• Sweden edition
 
Outrage leads Stockholm library to drop Tintin ban

Outrage leads Stockholm library to drop Tintin ban

Published: 25 Sep 2012 11:18 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 Sep 2012 11:18 GMT+02:00

Following a storm of media criticism, officials at the Kulturhuset library in Stockholm have reversed their decision to remove Tintin comic books from its shelves, saying the move happened "too fast".

"The decision happened too fast," Kulturhuset head Eric Sjöström and the organization's artistic director, Behrang Miri, said in a statement released late Tuesday morning.

The reversal comes after a report in Tuesday's Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper in which Miri said the library planned to remove Tintin comics from its shelves.

“The image the Tintin books give of Africans is Afro-phobic, for example. Africans are a bit dumb, while Arabs sit on flying carpets and Turks smoke water pipes,” he told the paper.

But after criticism of the move erupted in Swedish media on Monday morning, Miri changed his stance.

"I wanted to highlight an opinion piece about issues of discrimination, but realize now that it's wrong to ban books," Miri said in a statement.

However, Kulturhuset head Sjöström applauded Miri for prompting a discussion about discrimination.

"The issues of discrimination, equality and norms continue to be debated and discussed," Sjöström said in a statement.

"Behrang Miri is employed as an artistic director for children and young people for all of Kulturhuset, with a stated role of developing its artistic content. His mission is to continue working with issues of discrimination and I support him fully."

Among those who slammed Kulturhuset's Tintin ban was Fredrik Strömberg, chair of the Swedish Comics Association (Seriefrämjandet).

"I think it's wrong. I don't think people should censure in this way, children are smarter than that. It's better to talk about the stupid things we have done than to hide them away, that would be the mistake,” he told the TT news agency.

Strömberg argued that people have a strong fear of what children are shown, especially when it comes to pictures.

“The same things in words don’t seem to get such a reaction from people. There’s no one who cleans up Astrid Lindgren because of her Negro kings,” he said.

In Lindgren’s popular Pippi Longstockings books, the main character’s father was said to be a Negro King from the south seas – an issue some publishers have chosen to edit in English to “A king of the south seas”.

TT/The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

11:43 September 25, 2012 by towns
Finally some sanity, good thing there was outrage a squeaking wheel gets oil!
11:46 September 25, 2012 by sometimesinsweden
The Local seems to be changing Behrang Miri's sex with every article.
13:19 September 25, 2012 by Opinionfool
OFFS what are they going to ban next? Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet because it describes early teen sexualisation and marriage? Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5? Sarah Ockler's Twenty Boy Summer because like Romeo and Juliet is describes young teens having sex ... and god forbid pre-maritally.

Tintin is as much a comment upon its era as anything else. It isn't an endorsement of such attitudes but a historical encoding of the attitudes of the time. No more than "Män som hatar kvinnor" is an incitement to misogyny.

Just get a grip! And stop looking for subjugation and oppression and offense on every page.
14:47 September 25, 2012 by Scepticion
Perhaps have a look in Congo

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19663751
14:51 September 25, 2012 by CDRoth
The retraction sounds like a sneak move was discovered. I'd keep an eye on the issue if I wanted to keep the material available.
19:43 September 25, 2012 by johan rebel
When Tintin in Africa was first published in Sweden (before the 2nd World War), the publisher insisted on changes being made to avoid offending local sensibilities. What caused offense was the scene where Tintin blows up a rhino with dynamite!

Hilarious.
21:17 September 25, 2012 by Munir Ahmed
Why not just CORRECT the offensive pictures on reprint? It's not like changing a Picasso painting or a Michaelangelo statue, Tintin was great because of its brilliant storytelling...Global sales today will continue to dwindle without changes.
21:28 September 25, 2012 by frenchviking
seriously? how can anyone even think of censoring TINTIN?

What is there to correct?

This is ridiculous... I am glad there was an outrage and it was reverted.

I cannot believe that there is an article in this very same paper on the same day suggesting that Sweden is racist and discriminates... I have never seen any country that self censors itself as much as Sweden...

No national anthem, no swedish flag, no tintin books... Should we also make it mandatory to use self tanning creams because we are ashamed of being white?

Difference is what makes us stronger, it is great that we are all different. If we were all black or all white and if we all had the same culture the world would be boring!

Should we ban James Bond movies because some of them are showing russians and north koreans are evil?

should we ban second world war movies because of the image they give of german people?

should we ban "allo allo" because it gives a bad image of french people?

come on, can people not take a bit of criticism and and just laugh about it?!?!?!
23:29 September 25, 2012 by dizzymoe33
Hey how about banning the Bible as well because it is not Politically correct either?!

I am so over this being constantly Politically correct all the time!!! Why is it the blacks can call themselves the "N" word but no one else had better use that word?
05:31 September 26, 2012 by JoeSwede
why do Libraries have the right to pull popular books?

Maybe put a note in the intro to the parent so that the parent can use the book as a teaching moment with their child.

