Anger & Resistance No. 18: Liv Strömquist, Sweden – „Think critically about power, in any form or shape“

Foto: Livia Rostavaniy

Print issue SPEX No. 375 focuses upon anger and resistance in pop culture. For this reason SPEX invited artists from all over the globe to answer the question: Is Anger An Energy? Read the full-length interviews online only. Last but not least: Swedish author and comic artist Liv Strömquist closes our series with her statements on the current state of pop and politics.

What does anger mean to you?
In a way anger is useful for me when I create art, because it gives a certain kind of energy. But I’m not really that into anger. If you are a feminist like me – you always get „anger“ smeared on you – people project anger on feminists, and say: the feminists (or other groups that want social change) are angry, and we (the center, the power, the world order, common sense, the status quo) – we are NOT angry, we are calm and nice. But in fact it is the „world order“ who carries aggression towards. For example, the poor immigrants who can’t enter the EU, the environment, the women and so on. And the people who point out the injustices don’t invent anger, they just uncover the anger and aggression that is hidden in the system.

„If you look at someone like Bob Marley, it’s difficult to imagine a politician who reaches out so far with his or her ideas in so many continents for such a long time.“

And how important is resistance for you? How and against what are you protesting?
I make comics where I try to point out what I think is wrong with the world, but that’s about all I do really. In my daily life I don’t walk around and resist and protest against things – I’m too tired! I have so much other things on my mind, like to clean my apartment and make food for the kids and things like that. So i’m channelling all my resistance into the comics. They are often about feminist issues but my latest album that came out now in Sweden is more about the capitalist system, banking crisis, climate change and extreme wealth.

Is there room for more than symbolic protest within the realm pop culture? How can pop culture bring about change, even beyond the already converted?
I think that pop culture is important to promote ideas that challenge the status quo. If you look at someone like Bob Marley, it’s difficult to imagine a politician who reaches out so far with his or her ideas in so many continents for such a long time. Art and pop culture is potentially a space where you don’t have to follow the same rules as the rest of the market economy society, that everything that you produce has to be useful or possible to sell, for example. Of course, pop culture is very influenced by this but I think that it has a potential of bringing about change.

What is the most urgent cause of your art?
To think critically about power, in any form or shape.

Alle Kurzinterviews mit Künstlerinnen und Künstlern aus aller Welt zum Thema Wut & Widerstand, die im Rahmen des Schwerpunkts in der Printausgabe SPEX No. 375 in gekürzter Form zu lesen sind, finden sie in voller Länge exklusiv auf SPEX.de. Das Heft zum Schwerpunkt kann im Onlineshop versandkostenfrei bestellt werden.

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