ludwig wittgenstein

martha nussbaum

hans skjervheim

berit ås // ami lönnroth

johan asplund

hans-georg gadamer


the main characters of the film 



“The familiarity of certain photographies builds our sense of the present and the immediate past. […] Photographs that everyone recognises are now a constituent part of what a society chooses to think about, or declare that it has to think about. It calls these ideas ´memories´, and that is, over the long run, a fiction. Strictly speaking, there is no such think as collective memory […] - but there is collective instruction.” Sontag continues:

“All memory is individual, unreproducible - it dies with each person. What is called collective memory is not a remembering but a stipulating: that this is important, and this is the story about how it happened, with the pictures that lock the story in our minds.”

- Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others, Penguin books, London, 2004


where the mind meets the emotion, where the thinking meets the feeling



(if you would like to read the essay where all these thoughts are discussed in depth, just send an email to



this project investigates tools and methods when telling documentary stories about the countryside, from the perspective of a filmmaker without lived experience in that particular place. power structures, preconceptions, and place as main character. the project documents the artistic practice and the philosophical reflections on these topics, with a documentary short film as the point of departure. 

I'd like to invite you to spend some time in between, in my mellanrum, where I believe our own role and position in relation to artistic work is anchored. no movie is a complete unit without the individual impression that it creates in the audience. you'll be standing with one foot in the theoretical world of my thought process, and one in my artistic practise: through a creative documentation of a place - vormsele, a small village in västerbotten.


                sound on, please (courtesy of nora øland for hemmavid)






“Det är så svårt att hitta början. Eller snarare: Det är svårt att börja från början. Och inte försöka gå längre tillbaka. 

     När barnet lär sig språket, lär det sig samtidigt vad som ska undersökas och vad som inte ska undersökas. När det lär sig att det finns ett skåp i rummet, så lär det sig inte att tvivla på om det som det ser senare fortfarande är ett skåp, eller bara en slags kuliss. 


När någon har förvissat sig, så säger han: Ja, räkningen stämmer, men detta har han inte slutit sig till av sitt tillstånd till visshet. Man sluter sig inte till fakta av sin egen visshet.
Vissheten är liksom ett tonfall med vilket man fastslår fakta, men man sluter sig inte från tonfallet till, att det är berättigat.”

Ludwig Wittgenstein, Om visshet, Doxa Press, Lund, 1981, (Basil Blackwell, Oxford 1969) p.69, p.13


our brain pays more attention to information when in the form of a narrative, the more you can associate things you want to remember with existing structures in your brain//mind, the easier it will be to remember. 


contradictory to the memory and how it works, I chose to experiment with material that doesn’t have a clear narrative. instead, I wanted to communicate certain feelings that are true to the character’s stories and true to their place in this world.

not limited to one single piece of work, the work as it is placed in the world of power structures and political debate, needs to be placed in the context of other people's artistic work, and therefor also the process of creating opened up to people with different interpretative prerogative.

political and personal, what's my position?

memories are flexible

we reconstruct our episodic memory (personal experiences, "do you know what you did yesterday?"), piece by piece do we put them back together. we use semantic memory to fill in the blanks, when we try to recollect facts, (pre-existing) biases & beliefs. 

teens were interviewed about their life during their teens, and ten years later about their teenage years - the results? memories are uniformly poor. "no better than chance".  (Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2000)


so; why do we have a memory system that is so poor and unreliable if it was designed to remember the past?

while in a brain scan, people were asked to remember something, and also to think of // imagine the future, and pretty much the same network was engaged in the brain in both cases. without a recollection of the past, it could be a struggle to imagine the future. the simulation engine "in between our ears" weaves together memories from the past, and dreams of the future, to create your sense of self.


“It is possible to play a jazz solo from a score, making minor alterations for the particular nature of one’s instrument. The question is, who would do this, and why?”

Martha Nussbaum, Love’s Knowledge, Oxford University Press, New York, 1990, s.74.


“Becoming an educated citizen means learning a lot of facts and mastering techniques of reasoning. But it means something more. It means how to be a human being capable of love and imagination.”

