Kajsa Dahlberg, Andersonville (videostill), 2004 © Kajsa Dahlberg

”A people of ice and sunlight”

It might be hard, in everyday life, to discern how national identities are created, re-created and perpetuated. To the extent that Swedishness is perceived as natural and unproblematic, it appears to be innate and transparent to many of us; moreover, it is rarely manifested, and never in a particularly pompous manner.

On the other hand, we need not go back far in time to encounter a strong, distinct and recurrent idea of Swedishness. The prelude to the development of the Swedish welfare state was one of many historical periods in which Swedishness was used as a uniting force. The idea of a homogeneous Swedish identity was presented in countless media contexts, and was especially pronounced in the larger themed exhibitions and housing fairs that helped to establish the ideas of modernity among the public in the 1930s. Likewise, a given issue or social phenomenon could be given weight by associating it with Swedishness. The biggest event of the decade, the Stockholm Exhibition in 1930, has been regarded both by its contemporaries and today, as a historical turning point where Swedish modernity saw the light of day, both materially and mentally. I will not dwell on this particular significance, however, but on the exhibition as one of several media employed to produce a national rhetoric.

The Stockholm exhibitions

Both ideologically and spatially, an exhibition landscape presents the audience with a set of perceptions, comprising both the ideological and material contents of the presentation. Anders Ekström, researcher in the history of science and ideas, deals with this relationship in his thesis on the predecessor of the 1930 exhibition, the Stockholm Exhibition in 1897. This event took place in an era when world fairs were used as potent political instruments for both national and international purposes. On the international arenas exhibitions were peaceful power displays aimed at other countries, presenting the latest or most spectacular exponents of the country’s architecture, technology, crafts or medicine. To audiences in the homeland they presented a unified image of the orderliness and progress of society, fostering them to participate in the world view it propounded. Ekström shows how nationalist ideas were a flexible ideological resource in the staging and rhetoric of the exhibition. The purpose was partly to manifest national uniqueness and unification, while providing a space where political and class conflicts could be resolved. Moreover, the magnificent pavilions and halls conveyed modernity and merged the nation’s proud history with a new era of technological and scientific progress. He writes: “The exhibition in Stockholm stirred hopes of a national culture, a national will and a common national utopia. In the hegemonic project, in the striving to define a homogeneous picture of modern Sweden, and to lead the Swedes towards a common future, the power to formulate a national grammar was indispensable.”

In his essay Konsten att se ett landskapspanorama (The art of viewing a landscape panorama) Ekström demonstrates how the visual rhetoric of the exhibitions coincided with a viewer pedagogy from the latter half of the 1800s and early 1900s. The basic principle was that teaching should include more displays of natural objects and illustrative pictures. Rather than students reading texts on – and gradually attaining knowledge about – various phenomena, they should be allowed to see and gain insight into the “things” themselves. Mediawise, this was seen as a virtually transparent way of obtaining knowledge that would lead to instant understanding. Similarly, the viewer pedagogy applied in this scenic or panoramic presentation would give visitors immediate insight “through their eyes”. Learning by viewing was regarded as an act of contemplative seeing, where the person who saw also underwent change and civilisation. For those trained to see in the right way, thereby becoming curious examining viewers, the “living truth” would reveal itself. Thus, according to Ekström, exhibitions came to be regarded as ideal places in several ways for fostering the people. Here, they could view objects and pictures, authentically reproduced in the environments and tableaux of the exhibition landscape, and sometimes even step into and become part of these environments. Like Ekström, cinema historian Tom Gunning has written about the great world fairs as educational environments for the viewers, and demonstrated how the disposition of the space itself and the orderly categorisation of the exhibits provided a comprehensive, almost cartographic, overview of the world, its natural resources and people. With its strictly ordered diversity the exhibition landscape fostered the viewer’s gaze to comply with an imperialist, encyclopaedic and consumerist approach.

