Featuring works by leading Swedish photographers, "Last Night in Sweden" was conceived as a refutation of Donald Trump's allegations about something morbid happening in the Scandinavian country. Obviously offended by Trump's histrionics, Swedes came up with a clever rebuttal in the form of a star photo book, aimed to present a more diverse and multi-faceted portrayal of the country.
Tens of thousands of everyday situations in Sweden were captured on film by over a hundred of the nation's leading documentary photographers. The most illustrative ones have been hand-picked by a jury and collected into the book "Last Night in Sweden," which has now been made available to the public, Swedish national broadcaster SVT reported.
"I expect the book to spread widely throughout the world, Jeppe Wikström of the Max Ström publishing house, told SVT. Wikström suggested that the first copy must have already landed on Donald Trump's desk at the White House, sarcastically adding that it was perfectly safe to trust his administration with this simple task.
The over 100 pictures featured in "Last Night in Sweden" are glimpses of everyday life in the Nordic country, taken between April and May this year, always after 6 p.m.
"I have photographed what I have seen, and it is objective to me. I have not edited any of the photos, I have just taken snapshots of what's happening," photographer Anette Nantell said.
According to jury member Anna Clarén, the head of the Nordic School of Photography, it is not possible to provide an objective picture of something as complex as a whole country. Instead, what's happening in the mind of the viewer also has to be taken into account.
"I don't believe he's much of a book reader, but these are amazing pictures to look at, so I hope he gets to the story of Sweden," Jeppe Wikström said.
The organizers turned to Kickstarter to crowd-fund the project and reached the target 100,000 SEK ($12,500) within only seven hours. For those ready to contribute half of this sum, a special offer was made. The opportunity to write a preface to the book sent to Donald Trump.
"I believe the president conveyed a very skewed picture of Sweden. Certainly, there are problems and this book does not only show sunshine stories, but there are a lot of things the US can learn from us. Sweden has become cosmopolitan and it has enriched us a lot," businessman Sven Hagströmer, who clutched this chance, told the Swedish economic daily Dagens Industri.
By his own admission, Hagströmer wrote that Trump's well-known motto "America First" in reality makes the country more isolated.
In February, Trump created a stir with his unclear claims that something "was happening last night in Sweden." Although Trump later insisted that he was referring to rising migrant crime in general and no incident in particular, his taunt was partially redeemed by the violent migrant riots that subsequently broke out in Stockholm.