Martha Nussbaum, Cultivating humanity, A classical defence of reform in liberal education, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1998, s. 14


[rather than starting with a single queston, I'd like to focus on complicating and tearing concepts apart, and by doing so letting them be the themes for this independent degree project. 

the themes I've explored in this timeline representation of my research at the MA programme "Documentary Processes" (and in depth in my essay) are:

POWER STRUCTURES - in the meeting with another person, I've analyzed various situations of mine and others' behaviours in the meeting and tried to find the answer to why we behave the way we do?

DISTANCE - what does it mean for a documentary film to create distance (fiction) through working with reenactment?

DIALOGUE - with the characters in a film, how does it affect the final film and its positioning that the characters are invited to participate in curating scenes // writing the script?

THE UNCONDITIONAL (det förutsättningslösa) - what are the tools, and what social rules decide if a meeting is unconditional?

IMAGINATIVE ABILITY - which relates to empathy. what is best practice when it comes to imagination, while still staying true to an authentic documentary story?

[a sense of freedom in knowing that at least one (spoken) story form vormsele have been documented somewhere, just not in the film. reassuring?]

[in the beginning of this journey I was convinced that lack of answers was a sign of inadequate knowledge, empathy or experience. I now think the contrary. if I would be at a creative place where the statements were clear and all questions answered, I would have closed my eyes to my ever-changing surroundings. being aware of those surroundings, and instead looking for the right questions to ask in order to find a position in between thinking and feeling - in between brave experiments and grounded theoretical reflections - is how I believe research questions can be formulated, problematized and transformed into practical knowledge that will create a more solid foundation for the work to come.]


[what language do we, documentary storytellers, use when we tell stories about the countryside? how do we avoid stereotypes, and most importantly, avoid claiming that we have a perspective from the inside - in all parts of our work, research, filming, editing?]

[breakthrough? when do you KNOW (FOR SURE) that you're at that point of mutual transparency? is that place liberating or just an irresponsible place for me to take them?] (5:56)



[manipulating memory?]

“Och så tänker jag på ordet världsvan. Van världen. Vilken värld pratar vi om då? Vi säger inte att en flykting är världsvan. Men typ… Elin Kling, där snackar vi tjej på resande fot. Vart tipsar då såna tjejer en medsyster om att dra, vad håller detta världsvana ögonen på? Världen? Nej. Jag är fruktansvärt trött på blicken till det här globala medelklassperspektivet som kanske fattat att intersektionalitet är ett viktigt analysverktyg men konstant håller ute perspektivet stad som en del i en maktordning.”

Clara Bodén, Hur börjar en decentraliserad revolution?, (3), 2015, s. 65


[there's no way to know for sure, but there are a million ways to feel, individual feelings are always acknowledged as individual experiences. they don't claim to be anything else.

the film will be driven by emotion, mine, the crew and the characters', merged together in a semi-fictional universe. it needs to be driven by emotion rather than narration.]



a journey over the course of 9 months

getting to know - political standpoint in relation to the place


getting to know - personal relationship to the place



getting to know inner thoughts and feelings, the longing and aching in these people for this place



getting to a point where the characters themselves suggest scenes and stories for the film






interview from the 1st meeting with one of the characters, 2:23

after all, the artistic practice is the reasearch method.

interview from the 2nd meeting with one of the characters, 2:16


the oral storytelling tradition is incredibly strong in places like vormsele. but, due to the unwillingness to put the community at risk of internal conflicts, the ability to talk about a place in a subjective way can be very difficult. as an attempt to both get away from the complicated interview situations, and also to enhance character involvement, I chose to work with this method for this project.

why bother talking as a way to find authentic memory, when it's clearly not predictable or correct? I set out to tell a story through the emotions that the characters remember their past with instead. 

susan sontag

clara bodén

john skoog

marcus lindeen

sune jonsson

ulrich seidl

kitty green

tarkovskij :--)

errol morris

robert greene

tova mozard

nisrine boukhari