At SIME Stockholm today I’ll speak at and moderate two workshops.
At 1PM I’ll discuss TV Beyond the Living Room with Annie Wegelius (until very recently the programme director of SVT), Cecilia Beck-Friis (she has the Swedish title “Vice VD” – approximately COO – at TV4-gruppen) and Jeroen Elfferich, founder and CEO of legendary Second screen production house Ex Machina. At this talk, I’ll have the pleasure of revealing a new project I’m working on with the Industry market at the Gothenburg International Film Festival.
At 3.30 I’m talking on the topic Connected Storytelling – Learn How To Tell Epic Stories with oscar nominated film maker Mike Lerner (Roast Beef TV) and the Emmy-winning transmedia producer Christopher Sandberg (The Company P). This talk will also include a brief case study of TV-cirkeln.
I wrote a short story. A kind of ghost story, I guess, about unconceived children. It’s published by Novellix as a short story single on September 17th. On that same day, you’re welcome to join us at Kulturhuset Stockholm for Release Me – a lovely evening of readings, conversations, drinks and new writing. My friend Björn af Kleen is celebrating his new book, which you should buy. Bernt Hermele, Jessica Johansson and Boel Bermann are also releasing new books that I know less about (and that’s the awesomeness of a night like Release Me – being exposed to writing one does not yet know).
This week, Bonnier are re-releasing, again, the classic 1976 Kerstin Thorvall novel Det mest förbjudna (which has been translated to many languages but not, I think, English). I had the pleasure of writing the introduction.
The title roughly translates to The Most Forbidden Thing and book was scandalous in its time, and it’ll still throw ya! But as I discuss in the introduction what is “most forbidden” in the novel is open for debate. The sexual content? Demanding a life for yourself even when you are a mother? Older women sleeping with younger men? You should read it and make up your own mind.
The review date is August 27th and I don’t expect any attention since so many new books are coming out in the season leading up to the Book Fair, but do check it out, Thorvall is a great read. Earlier this year the novel was even selected by literature programme Babel for a hypothetical, tiny five-book Swedish literary canon.
PS. Three other feminist classics are re-released at the same time. The beautiful covers are by Finnish designer Maija Louekari, whom I completely coincidentally once interviewed for the architecture and design magazine Forum AID, now called FORM. It’s the kind of bread-and-butter profile that I almost never get to write these days and I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the meetings and the craft of trying to catch something of the person in a very short text. Since it’s in Swedish, I’ve thrown it up on my old blog.
OK, it’s an awful pun! But I’m so happy to have joined the board of Pocket Entertainment, a Swedish original content web television provider.
As per usual I’ve been very lax with updating my site and we’re already at midsummer! Starting with the third quarter, we’ll change this blog to include two kinds of updates – blog posts from me and links and information from my new team. It’s a pretty small team, but I suspect the impact on my workload will be lifechanging. Go team!
While we wait for that new order, another thing entirely! Ottar magazine ranks people with influence on Swedish sexual politics and I pop up in 22nd place – astonishing, humbling, really a nod to each and every person who participated in the #prataomdet conversation on a range of media platforms – especially the theatre company who toured with the Fortsätt #prataomdet performance during the fall and winter seasons. Myself, I feel I’ve only done so much this year – a talk in Oslo last fall, another one in Vasa, Finland at the Mediespråk conference, and a third in Umeå, Sweden, plus few panels in conjunction with the theatre tour. Norwegian Journalisten magazine wrote a pretty cool profile when I was there.
So, I don’t feel like I’ve done much, but I do tend to talk about the book a lot when I’m out on other business though. If you read Swedish, you should get it: it’s a quick and gripping read and the stories are very powerful. Here’s a review I probably haven’t posted before.
As you’ve probably noticed, Angelina Jolie has written about her BRCA1 breast cancer gene. A new friend of mine, Lizzie Stark, has faced the same choices and blogs about her work on a book on the topic that you should absolutely check out. I had the pleasure of playing a chamber role-playing game she designed on the topic and wrote about it a while back here (Swedish). The game itself is in English and downloadable on Lizzie’s blog.
Other recent Fokus columns of mine have been about contemporary ghost stories, the low cost of prevention, meat-eating in a time of environmental crisis, the Egyptian tourism industry in a time of unrest, Zombie Ibsen, and how long ago the 20th century already is. (All in Swedish).
On Monday, I had the pleasure of hosting “Day of the Brain”, Hjärnans dag, an event gathering top-tier neuroscientists and other brain researchers for a day of communicating their findings in a popular fashion. The event is organized by the Hjärnfonden charity, which funds basic and specialized research with millions of desperately needed crowns at all Swedish universities connected to the field. I was thrilled to learn among many other things that the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease is in the process of an utter revolution. If the drug currently in clinical trials turn out to be the answer, the enormous suffering and cost it causes to day may be pretty much wiped out within a decade. Please support Hjärnfonden. The full programme of Hjärnans Dag was recorded by UR Samtiden and will pop up on the internet and on television at some point (Swedish).
On Tuesday, I went to GUC, a very special high school in Uppsala, to talk. It was World Book Day, but instead of literature in the traditional sense I chose to speak about larp, game design and interactive storytelling as a tool for understanding the negotiable nature of reality and society. The students totally got it! This pleases me to no end, since I’ve never spoken on that exact topic for a non-specialist audience before, and the talk will inevitably be a lot better the tenth time around. But they said kind things afterwards, and looked appropriately awed by the Monitor Celestra pictures I showed them. Thank you guys so much for having me, for stocking my books in your AMAZING school library, and for the lunch in the school cafeteria – which boasts a genius experience design feature: people from neighbouring businesses can buy lunch there for a pittance, I think it was SEK 55 (about EUR 6,5). They come because it’s great value; the school pretty much funds its food programme (free for all students) with the income, and the presence of extra grown-ups makes the lunches calmer. Not to mention that the school opens up towards the community. Win-win!
The reason larp was on my mind yesterday was that I’d spent a long weekend at the Knutepunkt conference – my 16th time! – which totally deserves a blog post of its own that I probably won’t have time to write. One of the many highlights of the week was the Nordic Larp Talks, now in its fourth year. The pic above (by Johannes Axner) shows me, apparently, yelling at the audience. The one below shows me with the editors of this year’s four Knutebooks. The talks were streamed by Falkevik and Danehav, as usual, and were a great success thanks to the amazing speakers.
Crosstalks is a quarterly academic talk show, broadcast live in English, brought to you by KTH and Stockholm University. It is a forum for some of their greatest scientists to talk to each other, to international colleagues, to people in other fields and to students about some of the great issues of our day. Not only do great minds meet at Crosstalks – since I’m hosting I get to be there too, representing the non-expert viewer! You can watch the first three talks here, and the website is also where the live broadcast this Thursday will start at 5 PM (CET).
As per usual, we’ll have time for three topics. We’ll discuss the ultimate destiny of man and robot, look at whether and how it is possible to close the global health gap in our lifetimes, and ask some quantum and astrophysicists to explain how their work is changing perceptions on the nature of reality. You’re welcome to join in the conversation on twitter or by Skyping in with questions – there will be instructions on how to do that on the website!