It was wet and freezing when I arrived late at night in Stockholm, having lost one entire day of the conference. Over the next two days, the sun shone, but it remained freezing cold, and I sat through a number of discussion sessions and workshops and listened to papers presented by academics and writers from all over the world.
It was a real treat to be surrounded by all these wonderful, smart people and I was glad I could make it (thanks to Art, specifically, and Gulf Air for their support in making it happen). Even though I’m not an academic myself, some of the stuff that were brought to the table were eye-opening to say the least.
One of the questions that I found myself facing was: does my writing in English makes me feel colonized? A valid and important question, but one which had not crossed my mind before. I think it was simply because I was writing in the language that I felt a) comfortable with, and b) enable me to communicate with the masses. I will try to elaborate on that topic in a future post.
My only complain is that the conference programme was too congested and there was no breather between sessions so that by the last day, most people made their great escapes, which meant lesser audiences for the screening of Models of Success (which, I am happy to report, went quite well despite a minor technical glitch). The film received some positive feedback and encouraging comments, which was nice to hear.
Apart from the conference though, I enjoyed my brief stay in Stockholm. This was my first visit to Scandinavia and if I were to sum up Sweden in two words, I’d say ‘Efficient Beauty’! Everything was efficient, and, eh, beautiful. The old buildings, the subway (with different themes for every station), and my favuorite of all, the interior design. I’ve always heard of Swedish furniture and interior design and now I know why. Their use of space and bright colours is soothing.
The Swedes were also very nice people. Always helpful with a smile. One of my fondest memories will probably be the evening when what had started as a couple of bored people wanting to spend some time in the city, into a full-blown tribe attack to one of Stockholm’s hippest bars. (Does anybody know what a Noneckguy is!?)
It was a really rewarding cultural experience, in both the academic and social sense of the word. Check out some of the photos from Stockholm on my flickr account. I will be adding more soon.
I will also let you know about my brief stint in Frankfurt in another post.