Sweden’s Cultural Counselor in Washington, DC, Linda Zachrison, comments on seasonal activities and new venues in Sweden. Her summer report, which ran at full length in Nordstjernan No. 10, 2019, begins with a statement many of us can agree with: “The Swedish summer is quite lovely in itself. You really don’t need more than a blanket to lie on in the grass or on the beach, and a good book to read to get the ultimate cultural experience during the holiday.” The recently released “Acts of Infidelity,” and its sequel, Lena Andersson’s novel “Willful Disregard – A Novel About Love,” may be good choices to bring with your blanket. The novels, published by Other Press, could be described as portraying darker versions of our human shortcomings so well depicted in the 2017 bestseller “A Man Called Ove.” The journey of Andersson’s protagonist Ester Nilsson, however, goes in the opposite direction from Ove, inspiring a recent review in The New Yorker that says Andersson exposes the cruelty and comedy of romantic obsession.

If you are in Sweden, Linda Zachrison mentions the recently opened Rikstolvan in the south, just outside Simrishamn, a multi-media meeting spot for a variety of art forms. The summer’s program, which opened on June 29, includes American avant-garde artist, composer and musician Laurie Anderson’s collaborative virtual reality installation “The Chalkroom.”

Complementing Sweden’s Allemansrätten, which allows everyone the right to roam, is Visit Sweden’s Edible Country project. It transforms all of Sweden into an outdoor gourmet restaurant. People can choose from menus co-created by four of Sweden’s top chefs, book a picnic table (at www.visitsweden.com or www.bookatable.com) in one of 13 remote locations, then forage and cook your own food. Recipes along with information on how to properly cook the multi-course menus, a cooking kit containing the necessary tools along with a personal guide or chef are also available online. And since not all of us are as accomplished fishermen as Ken Johnson (Nordstjernan, issue 9), a basket of ingredients is also optional.

Zachrison feels Stockholm’s open air theater Stockholms Parkteater can be considered a cultural allemansrätt, and who can argue with that when 63 free performances are given 163 times in 43 places all around Stockholm. The season started with the musical Elvira Madigan in Vitabergsparken (a park on Söder, just a couple stops from Gamla Stan on the green line) and ends September 1 with the concert Punkt in the same spot.

[This is a summary of a report that ran at full length in Nordstjernan Issue 10, 2019]

Also, last year Zachrison looked west where the Västanå Teater, lovingly called “the storytelling barn” in Sunne, in the province of Värmland, shows “Eddan” in an adaptation by Jon Fosse this year. Zachrison says Sunne - 4 hours west of Stockholm and 3.5 hours north of Göteborg - is worth the trip, especially if you also include a visit to the deeply personal, quirky and charming ambience of the Alma Löv Museum (www.almalov.com). Sunne, population 13,000, is also home to Rottneros Sculpture Park and Selma Lagerlöf’s childhood home, Mårbacka. A must-see heritage site for all ages.

Enjoy your travel wherever you go and have a continued great summer!
The Nordstjernan team


Make life Sweder, subscribe to America's Swedish newspaper - 18 packed issues per year in the mail: SUBSCRIBE NOW, become part of a growing community, a ... family really. Swedish events, clubs and organizations all over the U.S. ... learn Swedish, enjoy the traditions ... the trivia and cook Swedish.