Swedness and Cecilia
Video 
12 min (Swedness), 15 min (Cecilia)
2015

Swedness and Cecilia are two videos about Swedish-American culture, shot on different visits to Minnesota.
I investigate how Swedish heritage and culture is perceived and celebrated by Swedish-Americans.

In Swedness, I partake in and document a Midsummer celebration held at a Scandinavian heritage museum in Scandia. I awkwardly "perform" Swedish culture, for example, by dancing around the Maypole and other traditions linked to my culture. 


One person speaks about being raised as a Swede in America and how ambivalent visiting the actual country was, compared to stories she had heard and to her own mental image of the place.
I also express some Swedish people’s problematic relation to their traditional culture.


Cecilia is a portrait of one of my relatives, the daughter of Swedish emigrants who was keen on keeping the contact with Sweden.
In the video, we hear other relatives talk about her and her family, and paint a picture of a strong, one-of-a-kind woman, and of an emigrant family's ways and traditions. 


The video also contains conversations about heritage and how it can be perceived.

Swedness

5 min excerpt
Password: swedness

Cecilia

5 min excerpt
Password: cecilia