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Revisiting Social Democracy: Memory, Performance, and Neoliberalism
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Musicology and Performance Studies, Musicology and Performance Studies.
2014 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Interest in the murdered Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme has re-emerged in a number of new biographies, films, and performances. In these productions and works of art, a younger generation of dramatists and artists pose questions about the downsizing of the social democratic project, and the dream of a model welfare society that seemed to be fading as that generation reached adulthood. It appears to not only represent nostalgia for Palme, but also a public mourning of the lost vision of a social democratic nation. For younger Swedes the story of Olof Palme starts with the assassination on Sveavägen in central Stockholm in 1986. This brutal act, the confused and confusing police investigation that followed, the different conspiracy theories flourishing in the media, and the eventual capture of a murder suspect who was later released constitute a national trauma that never has entirely healed. This paper discusses the image-memory of social democracy, the tension between a nostalgic idealization and the neoliberal reality in a country where social democracy has been marginalized even though nothing would fit Sweden better than a true social democracy. Palme’s controversial cult status has also obscured the view of decades of social democratic political power and Cold War secrecy. Palme’s way into politics was turbulent and full of scandals, a fact that have nourished numerous theatrical interpretations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
social democracy, Olof Palme, performance, memory
National Category
Performing Art Studies
Research subject
Theatre Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106979OAI: diva2:742102
Theatre and Stratification
Imagining Change: Women and Making of Civil Societies in the Arctic Region, Asia, Latin America and Europe
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2014-08-30 Created: 2014-08-30 Last updated: 2014-08-30

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Rosenberg, Tiina
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ReferencesLink to record
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