this is Sweden 1991MARCHING BOOTS. AN EXTREM RIGHT WIND BLOWS THROUGH EUROPE AND ALL THE WAY INTO THE SWEDISH PARLIAMENT.
Photography Jasmin StorchStyling Maria BarsoumHairstyling Tony LudströmMakeup Åsa KarlstenAll clothing this is SwedenStudio assistents Anna-Lena Schwirk & Wenke Moberg
'Hello! Hope all is well with you. Was thinking of you this morning. Thought of the nice view you had on people when u where little. I know you don't really remember when we were kids and they were very racist against me because I was black and dirty.They didn't understand why you were playing with me and held my hand. but hell every time It warms my heart when I think of those times when u came to me and said "They say that I should not hang out with you, but I do not understand why, I dont think you are dirty"If I ever have children, I know that even if they are half Swedish, they will still be looked at as immigrants and black and given how society is today, This racist climate I hope truly hope that they will finde a friend like you. Thank you, we were small kids but it meant very much to me and its still in my memory.
SMS sent to Ana from Zabeni Shafii Andesson
'A Swedish Tiger’ was a campaign launched in 1941, when Europe was at war. A war staged by fascists who strove for a homogeneous, white society free from ’defect’ and atypical people. The campaign aimed to get Swedes to keep quiet and not disclose anything that might harm the country’s neutral status during the war.
Sweden 2014: A racist party with nazi roots has gained seats in the Swedish parliament, and expects to achieve new record numbers in the forthcoming elections. Party representatives openly make known their shared disgust for women, LGBT people, people from other cultures and people who dare to stand up against the party’s agenda. A new dawn is rising, however. In recent months, teachers, firefighters, physicians and many others have openly shown their support for a multicultural society where all people have a place, no matter who they love, how they look, or where they come from. According to one of the country’s largest newspapers, Swedes are speaking up. People are aware of the drastic situation. Promotions such as #Againstracism and www.fatta.nu against sexual violence and sexism, are a couple of successful examples of the country speaking up against the fascist wave that is spreading through Europe. In 1941, we were requested to remain silent; in 2014, we will not be silenced anymore.
Text by Andreas Leander-Engström
Fashion is a way for us to express ourselves and communicate. Every article of clothing comes with codes through which we send out signals. Garment by garment, the way we choose to put them together is how our bodies wander around and meet.
Fashion can be a wonderful means of expression. It can help one to find themselves, or renew themselves. It can express play and joy, crafts and creativity. Fashion can be an expression of resistance. Fashion is something that concerns the individual, their body and the all the people they meet. However fashion exists as part of a larger system – and unfortunately this is where it gets into the wrong hands.
In this system, fashion has a different role. It may even, as is increasingly seen today, turn into a racist tool. Like when the fashion system is controlled by a commerce ruled by capitalism. Moreover, it is desirable for global hegemony when fashion in the name of commerce has become a vehicle for the white west to consolidate itself as the global majority culture.
This white majority culture has historically had privilidged access to everything. It is often the case, therefore, that fashion uses the attributes they call “ethno” to generate trends. We see a culture, an ethnicity, becoming a role that is defined and played by the white majority culture. It may be “African” fashion editorials in VOGUE, “multiculti” collections created by a French fashion house, or even a full-on plumage that is placed on a model in an advertisement for underwear. Each time it happens, it eliminates, bit by bit, a culture that is portrayed as “exotic”. And so white dominance strengthens its own position of power.
The fashion industry, the commercial system, is one that thrives on taking influences from subcultures. Not unlike colonialism, fashion has, in capitalism’s name, become very good at annexing cultural expression from ethnic groups that do not belong to the dominant white culture.
Why does fashion act like this? Probably because the white west, which made itself superior to all other cultures, believes that everything is there for it to judge and exploit. So every time the white majority culture defines a group as the “other”, each time it stretches out arms and occupies more space, it is an expression of racism.
As with ourselves, we need to save fashion – what we wear next to our skin – from the white majority culture and racism. It is a revolution that will not appear in any advertisement.
Text by Agnes Grefberg Braunerhielm