Moheda flyktingförläning 1979-2014. Work in process, Juan-Pedro Fabra Guemberena

Friday September 9, 2016, 1-8 pm

Participation is free (Seating is restricted)


Confirmed participants:

Peter Aronsson, Pro-Rector and Professor of History, Linnaeus University

Enno Hallek, Visual artist

Juan-Pedro Fabra Guemberena, Visual artist

Gunlög Fur, Dean and Professor of History, Linnaeus University

Anna Norberg, Site Manager and Project Coordinator, Baltic Art Center, Visby

Saskia Sassen, Professor of Sociology, Columbia University

Martin Schibli, Curator and Artistic Director, Växjö konsthall

Alexandra Stiernspetz Nylen, Developer, Det fria ordets hus, Växjö


Moderator: Jonatan Habib Engqvist, curator and project manager for Nya Småland

The seminar takes it´s title from Swedish author Vilhelm Moberg’s most famous work, The Emigrants series, four books written between 1949 and 1959 that describe a Swedish family’s migration from Småland to Minnesota in the 19th century. A destiny shared by almost one million Swedish people. At the time of writing, some 40 000 people had migrated across the Baltic sea.

It was the refuges from Germany, the neighbouring Nordic and Baltic countries, that during the second world war transformed the immigrant country of Sweden into a country of immigration. Many refuges returned to their home countries after the war but many – mostly from the Baltic region – remained. The Red Army had in the Autumn of 1944 recaptured the area and in the autumn of that year nearly 20,000 Balts took anything that floated over to Sweden.

After the war it was labour migration from Scandinavia, Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, Turkey and other countries that dominated. Sometimes this was in organised form, through the initiative of the labour authorities, but mostly people would find their own way to Sweden. At the end of the 1960´s Sweden introduced controlled immigration.

People who wished to come to Sweden to work needed to provide proof of a job offer and accommodation unless they were Nordic residents, refugees or family migrants.

In the 1970´s refugee camps were built to accommodate people fleeing from the military coup in Chile and Uruguay´s dictatorship among others. In the 1980´s asylum seekers from Somalia, Kosovo and the former East arrived. The war in Europe in the 1990´s pushed out many former Yugoslavs and over 100 000 ex-Yugoslavians, mostly Bosnians made Sweden their new home. Today we see similar mass movements along other routes.


The House of Emigrants

The House of Emigrants houses exhibitions, archive, library and research. The permanent exhibition “The Dream of America” depicts the massive migration wave of the 1800´s, in “the Moberg room” one can through original manuscripts, photographs and objects understand Vilhelm Moberg’s entire oeuvre, but the emphasis is on The Emigrants series. The House of Emigrants also host the Swedish Emigrant Institute´s archive and library. In the reading room it is possible to take part of unique source material from the emigration to primarily America and Canada.

More here.