• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Umeå museum rewrites Swedish history

The Local · 21 Nov 2014, 03:54

Published: 21 Nov 2014 03:54 GMT+01:00

How is the Women’s History Museum different from other museums?

The museum is unique because of the fact that we focus on more or less one topic, or one theme. It’s about gender, it’s about power, it’s about history, and it’s about identity – and we aim to discuss how these things are related to each other, both in the present and in the past. We aim to discuss the future by using history as a tool of analysis.

This is the first museum of its kind in Sweden – and first of its kind in the world – there’s no other museum that can compare to this. There are several museums like Museu Frida Kahlo in Mexico for instance, that discuss one person and their life. Then you have museums like Kvindemuseet in Aarhus in Denmark, also a women’s museum. But their perspectives are different from ours, we’re unique in the sense that we have a mission. 

Maria Perstedt
Maria Perstedt has worked nonstop for a year in preparing the opening of the museum. Photo: Private

So is this museum just for women?

It’s a museum for everyone. It has nothing do with your sex or gender. We’re for everyone, regardless of how you identify or express your sex. It’s not about “men” or “women” – you can’t divide a world into these categories, and you shouldn’t.

We want to create a museum that is relevant to all people and that means taking an interest in people’s needs and dreams – and developing a close dialogue with our audience.

What if I don’t take an interest in history. Is this museum still for me?

Oh, yes! We want to discuss the ideas and notions about history: What is it? Who writes it? Who produces it? Traditional history is not our point of departure, we want to discuss other ways of looking at the past.

Men constructed history and have selected which stories to elevate as historical events. War and politics make societies and change them, as well as philosophers, inventors, industrialists… all men. Women are barely visible, barely there in traditional history. There are many stories and surprising facts that you can expect when visiting the museum.

The museum is going to be filled with many, many voices and different ways of looking at the world and discussing our different scenes. We want to break the norm of what a museum is usually like.

Story continues below…

What are you doing to mark the museum's launch this weekend?

You can expect an entirely, brand-new museum that’s never been visited before. That's a very unique thing in itself. But what makes the museum special is the two extremely different exhibitions we’ll have.

One is constructed inside a 300 square metre black box, filled with sound and light. It’s a theatrical and scenographic environment that is breathtaking – I can promise you’ve never seen anything like it. You enter barefoot or in socks, you’re stripped off to surrender to the environment of sound. You’ll hear ideas about men and women and what constitutes us. You’ll leave, absolutely filled up with an emotional experience of history. It truly is indescribable – there’s no comparison anywhere.

The other exhibition is about women and ageing. It’s about the notion of women as they enter retirement, that phase of life when they’re still active but aging. It’s about notions of norms and stereotypes surrounding elderly women and controlling them: stating what they should do, how they should do it, who to see, what to wear… and the silence that surrounds women when they age. How many women can talk about their experiences of being almost silenced as people don’t listen to them anymore? It’s a huge democratic problem, we can’t have people living in our society who feel they aren’t being heard or seen. 

Mimmi Nilsson

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Joe Biden to arrive in Sweden for refugee talks
Stefan Löfven meets Joe Biden during a visit to Washington in March 2015. Photo: Monica Enqvist/Government Offices of Sweden

US Vice President Joe Biden will arrive in Stockholm on Wednesday evening ahead of talks with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven that are expected to focus on migration and refugees.

Boy who attacked goalkeeper 'bet thousands' on game
Photo: Mikael Fritzon/TT

A 17-year-old boy who stormed the pitch and attacked a goalkeeper in Sweden’s top division earlier this month has claimed he had placed a large bet on the result.

Furious fireman lashes out at Malmö car arsonists
Firefighters battle a blaze in Malmö earlier this month. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

A fireman in Malmö has won praise across Sweden for calling out arsonists on the “bullshit” reasons behind a spate of car fires in the southern city.

See Stockholm spectacularly change through the seasons
A bright autumn day in Stockholm. Photo: Delphine Fortin

In order to help her long-distance relationship, one Stockholm-based blogger produced a fascinating visual illustration of the Swedish capital throughout the seasons.

Groped woman had 'gigantic breasts' - player cleared
File image (2010) of Björklöven players in a huddle. Photo: public domain

A former prosector said the reasoning was "absurd" and "illegitimate".

Sweden’s high-speed trains the least punctual in Europe
One of Sweden's high-speed trains during a delay in Stockholm. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

It seems the Swedes are not quite so efficient after all.

Refugee crisis
Asylum seekers leaving Sweden in record numbers
The Swedish Migration Agency offices in Solna. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

The large number of asylum seekers leaving Sweden in 2016 coincides with a dramatic fall in the number seeking asylum in the country compared to last year.

Long-term damage seen from brain injuries: Swedish study
A model of the human brain. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

A study carried out in Sweden suggests that youths who suffer traumatic brain injuries are more likely to experience long-term psychological and social problems.

The Local List
30 Swedish movies you must see before you die
Thomas Hedegran and Rolf Lassgård in thriller The Hunters. Photo: Photo: Per Pettersson/TT

Film buff Christian Ekvall picks out 30 definitive Swedish movies you must see to understand the soul of the country's cinema.

Malmö police catch car arson suspect in the act
Another car blaze earlier this month. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Malmö police have arrested a man after they caught him setting a vehicle alight in the Rosengård district as the city's spate of summer car fires continued.

Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
How to survive a crayfish party
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
IN PICS: Your Sweden summer snaps
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
National
Why are fewer foreign graduates staying in Sweden to work?
Culture
This Swedish street artist's incredible murals will make your jaw drop
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,361
jobs available