Imagining Norden - branding and Nordic reputation

Perceptions of what the Nordics are and what they are not abound, from the reputation of the Nordic welfare state to that of interior design. Content on this page includes that which attempts to find out why, when, where and how the 'brands' of the region, its individual countries, its way of life, what it produces etc, have been constructed and deconstructed. 


Logo of the Danish Cultural Institute.

2019.04.25 | The Quick Read, Inken Dose, Culture, Art

Danish Cultural Institute

Founded in 1940, the Danish Cultural Institute aims to foster intercultural understanding both at home and abroad, and has branches in seven countries with activities and networks in many more. Financed by the Danish Ministry of Culture, private funds and its own revenue, it focuses on diverse themes.

The interior of Jørn Utzon’s Bagsværd church (1976), Copenhagen. The curving white flowing ceiling captures Utzon’s intention of creating a cloud-like sky within the space. Photo: seier+seier (CC BY 2.0)

2019.04.10 | Article, William C Miller, Architecture & design

Nordic Architecture: A Continuing Modernism, post-war to 2000

Since the Second World War, Nordic architecture has been informed by a dialogue between modernity and tradition and a sustained respect for local environmental and social conditions. This has provided a creative and expressive foundation for architecture throughout the second half of the twentieth century which has proven to be contextually…

Finnish writer Paavo Haavikko portrayed in 1960. Photographer unknown. Source: Universitat de València (Public domain)

2019.04.08 | Biography, Joachim Mickwitz, Pietari Kaapa, Literature

Paavo Haavikko (1931-2008)

The versatile Finnish author Paavo Haavikko is highly regarded for his modernist poetry and his work in many other genres.

The work of Finnish-Swedish writer Monica Fagerholm, seen here at the Gothenburg book fair in 2009, penetratingly questions key aspects of society. Photo: Rotsee (CC BY-SA 3.0).

2019.04.08 | Biography, Joachim Mickwitz, Pietari Kaapa, Literature

Monika Fagerholm (b. 1961)

Works such as 'Wonderful Women by the Water' established Finnish Monica Fagerholm as a feminist writer.

Lars Von Trier promoting 'Melancholia', one of the films in his 'Depression Trilogy' which each portrayed  mental conditions in abnormal situations, at the Cannes film festival, 2011. Photo: Georges Biard (CC BY-SA 3.0).

2019.04.01 | Biography, Bodil Marie Stavning Thomsen, Art

Lars von Trier (b. 1956)

Danish director Lars von Trier is world-famous for his renewal of film media. Through his work on the ‘Golden hearts trilogy', the ‘Depression triology' and ‘Dogme 95’, he has challenged film genres and narrative conventions. His work with video and digital pre- and post-production and various transmedia forms always carries his signature as an…

Erik Blomberg, one of the few internationally famous Finnish film directors of the twentieth century, ca. 1960. Source: Kari Uusitalo, picture gallery of Finnish film makers (Public domain).

2019.03.31 | Biography, Joachim Mickwitz, Pietari Kaapa, Art

Erik Blomberg (1913-1996)

Finnish cinematographer and film director Erik Blomberg is best known for 'The White Reindeer' (1952).

Opel bus from the 1984 children's show Ude på noget (Up to something), directed by Anette Tony Hansen and Ulla Rabel, from a script by Søren-Kragh Jacobsen and Niels Lund. Photo: Christian Giersing [CC BY-SA 4.0]

2019.03.23 | Biography, Bodil Marie Stavning Thomsen, Art

Søren Kragh-Jacobsen (b. 1947)

Danish director Søren Kragh-Jacobsen’s films often take children’s point of view in depictions of authentic, historical drama. He has contributed to many successful Danish TV series.

Danish film director Thomas Vinterberg at the 2010 Berlinale. Photo: Siebbi (CC BY 3.0)

2019.03.22 | Biography, Bodil Marie Stavning Thomsen, Art

Thomas Vinterberg (b. 1969)

Danish director Thomas Vinterberg is best known for his domestic and international breakthrough with the first ‘Dogme 95’ film, Festen (The Celebration, 1998). Later films include Submarino (2018) and Jagten (The Hunt, 2012).

Ib Schønberg in 1954. Unknown photographer (CC BY-SA 4.0)

2019.03.22 | Biography, Bodil Marie Stavning Thomsen, Art

Ib Schønberg (1902-1955)

Popular Danish actor Ib Schønberg played a rich variety of characters, from frivolous to more profound roles.

Danish film director Lone Scherfig at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. Photo: Gordon Correll (CC BY-SA 2.0)

2019.03.22 | Biography, Bodil Marie Stavning Thomsen, Art

Lone Scherfig (b. 1959)

Danish director Lone Scherfig went on to international acclaim following her breakthrough with the Dogme 95 film Italian for Beginners.

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