In 2006, Digital Media 2009 Stockholm student Ola Möller was going to live in Argentina for a few months and wanted to bring along a book about Sweden, but he couldn't find a book that showed a point of view of Sweden that he could relate to. So he initiated a project to create an alternative that shows the Swedish youth's perspective of Sweden.
With the intention to move away from Ice Hotels, national costumes and traditional red little houses with white corners, Ola reached out to photography interested Swedes all over the country.
- We got in touch with the contributing photographers through Facebook, by putting up posters at photography schools, through friends of friends and by being talked about in the media - the project has been mentioned in Swedish newspapers Dagens Nyheter, Barometern, Västerbottens-Kuriren, design magazine CAP&Design, and photography magazine Kamera och Bild, among others, says Ola.
The result; a book with 64 photos taken by 44 photographers between the ages of 14-32, from high school students to award-winning professional photographers.
- And that's only 4% of all the photos that were submitted, Ola adds. We were looking for photos that told some kind of story. If they were esthetically beautiful, that's great, but what we really wanted was to move away from the romanticized image of Sweden and include original photos that portrayed schools, festivals, life in big cities, suburbs and the countryside, young culture today - what the Swedish youth see and experience themselves.
The book has been translated into seven languages that can be found in the back of the book; English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Russian and Arabic.
- Last year we applied to the European Commission's Youth in Action programme through Ungdomsstyrelsen and were rewarded with a contribution that covered three quarters of the print expenses, says Ola.
And now it's time - the book will be released on February 26th!
A release party will be held at Berns Gallery 2.35:1 in Stockholm. All the photos from the book will be displayed and attendees will be able to take a look at copies of the book, and perhaps get to talk to some of the contributing photographers who will attend the party.
Check out the Fotoboken om Sverige website, and join Fotoboken om Sverige on Facebook to find out what's up next for the project.
Great work, Ola!