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Sweden Culture and Mass Media


Among Swedish culture that has given echoes in the world are among others the film director Ingmar Bergman, the pop group Abba and actors such as Ingrid Bergman and Greta Garbo. Children's book author Astrid Lindgren has become world famous through translations into some 90 languages. In the 2000s, Swedish decks have had a major international impact, not least through Stieg Larsson with the Millennium Trilogy.

Sweden's oldest preserved writings are carved on Rökstenen in Östergötland and other rune stones. The Revelations of the Holy Birgitta of the 1300s belong to the oldest religious literature, a genre that was common in the Middle Ages.

  • Countryaah: Latest population statistics of Sweden, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.

During the 18th century the influence of religion diminished and cultural life flourished according to the French model. During this century, King Gustav III founded the Swedish Academy (which awards the Nobel Prize in literature) as well as the Royal Theater (The Opera) and the Royal Dramatic Theater. In the 18th century also lived the internationally renowned theologian and philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg, the sculptor Tobias Sergel, the poet Carl Michael Bellman and the scientist Carl von Linné.

By the 19th century, romance came to Sweden with practitioners such as Esaias Tegnér and E J Stagnelius. The 1890s brought forth several successful writers. Among them were Selma Lagerlöf, who received the Nobel Prize in 1909. Historically the most influential Swedish author, August Strindberg (1849-1912), got his breakthrough with the novel Red Room 1879. Internationally, he is best known for his drama, with works such as Miss Julie.

The Nobel Prize was founded around the turn of the century by the inventor of dynamite Alfred Nobel and is today the world's most prestigious literature prize. In addition to Lagerlöf, it has also gone to Verner von Heidenstam (1916), Erik Axel Karlfeldt (posthumously, 1931), Pär Lagerkvist (1951), Eyvind Johnson and Harry Martinson (shared prize 1974), and Tomas Tranströmer (2011).

  • Songaah: List and lyrics of songs related to the country name of Sweden. Artists and albums are also included.

Culture of SwedenRecently, many established writers and poets include Tranströmer, among others Per Olov Enquist, Sven Delblanc, PC Jersild, Lars Gustafsson, Katarina Frostensson, Göran Tunström, Sara Lidman, Torgny Lindgren and Kerstin Ekman.

For the visual arts, the 1870s meant a renewal. Well-known artists are Carl Larsson, Bruno Liljefors and Anders Zorn. Modernism is associated with Isaac Grünewald, Sigrid Hjertén and Nils Dardel. Of sculptors, Carl Milles and Axel Pettersson are distinguished.

Among the artists who made their mark after the Second World War were Öyvind Fahlström, Per Olov Ultvedt and Barbro Östlihn, and during the last decades Cecilia Edefalk, Jockum Nordström and Ann-Sofi Sidén. Photographers such as Christer Strömholm, Lars Tunbjörk and Anders Petersen have also been important during the latter part of the 20th century and until today.

Swedish glass art became world famous in the early 1900s, when designers Simon Gate and Edvard Hald worked at Orrefors mill. The tradition has been continued with the names of Ulrica Hydman-Vallien and Bertil Vallien.

Among famous Swedish musicians and composers are Franz Berwald, Wilhelm Peterson-Berger and Hugo Alfvén. Swedish choirs and opera singers have attracted considerable international attention over the years. Jussi Björling and Birgit Nilsson are among the classics of opera art. Evert Taube, Olle Adolphson and Cornelis Vreeswijk have written and performed some of the most popular Swedish songs.

Swedish pop music achieved an international breakthrough with the Abba group during the 1970s. In the 1990s, Roxette, Ace of Base and later, among others, Cardigans and The Hives ranked high on several foreign leaderboards.

The world has been made aware of Swedish film by Ingmar Bergman. The seventh seal belongs to his first films, Fanny and Alexander, among the latest and most internationally awarded. Roy Andersson, as the first Swedish to date, was awarded the Gold Lion at the Venice Film Festival 2014 for A pigeon sat on a branch and pondered on existence. The film is the third in a trilogy (the first two films are also award-winning). Ruben Östlund won the Gold Palm at the Cannes Film Festival 2017, for his film The Square. Two other famous directors are Bo Widerberg and Lasse Hallström. Among Swedish film actors Ingrid Bergman and Greta Garbo are in a class of their own.

Among today's playwright, Lars Norén is a foreground figure.



Nazis attack anti-racist demonstration

A demonstration against racism in the Stockholm suburb of Kärrtorp is being attacked by a group of supporters of the Nazi organization Swedish Resistance Movement (SMR), armed with slingshots, knuckles and burning objects. The reactions are getting strong with protest actions against racism in several parts of the country.

Battle for stopped tax cuts

The opposition's attempt to tear up a decision on a higher breaking point for state income tax leads to a dispute over the parliamentary agenda, which is regarded as an intermediary between the constitution and ordinary law. The Government considers that, according to the Riksdag, it is not possible to break out and change part of the budget decision that was made in October. The President therefore stops voting on the proposal. But the opposition is then pushing for the Constitutional Committee (KU) to take a position on the issue. KU sends the question back to Parliament, where the red-green parties together with the Swedish Democrats vote down the government's tax cut.

Red green wire

Just over nine months before the parliamentary elections, the three red-green parties are clearly leading the Alliance in an opinion poll by Statistics Sweden. Together, they have the support of 49.8 percent of voters, against 39.7 percent of the four government parties. The Swedish Democrats are the third largest party with 9.3 percent, according to the survey.

Impaired school results

The annual Pisa study on school pupils' results is a bleak reading for Sweden. It turns out that Swedish 15-year-olds' knowledge of mathematics, reading comprehension and science has fallen sharply in a few years, and more so than in all other OECD countries.


Female Archbishop

Germany-born Antje Jackelén, bishop of Lund's diocese, wins the archbishop's election by a clear margin, and the Swedish Church thus gets its first female archbishop. Jackelén has been mentioned before for questioning the virgin birth and saying that she believes in the theory of evolution. She succeeds Anders Wejryd in June 2014.


Obama on State Visit

US President Barachk Obama visits Sweden and discusses, among other things, free trade and climate issues with Prime Minister Reinfeldt.

Permanent residence permit for Syrians

The Migration Board decides that all Syrians who come to Sweden will be allowed to stay indefinitely. Up to 8,000 Syrians in the country with temporary residence permits now have them changed to permanent status. The background is the severe conflict in Syria.


HD decisions favor tax savers

The Supreme Court ruled that a person who was forced to pay a tax surcharge cannot also be sentenced to prison, since both EU law and the European Convention prohibit double punishment - being sentenced twice for the same crime. HD decides that the ban on double punishment should apply retroactively from February 2009, when the European Court of Justice established a new practice. Hundreds of people convicted of tax offenses can now claim a raise and claim damages from the state. Even before HD's decision, a number of imprisoned tax smiths have been released prematurely since it was clear what the outcome would be.


Rwandans convicted of genocide

A 54-year-old man from Rwanda is sentenced to life imprisonment for genocide and serious international law violation against Tutsis in his home country. This is the first time anyone has been convicted of genocide in Sweden.


Youth ravages in Husby

The unrest erupts in the Stockholm suburb and spreads to a number of other suburbs as well as to other cities. The Swedish Democrats claim that the suburban riots are a result of overly generous immigration, but the party goes back in public opinion and gets 6.6 percent in Sifo's voter barometer.


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