A new Swedish identity

I would claim that a pedagogical approach to viewing also characterised the Stockholm Exhibition in 1930, along with several successive exhibitions in that decade. What differed compared to the exhibitions of the previous turn of the century was that the fostering ideology now had a more progressive character, and that the promotion of modernity was even more homogeneously articulated by the International Style, or Swedish functionalism. The exhibition launch was also the starting point for the development of a new Swedish identity. The grand mission of the exhibition committee was that the entire population should improve its taste through exemplary architecture and interior decorating. The halls nearest the entrance showed a large quantity of mass-produced furniture, lighting appliances and upholstery fabrics. Further into the exhibition grounds visitors could view housing solutions where these or more exclusive features were shown in context. What is interesting is that reality and vision could not be entirely differentiated in the landscape. Architecture served both as a manifestation and an enactment of the functionalist vision; it was both argument and model.

At the Stockholm Exhibition in 1930 the exhibition landscape and objects served as an explicit rhetoric in promoting a new Swedish lifestyle conceived for a new kind of people – a people who would evolve in response to the functionalist standard of hygiene, simplicity and rationality. The deterrent contrast was an old rocking chair with “unhygienic” cushions. Again, the image of progress was conveyed only if the viewers assumed the prescribed viewer positions and looked in the correct way, i.e., that they could decode the functionalist absence of ornamentation and traditional comfort in buildings and interiors as material arguments in favour of a more “matter-of-fact” lifestyle, and a more urbane, faster pace of life. The demand on hygiene, inscribed in the smooth surfaces, was a sanitary, aesthetic and moral appeal to visitors regarding radical transformation. The author Ivar Lo-Johansson’s impression of the exhibition grounds demonstrates the expected impact of the new architecture:

Everywhere in the crowds people talked about the new architecture that would spawn the new attitude to life. A door handle, a panoramic window, a stark piece of furniture, would quickly influence the family living in the house so that their feelings became open, transparently clear. The exhibition’s shiny machine parts demanded a new poetry. The tall steel mast towering over the exhibition grounds rose like a signal, like a thrill of joy, against the deep-blue air. The functionalist era had arrived. The style of the new age was this very abolition of styles. Its stark idiom was called fact. I immediately translated the language of architecture into the language of literature. I looked around for the new man. (Ivar Lo-Johansson, Författaren, 1957)

This quote illustrates how the New Objectivity and its demand for transparency was applied straight across the board; it points to a utopian relationship in which the transparency of the panoramic window and the straightforward furniture design would ideally correspond to a transparent humanity. The Stockholm Exhibition in 1930 marked the start of this transformation, attracting Swedes who came to see a compilation of visually stimulating environments and objects never before shown within the Swedish borders.

The Drama of the Swedish Nation

Media-historically, despite its unifying theme, the exhibition presented a mottled picture of the nationally defined focus areas and issues that would later recur in other, often mixed, forms of exhibition throughout the decade: architecture, the welfare state, the arts, consumption, health and eugenics, a term that was used increasingly instead of “hereditary hygiene” or “racial hygiene”, according to the historian Maija Runcis. The grounds also included a larger pavilion showing a condensed version of the nation, the exhibition Svea Rike (The Svea Nation), where visitors could see what the country had to offer by way of culture, government and private enterprise, different “peoples” and natural resources. It was arranged so as to guide viewers along a route, a red thread, that ran through the premises. Sweden was presented partly as an evolutionary history, as a trip from prehistoric ages to modern times: the tour started on the ground floor and ended on the top floor. The stairwell was not merely a means of ascending the building, but played an important part in describing and literally showing visitors how the nation was set in upward movement. Visitors were encouraged to reflect on how they related to the history of Sweden, to take part in its proud heritage and see its portrayed heroes. Moreover, the intention was that they should write themselves into this narrative as members of an industrious people. The text Ludvig Nordström wrote for the exhibition says:

