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Welcome to the migration seminar


Branding the deep nation – self-exoticization and constructions of Swedes as a ‘Nature-Loving People’ in the Image bank of Sweden


  • Sayaka Osanami Törngren, associate professor/senior researcher, Malmö University
  • Katarina Mattsson, associate professor, Södertörn University


In this paper we examine the visual representations of Sweden and Swedes in the “Image Bank of Sweden”, which contains images free of use when presenting Sweden abroad. The image bank is only one of many activities in which visual images of Sweden are communicated to an international audience, which follows the communicative platform developed by the Board for the Promotion of Sweden Abroad (NSU). The purpose of the platform is to contribute to a uniformly communicated image of Sweden as a progressive society, in combination of “Swedes' natural lifestyle” and “a picturesque scenery”.

In the paper we explore processes of self-exoticization and racialization in the representations of Sweden in the Image bank of Sweden, with a particular focus on images of the Swedish lifestyle as “close to nature” (en naturnära livsstil) and Swedes as “a nature loving people” (ett naturälskande folk). We show how the Swedish national self-image that emerges is constructed around notions of gender, race and Whiteness and revolve around the idea of a deep nation, to which only native-born White Swedes have access.


This is a hybrid seminar, you are welcome to connect via Zoom

Meeting ID: 697 1056 0779

or join us at MIM seminar room, Niagara floor 9. To attend on campus, please gather by the reception area at 14.05.

If you have any questions, send an email to mim@mau.se.