Advertisement

“Away from Here to Tjottahejti”: Spatial and Sexual (Re-)Orientation in Places of Secondariness in Contemporary Swedish Fiction

  • Sophie WennerscheidEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter analyses how Swedish suburbs and small towns are represented as places of secondariness in contemporary Swedish fiction and film. Drawing on Sara Ahmed’s critical phenomenology, the approach taken focuses on the body as the primary site of perceiving the (sub)urban environment and on the connection between spatial and sexual (re-)orientation. The main interest concerns children and young adult protagonists who feel stuck in the place where they are growing up: in housing estates that were built as part of the Swedish public housing programme, implemented in the 1960s and 1970s. The young protagonists experience their urban living places as places of secondariness and are desperate to make their way to a place beyond small-town limitations and heteronormative confinement, a place which offers the promise of alternative ways of living and loving.

Keywords

Contemporary Swedish fiction Swedish public housing Critical phenomenology Body and place Sexual identity Feeling stuck in places of secondariness 

Works Cited

  1. Abraham, Julie. Metropolitan Lovers: The Homosexualities of Cities. University of Minnesota Press, 2009.Google Scholar
  2. Ahmed, Sara. Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others. Duke University Press, 2006.Google Scholar
  3. Ahmed, Sara. “A Phenomenology of Whiteness.” Feminist Theory, vol. 8, no. 2, 2007, 149–68.Google Scholar
  4. Ahmed, Sara, and Jackie Stacey. “Introduction: Dermographies.” Thinking Through the Skin, edited by Sara Ahmed and Jackie Stacey, Routledge, 2001, pp. 1–17.Google Scholar
  5. Alakoski, Susanna. Svinalängorna. 2006. Bonniers, 2010.Google Scholar
  6. Anderson, Lena. Var det bra så? Natur & Kultur, 1999.Google Scholar
  7. Björklund, Jenny. “Queering the Small Town: Lukas Moodysson’s Film Show Me Love.Women’s Studies, vol. 39, no. 1, 2010, pp. 37–51.Google Scholar
  8. Castell, Pål. “The Swedish Suburb as Myth and Reality.” Managing Yard and Togetherness: Living Conditions and Social Robustness through Tenant Involvement in Open Space Management. Chalmers University of Technology, 2010, www.publications.lib.chalmers.se/records/fulltext/local_122741.pdf. Accessed 4 February 2017.
  9. Colombino, Laura. Spatial Politics in Contemporary London Literature: Writing Architecture and the Body. Routledge, 2013.Google Scholar
  10. El-Bizri, Nader. “Being at Home among Things: Heidegger’s Reflections on Dwelling.” Environment, Space, Place, vol. 3, no. 1, 2011, pp. 47–71.Google Scholar
  11. Ernst, Tony. “The Latin Kings: Svenska hjärtan.” The Latin Kings: Texter. Ruin förlag, 2004, pp. 125–34.Google Scholar
  12. Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin, White Masks. 1952. Grove Press, 2008.Google Scholar
  13. Griffith, Gareth. “An Åmål State of Mind.” City + Cinema: Essays on the Specificity of Location in Film. Edited by Gareth Griffith and Minna Chudoba, Tampere University of Technology, 2007, www.academia.edu/12626126/An_Åmål_State_of_Mind. Accessed 4 February 2017.
  14. Halberstam, Judith. In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives. New York University Press, 2005.Google Scholar
  15. Hale, Jonathan. “Critical Phenomenology: Architecture and Embodiment.” Architecture and Ideas, vol. 12, 2013, pp. 18–37. www.academia.edu/6234173/Critical_Phenomenology_Architecture_and_Embodiment. Accessed 4 February 2017.
  16. Hall, Thomas, and Sonja Vidén. “The Million Homes Programme: A Review of the Great Swedish Planning Project.” Planning Perspectives, vol. 20, no. 3, 2005, pp. 301–28. doi: 10.1080/02665430500130233.
  17. Hansell, Sven. “–Du är inte normal! Kön, norm och frihet i Lukas Moodyssons filmer.” Kvinnovetenskaplig tidskrift, vol. 25, nos 1–2, 2004, pp. 99–112. www.ojs.ub.gu.se/ojs/index.php/tgv/article/view/2306/2060. Accessed 4 February 2017.
  18. Hedling, Erik. “The Welfare State Depicted: Post-Utopian Landscapes in Ingmar Bergman’s Films.” Ingmar Bergman Revisited: Performance, Cinema, and the Arts, edited by Maaret Koskinen, Wallflower, 2008, pp. 180–93.Google Scholar
  19. Hetekivi Olsson, Eija. Ingenbarnsland. Norstedts, 2011.Google Scholar
  20. Lefebvre, Henri. The Production of Space. 1974. Blackwell, 1991.Google Scholar
  21. Lindqvist, Johan Ajvide. Låt den rätte komma in. 2004. Ordfront, 2010.Google Scholar
  22. Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. Phenomenology of Perception. 1945. Translated by Donald A. Landes, Routledge, 2014.Google Scholar
  23. Moodysson, Lukas. Fucking Åmål: Manuskript. Bokförlaget DN, 1999.Google Scholar
  24. Molina, Irene. Stadens rasifiering: Etnisk boendesegregation i folkhemmet. Kulturgeografiska institutionen, 1997.Google Scholar
  25. Niemi, Mikael. Skjut apelsinen. Rabén & Sjögren, 2010.Google Scholar
  26. Pallasmaa, Juhani. The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses. 1996. Wiley, 2012.Google Scholar
  27. Posser, Jay. Second Skins. The Body Narratives of Transsexuality. Columbia University Press, 1998.Google Scholar
  28. Stenport, Anna Westerståhl. Lukas Moodysson’s Show Me Love. University of Washington Press, 2012.Google Scholar
  29. The Latin Kings. Texter. Ruin förlag, 2004.Google Scholar
  30. Tilton, Tim. The Political Theory of Swedish Social Democracy: Through the Welfare State to Socialism. Clarendon Press, 1990.Google Scholar
  31. Wirth-Nesher, Hana. City Codes: Reading the Modern Urban Novel. Cambridge University Press, 1996.Google Scholar
  32. Wistisen, Lydia. “From Windowsill to Underpass: Young Women’s Spatial Orientation in Swedish Young Adult Literature.” Literature and the Peripheral City, edited by Lieven Ameel et al., Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, pp. 198–214.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Arts and PhilosophyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

Personalised recommendations