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Giant blue penis painted on Stockholm apartment building

A Swedish artist has painted a five-story-high blue erect penis, complete with bulging veins, on an apartment building in central Stockholm.

Giant blue penis painted on Stockholm apartment building
What will the neighbours think? The penis bathed in the sun in Stockholm on Wednesday. Photo: Hugo Röjgård/Graffitifrämjandet
Carolina Falkholt, who created the mural, said she hoped that even those who are repulsed or angered by her art would be forced to think, in comments made to the Aftonbladet tabloid.
 
“They should consider what it is they are so upset about and then talk about it,” she said as the painting was unveiled at Kronobergsvägen on Kungsholmen. “Sex is so important, but it’s always been too dirty to discuss.” 
 
The penis was painted on a legal graffiti wall established in Stockholm by the art organization Kollektivet Livet, meaning there was no need to consult with residents before painting it. 

 
“They can choose the motif themselves, so I don’t think they’ve talked to the neighbours or anyone before doing this,” Hugo Röjgård, from Swedish graffiti campaign group Graffitifrämjandet, told The Local.
 
He said that he didn’t think the decision would hurt his campaign to encourage more apartment building owners to free up walls for graffiti.
 
“I don’t think so really, because first of all Carolina Falkholt is a widely known artist in Sweden. And secondly, the thing with these kinds of wall is that you’re supposed to paint stuff that doesn’t have any other place to be,” Röjgård said.
 
He added: “I’m not saying these walls are for making big penises on, but it should be alright to do that.” 
 

Kollektivet Livet normally allows paintings to remain on the wall for about six months before commissioning a new artist. 
 

Falkholt caused uproar in New York in December when she painted a similar giant erection — this time in pink, orange and red — on a wall in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. 
 
That painting was erased after only a few days, rather than the three weeks intended, following heavy media coverage and vociferous complaints from residents.  
 
“I usually paint giant vaginas, pussies and cunts,” Falkholt told The Guardian newspaper in December. “And since I had just finished one on the side of a five-storey building, I felt like a dick was needed. The wall space on Broome was a perfect fit for it. To paraphrase [the artist] Judith Bernstein, if a dick can go into a woman, it can go up on a wall.”
 
Falkholt told Aftonbladet that she expected Stockholm residents to be more welcoming: “I think that perhaps it will be allowed to remain here, that people get the message and let it take its place in the debate around the body, sexuality, and freedom.” 
 
“I think that there there’s greater intellectual space to discuss the subject, in a nuanced way.” 
 

STOCKHOLM

Stockholm Pride is a little different this year: here’s what you need to know 

This week marks the beginning of Pride festivities in the Swedish capital. The tickets sold out immediately, for the partly in-person, partly digital events. 

Pride parade 2019
There won't be a Pride parade like the one in 2019 on the streets of Stockholm this year. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

You might have noticed rainbow flags popping up on major buildings in Stockholm, and on buses and trams. Sweden has more Pride festivals per capita than any other country and is the largest Pride celebration in the Nordic region, but the Stockholm event is by far the biggest.  

The Pride Parade, which usually attracts around 50,000 participants in a normal year, will be broadcast digitally from Södra Teatern on August 7th on Stockholm Pride’s website and social media. The two-hour broadcast will be led by tenor and debater Rickard Söderberg.

The two major venues of the festival are Pride House, located this year at the Clarion Hotel Stockholm at Skanstull in Södermalm, and Pride Stage, which is at Södra Teatern near Slussen.

“We are super happy with the layout and think it feels good for us as an organisation to slowly return to normal. There are so many who have longed for it,” chairperson of Stockholm Pride, Vix Herjeryd, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

Tickets are required for all indoor events at Södra Teatern to limit the number of people indoors according to pandemic restrictions. But the entire stage programme will also be streamed on a big screen open air on Mosebacketerassen, which doesn’t require a ticket.  

You can read more about this year’s Pride programme on the Stockholm Pride website (in Swedish). 

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