Supported by this people, educated, well-nourished, well-dressed, organised, disciplined, healthy and focused, Sweden goes out into the world to peacefully earn a place in the sun, and this is achieved by using Sweden’s mountains, forests, soil and waterfalls to create numerous quality goods for the global market, the result of ingenious invention, skill and vocational pride. And as the products of this quality-generating work triumph throughout the world, the surface of Sweden will be covered more and more densely with the signs and symbols of industrial activity and progress: mills, factories, works, cities, private homes, railways, ports and channels.
And thus, modern Sweden evolves before our eyes. And the secret of this drama? Ice has always reigned in the soul of the Swede and driven him towards the sun. The roads have been threefold: war, science and industry. War gave him organisation, science gave him tools, and out of these two came industry, which finally led him to the sunlight among the great and civilised peoples.
This is the drama of Sweden.

Hence, Sweden’s people are a people of ice and sunlight,

.. . From the dawn of this century, and especially after the World War, Sweden has increasingly come to be a part of what we call A-Europe, or industrial Europe, the core of the world. Seen from a bird’s eye perspective, this industrial Europe resembles one whole industrial city, and today’s Swedes are raising Sweden to that level. Stockholm used to be the King’s city, now it is the crown of the Swedish people. It is the nation’s largest industrial city, it holds within its realm the most characteristic traits of Swedish nature; and its architecture, its life, its soul, the temperament of the nation. It is light and free, but with a sombre foundation that constantly shines through. It is strictly organised, neat and tidy, out of its own desire and without external pressure. It is controlled and thorough, somewhat reserved but quick to smile with sunshine from a clear sky. This is Sweden.

In defining Swedishness Nordström mixes the discourse of uniqueness, a proud heritage and a utopian future, balancing metaphors of nature against industrial modernity. Visitors to the exhibition were also encouraged to take their share of responsibility for promoting Sweden’s future position among the “civilised peoples” in A-Europe: “Fellow Countrymen! Brothers! Sisters! Sweden’s future depends on you!” Seeing one’s nation presented in this educational manner also involved learning to feel like a Swede and to identify with a Swedish narrative.

The Swedish racial material and essays in citizenship

When Gunnar and Alva Myrdal a few years later published their examination of the causes behind Sweden’s low nativity in their book Kris i befolkningsfrågan (Crisis in the Population Question), they reviewed the general Swedish standard of living and found that low wages and over-crowded housing were discouraging people from having children. As we know, they proposed a wide array of measures to turn round the decline in population, particularly emphasising that the housing and living standards of families should be improved, since the future prosperity of the nation would be built by, and depended on, them. The Myrdals also advocated social and sanitary eugenics to improve the genetic material itself, that is, to promote desirable qualities and eliminate less desirable traits. There were two sides to eugenics: the positive side strove to encourage citizens with good genes to become parents, while the negative side was aimed at genetically “inferior” individuals, prescribing, and soon effecting, that they be sterilised to a greater degree.

In addition to an onslaught of studies and concrete measures, the book introduced the population issue in the media. It was on the agenda of radio, where it was frequently debated; it was also the theme of exhibitions, films and competitions aimed at encouraging people to have children. The idea was that the public should be stimulated to work for the positive development of society and their own lives. An active audience participation was often prescribed, along with an inherent awareness that individual citizens were expected to invest themselves in building a new, healthier race in the welfare state.

What is interesting about this way of using different media for educational purposes in the 1930s is the variety of approaches used to address the audience. This often balanced and alternated between appealing to them as citizens, consumers or as potential patients and clients. Advertising and information relating to popular medicine were merged in a way that enabled simple and pedagogical cross-fertilisation between argument of consumerism, entertainment and education. Sexual education, health and dietary advice were put forth as potential self-help, but, more importantly, as a civil duty, presented in a clear and entertaining way.

Within all these fields the demands on hygienic improvement were continuously increased, overtly or implicitly. Contemporary consumers and marketers called for a sounder market; while educationalists called for a sounder culture, like the sexual advisors, who strove for a sounder sexuality, liberated from the degenerative forces of popular culture, the glossy press, dance and movies. The forums of social medicine also propagated sanitary measures, or “mental hygiene”, both as an individual and a social process.