Swedish taxes are so high that some families are forced to rely on the state for their reading pleasure and then to add punishment the state is dictating what books the families may read.
13:22 September 27, 2012 by Peter Helenius
And yet again an other area where the Gutmensch wants to forbid your thoughts and opinion in the name of the modern societal cancer called Multiculti and diversity.

Please Swedes, WAKE UP, because your country leaders are really totally out of controlwith Multiculti dicatatorship and Sweden will be prone to be the first European country which will fall in the coming turmoil next decades.

So Swedes, put off this apathy and dehumanization of the Gutmenschen Ideology and fight for your country and fight for the future of your (grand)children.You cant wait and see if maybe things will pass over. It wont!
23:47 September 28, 2012 by Swedish Cat
Well, knowing that kulturhuset is based on "Plattan" in Stockholm who is filled with pure scum and monkeys I am not surprised they are scared. I am often not taking my foreign guests to that area of Stockholm as want to show the beautiful and clean part. When we accidentally end up there everyone says Oh wow..we though Sweden did not have this problem. Just showing that they were scared of not being harassed by Muslims in my mind. Who is not scared of them? I am for sure..
22:38 October 3, 2012 by B.olesen
I find it terribly hilarious that negro is considered a racist term by ignorant europeans who believe everything they are told. Negro is no more racist than caucasian, and means 'brown' in more than one language. I am sick of this 'word play' by which everything is considered an affront to someone. Be offended and then get a life.

I read a swedish article where some guy from the congo referred to negro as the N word. NOT the same word used in English as a racist epithet. In the United States, some companies have edited Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, removing the word nigger from the book and replacing it with the word 'slave'. Incredibly biased, considering the tale occurred AFTER slavery was abolished, and one of the main characters 'Nigger Jim' is now referred to as Slave Jim. How is that LESS offensive? Its obviously not and just a way to keep people fighting about what might as well be ancient history.

Erasing history, changing language in historical novels whether fiction or non fiction help NOT AT ALL. You can't erase history. There are a whole lot of things that make me mad when I read about things that happened to women in the past, but, I don't try to make them remove negative words from literature because I don't LIKE IT.
Today's headlines
Sponsored Article
On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends
House keys: Shutterstock.

On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends

Finding somewhere to live when you move to Sweden is a challenge. With changes afoot The Local caught up with an expert from letting agency Residensportalen to find out in what direction the market is going, and how Google Glasses may just help you find your dream home. READ () »

The Local List
Ten most disgusting Swedish foods
Salty liquorice, anyone? Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Ten most disgusting Swedish foods

Swedish food is, of course, a matter of taste. But it's mostly disgusting. Our loyal followers on Twitter and Facebook shared what they thought were the worst of them all. READ () »

Sweden wants cruise missiles 'for defence'
Defence Minister Karin Enström. File photo: TT

Sweden wants cruise missiles 'for defence'

The Swedish government has announced plans to beef up its defence forces by fitting its fleet of Gripen fighter jets with long-range cruise missiles. READ () »

Swede of the Week
Sweden's oldest would-be MP: 'They promised I wouldn't get in'
Swedes vote in the 2010 elections. File photo: Dan Hansson/TT

Sweden's oldest would-be MP: 'They promised I wouldn't get in'

Gösta Arvedson, 89, is the oldest Riksdag candidate in Sweden, but our Swede of the Week explains that the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) had to make some unusual promises for him to put his name forward. READ () »

Elections 2014
Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote
The Green Party is one of only two parties devoting their websites to the EU elections. Here campaign manager Emma Rung presents the party's posters. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote

The majority of Swedes feel the country's political parties are not doing enough to inform them about the upcoming European Parliament elections. Only two of the eight parties have dedicated their homepages to the May 25th polls. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping Brawl
Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders
Swedish police on the scene following Monday's fatal brawl. File: TT

Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders

The Syrian-Orthodox Church in Ektorp had tried to quell tensions between two rival families just hours before bad blood spilled into a massive brawl and two brothers lost their lives. READ () »

JobTalk Sweden
'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'
The bridge that connects Sweden to the European continent. File: L.E. Daniel Larsson/Flickr

'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'

The Swedish agency that helps Europeans fight impediments to the EU principle of free movement has revealed an increase in complaints, including one from a foreign citizen unable to open a bank account in Sweden. READ () »

Eurovision 2014
Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip
Sanna Nielsen in the new clip. Photo: YouTube (screenshot)

Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip

Sweden's Eurovision hopeful Sanna Nielsen released the official video for the song Undo on Wednesday, a clip featuring leather, slow motion destruction, and a frozen pig's heart and some violence. READ () »

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds
Swedish apartments. File: The Local

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds

A Swedish landlord suspects that a property fixer has set up a software robot to sign up for new flats on the market within seconds, and is charging house hunters to use the service. READ () »

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'

Twenty-five fire fighters were on hand on Wednesday night when a fire broke out in a southern Sweden animal park. The vast majority of the animals were unharmed, but the cluster of spiders wasn't so lucky. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 23
TT
Gallery
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Advertisement:
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

718
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com