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. 


Bank offices in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo: Sandro Katalina, Unsplash.

2021.04.09 | Podcast, Robert A. Saunders, Media, Reputation

Television and Geopolitics: A Conversation on the Nordics

The interplay between popular culture and the ’real’ world is interesting. While it is clear that many creators of television, comic books and songs etc take inspiration from live events, the influence of popular culture on events themselves is perhaps less obvious. Frequently quoted examples are The Games of Thrones influencing the…

Vilgot Sjöman outside Folkets Bio Malmö in 1987. Photo: Jonn Leffmann, Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0.

2021.03.19 | Biography, Lars Gustaf Andersson, The arts

Vilgot Sjöman 1924 - 2006

The Swedish novelist and film director Vilgot Sjöman was born in Stockholm in 1924. Sjöman’s output was extensive and included novels and essays as well as political statements and contributions to debates on moral topics; but first and foremost he was a film director.

2021.02.24 | Article, Kristín Loftsdóttir, Nation building, Business

"I’ve come to buy Tivoli”: Colonial desires and anxieties in Iceland in a new millennium

The economic boom in Iceland in the early 2000s reflected how colonial memory can linger on and become mobilized. During this period, Iceland became internationally visible due to aggressive global investments, embodied for the most part by male businessmen frequently referred to as 'Vikings'. This economic expansion, or 'útrás' as it is called in…

Portrait photo of Mai Zetterling taken in 1948. Photo: K. W. Gullers, Nordiska museet. CC BY-NC-ND.

2021.02.19 | Biography, Lars Gustaf Andersson, The arts

Mai Zetterling 1925-1994

The Swedish actress and film director Mai Zetterling was born in Västerås in 1925. Having established herself as a popular actress in Swedish film, Zetterling moved to England where she acted in several films, among them 'Only Two Can Play' (1962) with Peter Sellers.

The Northern lights, closeness to nature...the Nordic region has long had a persistent presence in the European imagination, but what is the 'Nordic'? And isn't it really characterised by the ability to change? Photo: Andrew Gook, unsplash.

2021.02.09 | Outlook, Peter Aronsson, Region-building, Reputation

The power of Nordic culture to transform Nordic history

The real or imagined cultural history of the Nordic countries (taken individually, in small groups or in their entirety) is a useful tool not to be disregarded lightly. The assets of Nordicity can be seen from varying perspectives, including the anthropological, ideological and the political. But the path of Nordic culture needs to be trodden with…

Stefán Ólafsson is a Professor of Sociology at the Faculty of Sociology, Anthropology and Folkloristics, University of Iceland. Photo: S. Ólafsson.

2021.02.03 | Podcast, Stefán Ólafsson, Public policy, Economy

Iceland: Uncovering the Nordic Welfare State with Stefán Ólafsson

Interested in the Nordic universal welfare systems and how effective welfare can be in times of crisis? How has Iceland fared compared to the other Nordic countries, before and after the Great Recession of 2008? Can this teach us anything about how to tackle Covid? Join the editor of nordics.info, Nicola Witcombe, on her virtual visit around the…

Bo Widerberg, 1968. Photo: Norrlandsbild/Bosse Emanuelsson. CC BY-NC.

2021.01.20 | Biography, Lars Gustaf Andersson, The arts

Bo Widerberg 1930 – 1997

The Swedish film director, drama director and novelist Bo Widerberg was born in Malmö in 1930. After several novels and collections of short stories, Widerberg published a collection of critical essays, 'Visionen i svensk film' (1962) (The Vision of Swedish film), in which he attacked Sweden’s insular film culture and promoted a new wave of…

Can traits from the conquering Vikings be found in modern capitalism? Photo: York Archaeological Trust.

2021.01.14 | Podcast, Richard Cole, Reputation, Business

Podcast: The Vikings and Capitalism

In the ninth century, the word ”viking” in many parts of Europe would have conjured up a terrifying image of violent maurauders teeming forth from their longships and inflicting unspeakable carnage. Today, the word ”viking” is invoked in all sorts of contexts, from underwear and hand-dryer brands to the fantasies of business and management leaders…

2020.12.15 | Podcast, Sally Salminen, The arts

Podcast: Is Daddy coming home for Christmas?

Listen to a short story by Sally Salminen in either English or Danish! This podcast is part of a series where existing material on nordics.info is read out in assorted languages by colleagues and friends. Great for learning Danish or English. / Lyt til en historie af Sally Salminen på engelsk eller dansk! Denne podcast er del af en serie af…

Tegning af en pige, der går på sine tåspidser af kunstner Adolf von Becker. Photo: Finna.fi

2020.11.16 | Original sources, Sally Salminen, The arts, Literature

Kommer Far hjem til Jul? Af Sally Salminen

Introduction: I 1944 udgav den berømte finsk-svenske romanforfatter Sally Salminen ’Kommer far hjem til jul?’ som en novelle i magasinet Juleroser. Salminen fik sin berømmelse efter at have vundet en finsk-svensk litteraturpris i 1936 for sin roman Katrina. Hendes berømmelse var måske ikke blot grundet romanens kvalitet og store appel,…

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