An example that illustrates the media situation with its composite address to the viewer was “Mor och Barn” (Mother and Child), one in a long line of educational exhibitions organised by the Swedish Red Cross. It was held at the Osterman Marmorhallar in early 1936 and was linked to the current population issue. Female visitors in particular were encouraged to study all the stages of childbearing, from fertilisation to birth and breast-feeding, and to learn something about infant care. In addition to screens with sexual information, there was also a brief presentation of genetics. In some sections the exhibition was a kind of visual manual, with detailed instructions on everyday hygiene, ventilation and protection against diseases such as tuberculosis. Moreover, it demonstrated healthy eating habits for mother and child, suitable and unsuitable toys for children, and baby clothes. The models or bad examples that were shown gave visitors specific guidance on how to improve the health of their child and their own behaviour and consumer habits.

The purpose of events such as this was to substantially increase the regeneration and quality of the Swedish people. The “Mother and Child” exhibition was ceremoniously opened by Prince Carl, who was the chairman of the Swedish Red Cross. His opening address stressed that the nativity problem should not only be regarded as a national issue but ultimately as a question of Sweden’s international reputation:

The population issue is undeniably a complicated problem that juxtaposes egotism and the family’s justified demands with national priorities. However, we should and must find a solution to this urgent problem. The current situation, with a constantly declining nativity, must not be allowed to continue. Sweden is not a poor country. On the contrary, our prosperity and general standard of living are higher than in most other countries. The Swedish people are too valuable to be allowed to perish. At least, this must not be allowed to happen through lack of insight into the perils and disastrous consequences of family planning, through indifference or family egotism, when there are no financial reasons. Such egotism should be branded, and where social problems are the cause these should be removed. From what I have said here, I hope you can deduce the general outline of what the Swedish Red Cross aims to achieve with the exhibition that opens its doors today. May it fulfil the expectations of the Swedish Red Cross. May the same, through the education we aim to disseminate in a concrete and graphic manner, be useful, may the care of mother and child attain the priority among social issues that it deserves, and may this exhibition also contribute towards sparing the Swedish people the humiliation of being counted among the dying nations in the future.

The exhibition material presented at the Osterman car sales rooms was an eclectic and partially antiquated collection of material from various sources, some of which had been shown previously in other contexts. Wall-mounted skeletons hung next to photographs, wax models, X-rays and baby dolls. Statistical charts illustrated infant mortality and disease, complemented by wax models showing various symptoms, sometimes in a way that could be experienced as disturbingly graphic. Here women visitors could see and learn, and were encouraged to reflect on how they might be contributing to the precariously declining nativity. This was a physically tangible realisation that claimed their bodies in a concrete way and linked them to the body of society.

Nowadays, obviously, the “Mother and Child” exhibition would be called propaganda. However, its contemporaries could also have used that word to describe it, with pride. The concept of propaganda was not in itself problematic in those days, but could denote various forms of spreading information that was deemed to be of general interest. In consequence, events of this kind were called “propaganda exhibitions”.

The welfare programme that had started to evolve was at this time distinctly articulated in the media, albeit far from implemented in a broader sense. Here, again, it is interesting to consider how perceptions of the national scope and effects of the welfare state were produced here, and how the initiators of the exhibition were attempting to merge vision and reality. The way in which the low nativity was presented in “Mother and Child”, a relationship was stipulated in which society and the individual co-operated to create an improved race. For instance, it emphasised the progress that had been made in the field of maternity care and paediatrics, but also stressed that a large responsibility rested on the citizens themselves to create a healthier, stronger, more productive and numerous population through health care, good hygiene and sound life choices. Sweden’s future relied ultimately on the individual making a bigger effort to either engage in parenthood or improve parenting. Where the Myrdals had seen a social structure that prevented people from having families, the exhibition organisers suspected the culprit to be the general egotism and comfortableness of the population.

