2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the Swedish author August Strindberg's death (1849-1912). Kulturrådet’s one-year website devoted to the literary giant is about to be launched on December 1, 2011.
Earlier on the issue of Strindberg celebrations or the lack thereof: Strindberg 2012 - too little and too late?
December 1st will see the launch of Kulturrådet’s one-year Strindberg website (www.strindberg2012.se) The goal is to include everything that will happen during 2012, the year that marks the 100th anniversary of the Swedish author’s death (Strindberg was born in 1849 and died in 1912). “It’ll be like an event calendar,” says Kulturrådets coordinator Jan Kärrö. “We will try to cover everything that’s going on abroad as well.” Meanwhile, in the US the site www.strindbergfestival.com
was created by American academics and theater people. At Harvard University a Strindberg symposium is planned for spring. The French have always had a special place for Strindberg in their hearts (Strindberg lived in France for longer periods of his life). Sorbonne University will conduct a symposium and the theater festival in Avignon will tour during the summer with a performance of “Miss Julie”, a performance that will travel to the Barbican Arts Centre in London, where Juliette Binoche will play Julie. But the Swedish site will focus on what happens in Sweden and anyone who arranges anything to celebrate the Strindberg year can post their activities. Radioteatern will broadcast 50 plays for free every Sunday from Stockholms Stadsteater’s Kafé Klara, beginning on January 1.
“We will broadcast all of Strindberg’s works, the earliest recording is from 1927,” says Stina Oscarson, head of the Radioteatern. “It’s cool, because many of the recordings are so good, so clear, it’s just the introductions that feel a bit dated.”
The Swedish government has been criticized for not doing enough for the Strindberg year. The Norwegian government put up $6.4 million for the Ibsen year in 2006, compare that to the measly $179,100 the Swedish government gives to celebrate the great Swedish author.
“If we were to invest the same kind of money as the Norwegians,” says Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, Minister of Culture, “then many other cultural events would have to stand back.”
An attitude the Swedish stage director Sophia Jupither calls: “ignorance, lack of knowledge and no interest.”
Websites to keep in mind: