07:07 GMT01 April 2020
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    After US President Donald Trump's bitter tirades about their home country, Swedes took offense and in response launched an ambitious photo project in an attempt to keep Trump informed about the state of affairs in the Nordic nation with images showing the Swedish reality.

    A police car is seen as several cars were set on fire during a riot, according to local media, in Rinkeby suburb, outside Stockholm, Sweden February 20, 2017.
    © REUTERS / TT News Agency/Christine Olsson
    The Last Night in Sweden — The True Story project, whose stated goal is to challenge the "anti-Swedish" hysteria and so-called "alternative facts" circulated about the seemingly prosperous Nordic nation, is being driven by award-winning Swedish photographer Jeppe Wikström and his foundation Expressions of Humankind. Having enlisted the help of Sweden's best photographers for the new campaign, he promised to more aptly reflect the reality of his home country, the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter reported.

    The pictures will be taken between 6pm and midnight for seven days of spring. About a hundred photographers are expected to participate. Some of them will be sent out on specific missions to hospitals, dance halls or workplaces, whereas others will have free rein and will be asked to contribute freely. Jeppe Wikström pledged to have a geographical and thematic spread. Later, a jury will decide which images will be included in the book.

    According to Linda Forsell, one of the contributors to the project who has lived and worked in the US for many years, the Americans' picture of Sweden is somewhat fuzzy.

    "In New York, you most often meet people who see Sweden as a role model. In other parts of the United States, sometimes the extreme opposite is true, with people referring to Sweden and communism in the same breath," Linda Forsell told Dagens Nyheter.

    According to Forsell, the idea is to challenge the global image of Sweden as a country "about to go to hell" with a picture of a "diverse Sweden," which is "not only blond and blue-eyed," but rather enriched by the mass immigration.

    After having reached its crowd-funding target on Kickstarter only within half a day, the project is expected to result in a book in English and Swedish to be sent to members of the US Congress and the European Parliament. Ironically, the first copy will be send to the unwilling inspiration behind the project — US President Donald Trump himself.

    The name of the project, "Last Night in Sweden — The True Story," is itself a jibe at the US President, who in February unintentionally gave rise to the online meme #LastNightinSweden with his unclear claims that something "was happening last night" in the Nordic country. Later, Trump insisted that he was referring to rising migrant crime in general and not to any particular incident. However, his taunt was partially redeemed by the violent migrant riots that broke out in Stockholm later the same day.

    In an interview with the Swedish news outlet The Local, Wikström admitted that the project initially was a reaction to Trump's "silly statements."

    Wikström is known for his involvement in similar projects like A Day in the World (2012) and A Day in the Life of Sweden (2003).


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