At the same time, statistic tables at the exhibition showed that the infant mortality rate corresponded inversely to the standard of living and housing: the harsher the living conditions, the higher the mortality rate. However, faced with the exemplary and resource-demanding motherhood model presented with nurseries and feeding charts, many women perhaps felt that their expected contribution to society lay far beyond what they could manage; they simply did not have the means required to bring up children.

In the noticeable lapse of time between vision and concrete measures relating to the population issue, the citizen’s body was nevertheless a cost-effective investment zone that could be successfully exploited. Architecturally, the building of the Swedish welfare state was a time-consuming and expensive project that several decades to complete. Activities to promote the physical health of the people, on the other hand, could be launched swiftly and win acceptance through association with existing popular movements and interests; moreover, they could utilise the independent participation of the people themselves. Physical education became one of several possible careers, sometimes even a vehicle for social advancement.

As mentioned, some of the rhetoric regarding the improvement of the demographic raw material had a eugenic undertone; in this respect, the Myrdals were neither the first nor the most adamant propagators. Latterday critics of welfare policy have pointed to the gap between the favourably phrased ideas of the advocates of sterilisation with regard to the rational social care, and the resulting outrage of social and medical operations against “racially”, physically, intellectually or socially “inferior” individuals. Less has been said about how the majority who were not affected by the more drastic eugenic measures nevertheless came into contact with some of the ideas and less dramatic manifestations.

One of these was the “Mother and Child” exhibition, with role models that sought to demonstrate concrete ways of refining the human race. An event that even more clearly mixed eugenics, Swedish citizenship and progress was the evening newspaper Aftonbladet’s A-Child competition in the autumn of 1938. The competition was launched in the women’s column “Vi kvinnor” and was headed with pictures of a chubby, then four-year-old Princess Margaretha alongside the jury chairman, Professor Curt Gyllensvärd, MD. “Are you the parent of an A-Child?” readers were asked. The article starts by stating that chubby, healthy children are the pride not only of their parents but of the nation, and that they represent a guarantee for the future prosperity and growing welfare of the nation. Our standard and culture are reflected in their health:

Hearty, happy, healthy and well-looked-after children are not only the pride of their parents and guardians but a guarantee for the future of the entire nation. Today, a country’s standard and culture is judged by the well-being and appearance of its children. Dirty, puny, abandoned children playing in the backyards and gutters can be an ugly blot on the prestige of a nation. Therefore, childcare has become a crucial issue both for the people as a whole and for the parents and the household. And in Sweden we can now rejoice in the fact that our government has taken greater initiatives than most other countries in the world. However, we know that there remain shortcomings in people’s knowledge, and that the interest of individuals needs to be stimulated repeatedly, as doctors will confirm. And it is with the approbation of doctors that Vi kvinnor is now participating in the propaganda for


with a competition of a kind hitherto unknown in our country.

Aftonbladet wanted to stimulate further progress with its competition. Parents interested in entering were requested to send in nude, full-length photos of their toddlers. The children should be 2-4 years old, harmonious, well-fed, and with regular eating and sleeping habits; they should preferably have their own room. Participants had to answer ten questions about the child’s birth weight, how long it was breast-fed and any illnesses. If the parents had noted anything special about the child’s development or hereditary traits these should also be included. They were also asked to describe the child’s diurnal rhythm and state how much time it spent outdoors in its first year. Who cared for the child, was it seen regularly by a doctor, and if so, by whom? How did the child live, did it have its own room, or did it share a room with other family members? Were there one or more siblings, and how old were they?

The competition article made clear to readers that children who were considered for the A-Child title should have a health profile that demonstrated clearly how good parenting had contributed to the child’s appearance and development. Luck was not on the agenda:

In this unfair world it can, of course, happen that a child, no matter how well it is cared for, nevertheless turns out weak and feeble and less well-developed than its peers. Likewise, it happens that a completely neglected child, by inscrutable grace, nevertheless turns out fine in every way. Neither of these categories, however, are eligible for this competition. For our intention. is to prove and reward the good result of wise and loving efforts, when the potential was favourable to start with.

