What is happening in Sweden?


I’m sure many of you have seen the ‘what’s happening last night in Sweden’ footage from the US earlier this month. Rather than dwelling on the politics of the situation I was interested in the use of the @sweden Twitter handle. Until this point I had not come across this account which was set up in 2011 by Curators of Sweden as a project from various Swedish cultural institutions. The idea is simple, every week a new Twitter user gets to manage the @sweden account. The rules are simple too; they have to be an active Twitter user and be a resident of Sweden or a citizen of Sweden living abroad. Hate speech and self promotion are not encouraged but each week the curator can write what they want unless they; violate Swedish law, promote a commercial brand or are a security threat in which case the Tweets can be deleted. The idea is that the world gets to see unedited thoughts, information & content which will show a diversity of opinion and ‘arouse curiosity for Sweden and everything the country has to offer.

This is of course a high risk strategy, open to many pitfalls and there have of course been occasions in the past where the curator has gone ‘rogue’ but overall a brave and interesting one and a tactic which has certainly raised the profile of Sweden over the past few weeks. I can only imagine what Emma Johansson, the school librarian must have thought when the world of Twitter reacted to the words of Trump, it is worth taking a look at her archive  if you have 5 minutes to kill.

Picture credit Jon Flobrant, Sweden via Unsplash.com

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