be streamed online on Netflix:
Caliphate, a gripping eight-episode series which shows three very different people as they're entangled in an ISIS terror attack. Based on an original idea by Wilhelm Behrman, who created the series together with Niklas Rockström.
Quicksand, a Swedish crime drama web television series, based on the 2016 novel of the same name by Malin Persson Giolito.
Bonusfamiljen – holds three seasons about a new couple, their exes and their children navigating emotions and logistics, created by Felix Herngren, Moa Herngren, Clara Henrgren och Calle Marthin.

Moderna museet is the national museum for contemporary art in Sweden, has now daily “sofatours” of their works, some of them in English. Many other museums offers a virtual tours, as NationalMuseum, Sweden’s museum of art and design
Skokloster Castle, Malmö Art Museum, Hallwylska Museum, The Royal Armoury, Gothenburg's Museum of World Culture, the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Röhsska Museum, the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities, the Swedish History Museum, and the Nordic Museum, can all be viewed virtually via Google Arts and Culture.

And last but not least - did you know that Pippi Longstocking, the strongest girl in the world, turns 75 this year? Get prepared to celebrate Pippi by printing out some great colouring sheets and taking a Pippi Quiz here!
Please enjoy, stay safe, stay healthy, and #StayHome!

Linda Zachrison
Cultural Counselor for Sweden to the US, Washington DC