The A-Child competition ran for one and a half months, and during this time, the newspaper published photos continuously of exemplary children (by the end some three hundred small competitors had been examined in several rounds). When ten finalists remained, Aftonbladet had a surprise in store for them: a newsreel was made of the finals at Roslagstull Hospital. The flaxen toddlers were weighed, measured and examined in front of the camera and under the auspices of the jury chairman, MD Curt Gyllensvärd (SF 1002, 1938).

In many ways, the “Mother and Child” exhibition and the A-Child competition expressed and popularised the ideology of racial improvement and creating a new, sounder human being and insight into the sphere of the private home. The jury took the opportunity to give the competitors advice aimed at increasing the population, for instance: “To promote the child’s satisfactory development we recommend that it have siblings.” The competition was presented as an educational and entertaining exercise in eugenics that also set standards for good parenting. Raising an A-Child required a hygienic, harmonious and spacious home and financial and medical resources. The A-child competition was an educational event that encouraged parents to manifest the aesthetic and medical ideals of Swedish nationality through their children. Similarly to athletic events, the competitive element underlined the link between individual and nation. Following the same logic, performance was transformed from an individual to a national concern.

Seen in this popular context, the eugenic aspect of the population issue does not necessarily appear less eerie, albeit more understandable, as one of several commonplace manifestations. Events such as this became instruments in the process of creating and spreading acceptance for the idea that man could and should be assessed according to medical and aesthetic criteria. Moreover, the striving for a new human race was presented as an enjoyable and stimulating activity for the individual. From the perspective of viewer education, the visual presentation of the A-Child competition was ideal, since the aesthetic and medical assessment of the children coincided with and, one could say, spoke for itself as, a “living truth”.

In the light of the injustices committed against individuals in society who for various reasons were regarded as “different”, “asocial” or “inferior”, it may appear paradoxical to speak of the eugenic idea as stimulating, or as a part of the constructive side of the population issue. However, it would hardly have been possible to spread such ideas if they did not also incorporate a philanthropic, albeit selective, ambition, which involved participation and rewards for the majority that were encompassed by its positive attentions. The “Mother and Child” exhibition and the A-Child competition could be seen as educational zones for the production and concrete manifestation of the idea of a new Swedish people. The focus on progeny and motherhood put women in the centre and highlighted their importance as citizens. The approach in these media contexts could not have been perceived as only imperative, but seamlessly combined ideal citizenship, duty and pleasure in a way that felt flattering to the dutiful normal citizen.

Swedishness and hygienic common sense

One feature of these media situations was that they offered broadly applied solutions to improve Sweden’s standard on several levels. They displayed and promoted a comprehensive idea with a stipulated space where the audience could inscribe themselves and compare their life projects to the proffered models. At the Stockholm Exhibition in 1930, housing reforms, cultivation of good taste and public health were on the agenda, and the initiators saw it as crucial to the nation’s progress that the Swedes and their lifestyle were sanitised in a broader sense. These issues remained largely intact in the demographic problem formulations of the “Mother and Child” exhibition and Aftonbladet’s A-Child competition.

Conceptually, and in practical terms, both events were connected by the keyword hygiene. Its aesthetic-sanitary rhetoric had circulated in various social and medical problem areas since the late 1800s, constantly gaining greater legitimacy; around the 1920s and 1930s, its validity seemed universal. The word hygiene became a vital metaphor with an absolute, immediately imperative and compulsory character for the impulses toward regeneration and change within architecture, sexual education, psychology, culture, healthcare and athletics. Regarded as a utopia, the ideology of hygiene nonetheless contained its opposite and was from the very start charged with contact phobia and paranoia in its fear of uncleanliness, bacteria and infection, of the unaesthetic or chaotic. The ideology of hygiene eventually reinforced the social gaps and polarities. And it engendered a myriad of synonyms and antonyms for cleanliness and dirt, order and disorder, which were used in analyses and measures.

