Kulturlista Nordstjernan - Here are some personal favorites of great Swedish art and culture to enjoy from your home.
Art and design:
An important part of my work at the Embassy of Sweden is to program exhibitions to be presented at House of Sweden in Washington DC – and to introduce Swedish artists to the American audiences.
This spring we have two incredible shows: Papier by Bea Szenfeld and Stina Wirsén, and Sustain Able Voices from many designers, made in collaboration with Ung Svensk Form and Ikea Museum. Now we have created a virtual platform, were you can get to know their work – and also through the Swedish Institute’s exhibition Smart Mobility, learn about Swedish Innovations. Exhibitions at House of Sweden

One of the most celebrated choreographers from Sweden is Alexander Ekman, who has for the last few years worked with the Joffrey Ballet. Take a look at Swedish Royal Ballet doing his pieces: Midsummer Night’s Dream (2015) and Eskapist (2019). The latter especially capitalizes on the scale and versatility of the company and venue, a vast stage extended over the front stalls, on which Ekman offers a bombardment of fantastical images, realized with the help of Danish fashion designer Henrik Vibskov, who does a Mad Hatter’s couture party of eccentrically structured silhouettes, and fascinating music by Swedish composer Mikael Karlsson. www.marquee.tv/series/ekman


As you may know, Sweden has a great jazz scene. A Swedish star who has performed in the U.S. is Gunhild Carling - four million viewers follow her on social media as she has for many years done daily live sessions on Youtube.
One of the most iconic jazz clubs in Sweden, Fasching, now launches Stockholm Jazz Stream, a live-streamed concert series through Facebook. Viewers are asked to make donations that go directly to the musicians. Upcoming featured musicians are some of Sweden’s strongest artists:
Ida Bang & The Blue Tears on 5/2,
Isabella Lundgren on 5/6,
Stockholm Hot Seven on 5/9,
and Per Texas Johansson on 5/23.

Cirkus Cirkör is a contemporary circus company that has toured the world for more than 20 years and been seen by more than 2 million people around the world. 400,000 children and youth have trained, created and been taught with contemporary circus. Last year they performed at the Kennedy Center in New York. One of their most popular performances, Wear it like a crown, has been performed 450 times and is based on music by Rebekka Karijord. It is now available to enjoy online.

One of Swedens most iconic museums is the Vasa Museum (Vasamuseet). A model of the ship is actually a part of the current exhibition Smart mobility, as part of the objects in the Museum of Failures. Vasamuseet broadcasts live every Monday-Friday (in English on Tuesdays and Thursdays) at 16.28 and sends live greetings via the museum’s Instagram every weekday at 16:28. Vasamuseet on Instagram and Vasamuseet on Fb
After five years of renovation, Sweden’s beautiful National Museum in Stockholm reopened in 2018. If you miss the museum’s art and design or haven’t seen it yet, be sure to watch their short virtual tour to get a taste of it.
You can also find 360-degree tours of other Stockholm museums; and other parts of the capital are available at the website Stockholm 360. The Royal Palace also has virtual tours available on their websites so you can transport yourself from your apartment to more fanciful surroundings.

Stockholm’s Stadsteater has closed due to the virus outbreak, but you can watch some of its previous plays and events, at Stadsteatern - Play online. For decades, one of the strongest independent theatres has been Teater Galeasen. Jens Ohlin and Hannes Meidal have for the last few years done several praised, bold new versions of classic plays - and one of the most acclaimed is their version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, directed by Ohlin with Meidal in the title role. The performance is a collaboration with Dramaten, and is now available online. Recommended! But only in Swedish, unfortunately. Dramaten online

J! Jewish Culture in Sweden is often organizing high-profile programs with leading thinkers, writers and artists from Sweden and around the globe. Last year they invited Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Sweden to receive the Gilel Storch Award. Now they will stream a series of conversations, called J! Home with international authors and thinkers in conversation with Swedish cultural profiles. Nicole Krauss, Gloria Steinem, Jonatan Safran Foer and Steve Reich, among others, will be in conversation with Swedes such as author Elisabeth Åsbrink and Ricki Neuman.

The first name that comes to mind at the mention of Swedish film is perhaps Ingmar Bergman. In 2018 the Embassy highlighted his centennial with film screenings, performances and exhibitions in partnerships with the National Gallery, American Film Institute and Kennedy Center in Washington, and in over 34 different cities, from Minneapolis, Seattle and San Fransisco to 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.
“A Man Called Ove,” Fredrik Backman’s bestselling novel that can be ordered as a book, ebook or audiobook on most book websites and platforms, is the story of a grumpy old man whose solitary world turns on its head when a boisterous young family moves in across the street. As a film, it became Sweden’s third most watched Swedish theatrical film of all time, and was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Oscar in 2016. The film is available on Netflix and HBO Nordic.
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. We have co-arranged screenings and debates about this film in the U.S. the last few years, for example at Scandinavia House in New York in conjunction with the UN, where it was followed by panel discussion that you can find here with Per Olsson Fridh, Sweden’s State Secretary to the Minister for Culture and Democracy, as well as Josefina Skerk of Sametinget i Sverige, the Sami parliament of Sweden.
Some excellent “Nordic Noirs” have come out of Sweden in recent years – crime TV drama “The Bridge” being a definite hit, with its unique heroine Saga Norén, for example. “Jordskott” offers another compelling take on the genre. It’s a subtly supernatural affair in which the spectacular nature of Sweden plays a key role. Both of these binge-worthy series are available to download via iTunes.

Linda Zachrison
Cultural Counselor for Sweden to the U.S.