Imagining Norden - branding and Nordic reputation:

Imagining Norden - branding and Nordic reputation

Perceptions of the Nordics abound, from the reputation of the Nordic welfare state to that of interior design. Content on this page seeks to examine the construction and deconstruction of the different 'brands' of the region; why, when, where and how the region, its individual countries, its way of life, what it produces etc are branded. New articles are added regularly. 


Stefan Jarl in 2013. Photo: Mikael Ringlander. Wikimedia Commons CC BY, Public Domain.

2020.03.11 | Biography, Lars Gustaf Andersson, The arts

Stefan Jarl (b. 1941)

Stefan Jarl is one of the most important and influential documentarists in contemporary Swedish cinema. Stefan Jarl was born in 1941 in Skara. From a left-wing perspective, he has highlighted social and environmental problems. Jarl has promoted the documentary as an art form, and from 1995 to 2005 he was curator of the ‘Little film festival’ in…

Jarl Kulle getting ready for the stage, 1960. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

2020.03.01 | Biography, Lars Gustaf Andersson, The arts

Jarl Kulle 1927-1997

The Swedish actor Jarl Kulle was a distinguished and popular actor working in a wide range of genres from children’s film to the cinema of Ingmar Bergman. He was born in Rebbelberga, Skåne, in 1927.

Finland's position on arms exports since the Cold War has been influenced by, amongst other things, its national economy, human rights issues and its own security position, particularly given its geographical position. Photo: Colourbox.dk

2020.02.21 | Article, Tuuli Veikkanen, The Nordics in the World, Reputation

An introduction to Nordic arms exports since 1990, with a focus on Finland

All Nordic countries, excluding Iceland, have exported weapons to countries involved in armed conflicts or violating human rights during the post-Cold War period. As Nordic countries often speak for peace and humanitarian work in the international arena, their arms exports have repeatedly drawn criticism. However, Nordic countries have also been…

The painting Hip Hip Hurrah by Peder Severin Krøyer was the inspiration for Kjell Grede's film of the same name. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

2020.02.21 | Biography, Lars Gustaf Andersson, The arts

Kjell Grede 1936 -­ 2017

The Swedish film director Kjell Grede made a significant contribution to film and television from 1967 to 1990s, heading the Dramatic Institute in Stockholm for nearly a decade.

Colin Nutley at Svenska filmhösten, 2014. Photo: Frankie Fouganthin. Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-4.0.

2020.02.21 | Biography, Lars Gustaf Andersson, The arts

Colin Nutley b. 1944

The filmmaker Colin Nutley has made a great impact on Swedish film culture with a series of popular films. He was born in 1944 in Gosport, England, but has been working mainly in Sweden since the early 1980s.

Erland Josephson at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Sweden 1965. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

2020.02.17 | Biography, Lars Gustaf Andersson, The arts

Erland Josephson 1923-2012

The multifarious Erland Josephson – actor, author, playwright – was a key figure in Swedish cultural life after the war. He was born in 1923 in Stockholm.

Portrait of Alf Sjöberg from 1942 when he was 39 years old, and had yet to make his popular break through. Photo: unknown. Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.

2020.02.03 | Biography, Lars Gustaf Andersson, The arts

Alf Sjöberg 1903-1980

The Swedish actor and director of both film and drama Alf Sjöberg was an important artist, restlessly introducing new ideas about art and politics into Swedish culture, which could sometimes be rather insular. He was born in Stockholm in 1903.

2019.12.17 | Film, Nicola Witcombe, Branding, Region-building, The Nordic Model

Film: Why talk about the Nordics as a region?

Are the Nordic countries really that similar to one another? - Or different from the rest of the world? Is discussion of 'the Nordics' simply a branding exercise, or can it be a useful analytical lens? Join Nicola Witcombe, the editor of nordics.info, in a brief exploration of the some of the ways people talk about the Nordics. This is the first…

In the 1960s, commentators suggested the behavior of Scandinavian mothers, such as dominating child-rearing and going out to work, influenced their offspring's mental health and led to higher suicide rates. Photo: Les Anderson, Unsplash.

2019.11.28 | Outlook, Byron Zachary Rom-Jensen, Reputation, Culture, Research

‘Socialist’ suicide in Scandinavia: a historical view of a common myth

High rates of suicide are often connected with the Nordic countries and their apparently ‘socialist’ policies. Highlighting high suicide rates in Scandinavia can be traced back to at least the 1960s when foreign observers attempted to either undermine or legitimize the welfare states in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. These characterizations forced…

Swedish ballet dancer Johan Renvall in rehearsal at The Royal Swedish Opera, c. 1985. Photo: Enar Merkel Rydberg (CC BY-SA 4.0)

2019.11.27 | Article, Petra Broomans, The arts

Ballet in the Nordics

Classical ballet in the Nordic countries has its roots in Nordic folk dance and has been influenced by the Italian, French and Russian traditions, the latter assisted by Finland’s and Sweden’s proximity to the cultural hub of St Petersburg. Nordic ballet has conversely inspired ballet in Europe and America. As elsewhere, classical ballet and…

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