DRAFT autumn 2009 – marginally revised 2019
Le Centre Culturel Suédois à Paris (CCS, now Institut Suédois Si Paris; Swedish Institute in Paris; Svenska institutet i Paris) was about to be closed down according to proposals from the Swedish government in the spring and summer 2009 . Here I intend to develop a presentation of some of the opinion activities, publications and other manifestations in support of the institute. The outcome of the process where our activities certainly played a role: The institute was not closed! For now here are some items and links, all of them in Swedish. Any suggestions for revisions are very welcome, to ake.sandberg2 (at) gmail.com
On the French national holiday, le quatorze juillet, July 14, 2009, a musical and cultural event in support of the CCS was organized at Mosebacke Etablissement in Stockholm. Many musicians and others performed, speaches were held, and jazz musician Claes Janson presented them all. A numerous audience enjoyed the evening and manifested their support. Media covered the event in several articles and transmissions.
I will publish a few of Joar’s photos here in this page, for example one with from the left Birgit Lindberg, Jan Adefelt, Claes Janson och Anders Färdal.
When it comes to publications and opinion articles, as the planned closing down was of a national cultural concern we first tried the two leading Stockholm morning newspapers, Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet, both declined publishing in spite of very competent authors. We however found to good channels, Uppsala Nya Tidning in the university town of Uppsala and very respected when it comes to cultural and research policy, and Göteborgs-Posten, the dominating journal on Sweden’s west coast and second city Gothenburg.
In a first article leading representatives from Royal Swedish academies, including the Swedish Academy that awards the Nobel Price in literature wrote in Uppsala Nya Tidning, July 21, 2009: “Rädda Svenska institutet i Paris”
An opinion article in Göteborgs-Posten was written and signed by leading personalities mainly from the cultural and research sectors , July 22, 2009: “Sverigebilden utomlands kräver Svenska Institutet”
I wrote a short opinion piece in Aftonbladet, August 12, 2009: “Svensk posei i Paris ställs mot vårdbehov i Sverige” criticizing a writer for arguing in a rather populist way that as long as there were unsatisfied needs in hospital care in Sweden, money should not be used for something like a CCS in Paris.
Swedish public radio, Radio Sweden broadcast several programmes on the closing and our Mosebacke event and articles. A direct transmission was made in the channel Radio Stockholm, interviewing singers Maya de Vesque, Claes Jansson and Åke Sandberg during the event preparations in the afternoon, which informed people about what’s on later that evening.
An interview in Rdio Sweden’s programme ‘Mitt i Musiken’ (In the middle of the music) , Sveriges Radio P1, was published July 14, 2009. Interview with musician Claes Jansson
And another interview came the following day in their programme ‘Kulturnytt’ (Culture news), Sveriges Radio P1 July 15, 2009, kl 07:46. Here is Radio Sweden’s summary, in Swedish: “Hotat kulturhus väcker känslor: Engagemanget är stort för det nedläggingshotade svenska kulturhuset i Paris.6000 medlemmar på internetsajten Facebook stöder huset, och en stor manifestation igår på Mosebacke i Stockholm ska uppmärksamma utrikesdepartementet på det lilla kulturhusets enorma betydelse. Men varför är reaktionerna så starka kring just detta kulturcenter i Paris? Åke Sandberg är en av arrangörerna till manifestationen för Centre Culturel Suédois. Load down Emelie Rosenqvist interviewing Åke Sandberg here Kulturnytt_20090715.
July 14 there was an article in the journal of my home town, Säffle-Tidningen, “Svenska Institutet i Paris hotas av nedläggning”. Link to come.
As a background to both the articles and the manifestation at Mosebacke there was an active Facebook group – no new members are accepted. (but there is a new group, see below). It was created starting with my thirty something Facebook friends, and within weeks it grew to the substantial size of more than 7 000 members, many of whom active in culture, research and media, and thus rather influential. The group was instrumental in developing a network supporting the institute. On the group page you will find many links, photos and postings of interest. Several members of the group contributed in organizing the Mosebacke event, writing articles etc, among them Christina Glaser, Tanja Johansson, Johanna Quigley, Claes Janson and Åke Sandberg. On the flyer you will find the names of the many artists and speakers that participated during the evening.