Stockholm 'upper-class safari' under fire
Published: 30 Jan 2012 16:23 GMT+01:00
Updated: 30 Jan 2012 16:23 GMT+01:00
The so called “upper class safari” that has been recently running in Stockholm has come under extreme criticism from residents of the elite suburb, and has even evoked several protest attacks.
- 'Upper-class safari' angers Stockholmers (16 Jan 12)
“Everything for Everyone” (Allt åt alla) is the organization behind the venture, which aims to give tourists a peek behind the curtains of the rich and famous living in glamorous parts of Stockholm.
“The trip is a way of learning about Stockholm’s history and seeing what the segregation really looks like,” said Shabane Barot, a spokesperson for the organization, to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.
The tour has proved popular, and eager spectators have filled the 65 seats on the coach, which soon sold out since it was first advertised a few weeks ago.
The tour starts in central Stockholm, travels through Fisksätra, giving a glimpse into a "lower class" area of Stockholm, before heading in the direction of Solsidan, Saltsjöbaden, an ‘upper class’ suburb of the capital.
Solsidan has shot to fame recently as the setting (and the name) of a popular sitcom, based on the lives of the upscale residents of the waterfront area.
Protests against the idea, however, have been strong, and the mayor of Nacka has referred to the tour as ‘childish’.
Some Solsidan residents have even shown their distaste by throwing eggs at the tour bus as it passes.
"It is sad that adults use their time and money to come out here and look," said one teenage resident to local paper Nacka Värmdö Posten (NVP).
"I don't understand what those communists are doing here. It is hardly our fault that they are poor," another said, eggs at the ready.
One angry resident filed a complaint to the police, citing intrusion of privacy.
The group behind the venture calls on prospective sightseers to develop their "hate" of the class system, which has in effect, led to Solsidan residents showing a hate of their own.
Though aware that the tour in itself is a provocation, and that their talk of "nurturing one's class hatred" also could induce bad feeling, Barot told DN she felt that the reaction was "unproportional".
“We have unfortunately received racist, sexist and hateful comments from young people who live in the area. It is terrible to read what they write, but it also shows that it is important to raise this question, for their attitude comes from somewhere,” Barot said to the paper.
On the company’s website, a selection of the hateful comments that were posted on their facebook page has been published, which include threats, as well as racist slurs against minority groups.
Meanwhile, the mayor of the exclusive suburb, Erik Langby, is unimpressed with the tour.
“To use a comedy series as a starting point for political activism is a little childish, but we do live in a free society,” he told DN.