The feature film
The film We are like Oranges (2012) depicts aspects in the life of Afro-Swedish youth in Sweden inspired by the novel ”Alice in Wonderland”. It was the first film where an Afro-Swedish young man got to play the hero. The movie also addresses Sweden’s racist past, that Sweden was involved in the slave trade and that it had a State Institute of Racial Biology. It was also the first film that highlights how racism has had an impact on both ethnic Swedes and those with African ancestry, through state-funded racist acts.
The aim of the film was also to show why young men start to hate and end up in rightwing extremism and why some young women are drawn to men who hurt others. In this film we worked with a former neo-Nazi on the set.
By producing the film, we hoped to combat hate crime by demonstrating the significance of the fact that there is a need for a deeper understanding of the context which racism exists within. This deeper understanding can be obtained through a increased knowledge of both the history of racism within a national context, as well as a detailed depiction of individuals that are attracted to racist ideologies and organizations. Finally we wished to show through the fim which we produced, that concerted efforts against racism expressed through films need to be coupled with and include the encouragement of a moral standing at an individual level.
The film won the Best Foreign Film award at the La Femme International Film Festival, 2014 in Hollywood and the Best Practice Against Extremism in the visual media sector, award, 2016 by the EU.
Diversity in the Swedish film heritage (1890-1950)
This book is the first in Sweden to give an overview of 60 years of film history where the focus is on how ethnic minorities and people in European colonies and other countries were presented in documentaries and films. The book presents and compares how the Sami, the Jews, the Roma, the Finns, the Turks, the Arabs, the Asians and the Africans have been portrayed. It also talks about where they have been stereotyped and very seldom even given the chance to play themselves. The book also explains how prejudices promoted by the use of stereotypes and race performativity (e.g. when a Swede plays a person of another ethnic background) affect us biologically.
The book advances suggestions of what needs to be done to increase the inclusion of ethnic minority groups in the film sector through the inclusion model, the 25% rule developed by the author. The medium of film can change how we perceive ourselves and others. It is up to us to manage that possibility to the benefit of all. The book is written by Cecilia Gärding as part of the end results of the youth project The Cultural Heritage Agents, a project for young people with an ethnic minority background that are active in the cultural sector. These youth were the reference group for the book. The project was conducted under the auspices of Kulturens, a Swedish non- formal study organization, funded by the Public Heritage Fund.