Being Swedish and the concept of Swedishness, what does that mean? This topic seems more relevant than ever. In the exhibition ‘Look in My Direction’ photographer Klas Sjöberg portrays 49 people who live in Sweden but they were all born elsewhere. Is this part of a political debate? Not at all.
‘I just want to portray people as they are and tell their stories’,
says Klas Sjöberg.
This photo project was conceived four years ago. At that time the political climate was already hardening even if the concept of Swedishness was not being particularly much reflected upon by then. Sjöberg maintains that this is not a political project, nor is it an anti-racist project. The latter makes the project even more interesting, he says. His objectives include portraying people as they are, tell their stories and now it is obvious that they have many things in common both amongst themselves and with all other Swedes.
The locations for the photo shoots were not chosen to convey anything particular about their origins. Moreover, Sjöberg asked the participants to come dressed as they normally are, a method for conveying their personalities. That is what this exhibition is about; personality, not origin.
Klas is 47 and lives in Umeå where he does studio work as well as field work: film and photographic art projects.
Click on the image to see the 360 degree panorama of the exhibition in Gothenburg.