When social phenomena began to be interpreted and treated as hygienic and aesthetic problems, complex socio-political questions could both be highlighted and de-politicised through what I would call a rhetoric of actuality. With the exception of phenomena so small that they required a microscope, these normalising discourses pointed to the immediately visible and noticeable, here and now: in this case, Sweden’s actual standard of housing and population. As a rhetoric instrument these exhibition and competition contexts were particularly useful, since they illustrated irrefutable facts with good and bad examples. Admittedly, the social conditions of poor housing and low nativity were also reported, but the focus on the hygiene issue gradually pushed the responsibility over to the individual. Unfair distribution of wealth was a social problem, while hygiene belonged to the private domain. To be seen as an individual who lacked the urge or ability to be hygienic, whether it be with regard to one’s body, intellect, children or household, was synonymous with being in some respects feeble-minded. As illustrated by the long excerpt from Aftonbladet above, anyone who demonstrated such shortcomings could be regarded as a blot on the national prestige.

Although the media situations and approaches described above cannot be said to have had a homogeneous political intent, they were nevertheless linked by the idea of a new Swedishness, and the road to achieving it. In “the Swedish model” the concepts of hygiene and standardisation and the methods for achieving them had a prominent position in the nation’s welfare and were incorporated with a national grammar.


Aftonbladet, 381015

Anders Ekström, Den utställda världen. Stockholmsutställningen 1897 och 1800-talets världsutställningar (The Exhibited World. The Stockholm Exhibition in 1897 and the World Fairs of the 1800s), Stockholm: Nordiska museet, 1994

“Konsten att se ett landskapspanorama. Om åskådningspedagogik och exemplarisk realism under 1800-talet.” (The Art of Seeing a Landscape Panorama. On Viewer Education and Exemplary Realism in the 1800s), in Tore Frängsmyr and Karin Johannisson (eds.), Publika Kulturer. Att tilltala allmänheten 1700-1900: en inledning (Public cultures. Addressing the Public in 1700-1900: an introduction) Uppsala universitet, Department of the History of Ideas and Science, publications, No. 23, 2000

Tom Gunning, “The World as Object Lesson”, in Film History, Vol. 6:4, 1994

Ylva Habel, Modern Media, Modern Audiences: Mass Media and Social Engineering in the 1930s Swedish Welfare State, (diss.), Stockholm: Norstedts, 2002

Karin Johannisson, “Folkhälsa. Det svenska projektet från 1900 till 2:a världskriget” (Public Health. The Swedish Project from 1900 to the 2nd World War), in Lychnos, 1991

Ivar Lo-Johansson, Författaren. Självbiografisk betraktelse (The Writer. Autobiographical Reflections), Stockholm: Bonnier, 1957

Mor och Barn. Utställning anordnad av Svenska Röda Korset (Mother and Child. Exhibition organised by the Swedish Red Cross), Stockholm, 1936

Alva och Jan Myrdal, Kris i befolkningsfrågan (Crisis in the Population Question), Stockholm: Bonnier, 1934

Allan Pred, Recognizing European Modernities: A Montage of the Present, London: Routledge, 1995

Eva Rudberg, Stockholmsutställningen 1930. Modernismens genombrott i svensk arkitektur, (The Stockholm Exhibition in 1930. The breakthrough of modernism in Swedish architecture), Stockholm: Stockholmia förlag, 1999

Maija Runcis, Steriliseringar i folkhemmet (Sterilisation in the Welfare State), (diss.) Stockholm: Ordfront, 1998

Mark Sandberg, “Effigy and Narrative: Looking into the Nineteenth-Century Folk Museum” in Leo Charney and Vanessa Schwartz (eds.), Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995

Svea Rike (The Swedish Kingdom). Exhibition catalogue, Stockholm, 1930

Text from the catalogue by: Ylva Habel

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