LOVE IN SWEDEN Background and reality
This website is a result of the assignment part of 'Digitising Cultural Heritage Material' - an interdisciplinary course taken as part of The Master’s programme in Digital Humanities, at University of Gothenburg and the Centre for Digital Humanities
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Love in Sweden was published by The Swedish Institute in 1970, coinciding with the World Expo in Osaka the same year, as a part of the Institute’s (still ongoing) work of building up lasting relations between Sweden and other countries.
They had hired journalist Bertil Torekull for writing the text, and he brought along his friend and artist Lennart Frantzén to do the illustrations. They got a free hand with the project, and inspired by James Thurbers The Last Flower, together they created an imaginative and ironic picture book, which mocked the notions of Swedish sin, neutrality, alcohol consumption and economic prosperity.
The pamphlet (with the fact sheet Sweden in a Nutshell stapled to the centerfold) was then distributed to the Swedish embassies, public relation departments and similar offices. The reactions to the voluptuous blonde, her muscular Viking, and their love adventure, were either very positive or very negative – ranging from “the cleverest brochure I have seen in a long time” to the Ambassador of Beirut’s wish to incarcerate the whole lot.
Nearly 50 years later, this digitized version might not be perceived quite as provocative as back then, but even now it holds a clear punch. The text remains as clever and ironic as the first time published, and the illustrations are still just as bright, bold and suggestive.
Record in Libris - joint catalogue of the Swedish academic and research libraries
Dimensions of original print: approx. 18 cm x 26 cm
Number of copies: 50.000, distributed worldwide, + 870.000 copies printed in the newspaper Expressen - 7th of May, 1970
Glover, N. (2011). National relations: public diplomacy, national identity and the Swedish Institute 1945-1970. Lund: Nordic Academic Press.
Lindström, J. (1970, May 7). Äntligen! - en rolig broschyr om Sverige. Expressen.
Reklamnyheterna (Ed.). (1970). Den svenska kärleken - tema i Sverigebroschyr. Reklamnyheterna, (12).
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