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We Asked Fashionistas About Sweden's Current Political Climate

We asked people at Stockholm Fashion Week about the resurgence of neo-Nazi movements across the country.

av Tsemaye Opubor
2016 02 09, 8:00am

All photos by Aretha Bergdahl

It would be easy to assume that by living in a country where the winters offer endless months of darkness and sub-zero temperatures, Swedes would go into hibernation and tune out everything that isn't on Netflix. But by interviewing the Swedish fashion posse at Fashion Week Stockholm, we found that nearly all attendees had an opinion about this season's gravest news stories – and most have to do with the resurgence of neo-Nazi movements across the country. Most of the fashionistas had plenty to say about Sweden's current political state, even though some of them didn't give a fashionable shit.

Lucasz, Designer and Stylist

VICE: What do you think about the political state of Sweden today?
Lucasz: Actually, I think its going to be worse here than ever before.

Did you hear that a group of masked men hunted down people they thought looked like immigrants last week?
I was adopted from Colombia. I have never in my 39 years in Sweden, ever heard anyone say a racial slur to me like "darkie" or make any comment to me about my skin colour. We have to open our door to everyone, but we can't save everyone. We must have a heart. I work with immigrant children between the ages of 12-14 years old who come here alone. They come to Sweden, scared and without parents. I made a choice to help. That's my part.

What do you think of the neo-Nazi activity in Stockholm now?
The Nazi thing isn't ok. We need to have a balanced view and fix this. It's not ok. I don't know how we are going to do it, but it's not ok.

Andreas, Social Media Influencer

What do you think about the political state of Sweden today?
Andreas: Why does VICE want to know about this? It's too horrible. To be honest, it feels weird to be doing something like fashion after seeing stuff like that.

Did you hear the news of the attack on "immigrants" in Stockholm last week?
I could never even imagine that that would happen here. I can't even see how Swedish people would be able to do something like that.

How do you feel about the rise of neo-Nazism in Stockholm?
So many emotions. I want to save the world, that's how I feel when I see stuff like that.

Tito Frez, Hairstylist

How do you feel about all that is going on in Sweden at the moment?
Tito: I come from a very political family so I don't give a shit about politics. It's too much for me. I have had enough. I came from a country that was very political. My mother was nearly killed, so I don't give a shit about politics anymore.

Did you hear that a group of masked men hunted down people they thought looked like immigrants last week?
It's incredible that that's happening in Sweden. It's a little bit too much. I'm a minority so I can't do much about it. I'm one of the people. That's the real minority, you know – we the people, not politicians. We don't have the power to change things. Nobody really cares what I think but we have to do something.

What do you think about the recent rise of the far right?
Everything is a little too much right now. I don't know why. But it's too much. Like, let's give more candy to the people, more flowers to the people, more dancing, more happiness. Why does everything have to be difficult? Can we go somewhere, where there aren't any problems anymore? I'd like to find that country. Let's try to find paradise.

Mia Swartling, Stylist

How do you feel about all that is going on in Sweden at the moment?
Mia:
It's a hard one. It's tough because you don't see that much of it, but you read and you hear a lot about it. It's hard to know. Compared to fashion it's crazy, just crazy.

Did you hear that a group of masked men hunted down people they thought looked like immigrants last week?
Yes, I heard about those masked demonstrations. Many of the masked people said that they were speaking for Swedish women. It's awful. I don't think Swedish women need them to be speaking for them, not at all. I consider myself to be a Swedish woman. My father is from South America but I was born here and have lived here all my life.

How do you feel about the rise of the far right locally?
I think these people will take every chance to riot. They are just a bunch of young, angry men.

Kristian, Boutique Owner

What do you think about the political state of Sweden today?
Kristian:
I have a Jewish background so in my personal history there are a lot of references to everything that is happening now in Europe, and in Sweden. I'm afraid of the future. I don't feel that it's very bright.

Did you hear that a group of masked men hunted down people they thought looked like immigrants last week?
Sweden used to feel like a safe place – it still is compared to many other cities in the world, but things are changing.

How do you feel about the rise of the far right locally?
Horrible.

Jojo Borg Larsson, Artist and Designer

What's your take on the current political state of Sweden?
Jojo: It's upsetting and worrying. Everyone has to take responsibility and try to turn things around for the better.

Did you hear that a group of masked men hunted down people they thought looked like immigrants last week?
Yes, it's one of the most upsetting things that I've ever heard.

What do you think about the recent rise of the far right?
I'm going to say it again but in a different way: We need to stop these things from happening and instead spread love and understanding all over the place.

Olivia, Student

What's your take on the current political state of Sweden?
Olivia: I'm not that involved so I can't really answer the question, but I know that it isn't the best. I'm not too into politics right now. I can say that it's not like it used to be. It's pretty chaotic at the moment.

Did you hear that a group of masked men hunted down people they thought looked like immigrants last week?
No, I didn't know about that.

What do you think of the rise of neo-Nazi activities in Stockholm?
I'm not from here. I'm just visiting.

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Tagged:
FASHION WEEK
Sweden
neo-nazis
Swedish
Vice Blog
stockholm fashion week
stocholm
political affairs
politics and fashion