Between the 27th of August and the 9th of September 2018, Crossed Paths of Europe held its second exhibition in Stockholm, Sweden and its third exhibition in Europe. This exhibition was in collaboration with Atrium Ljungberg. Atrium Ljungberg is one of Sweden’s biggest listed property companies. The exhibition was held in an public venue in Atrium Ljungberg’s Söderhallarna.  

The two weeks exhibition. showcased over 70 photos, coming from 10 different European countries, taken by about 25 people who volunteered for the project.The venue had an oval shape with glass walls in the middle. The photos were hanged on glass walls all around the  venue; in order to allow as many people coming in from the different entrances of the venue to see the photos. The selection of the groups of the pictures was random, with focus on showcasing different countries/volunteers in every corner.

In total over 300 people attended the event during the two weeks. They got to see the different photos. Kawthar, one of the head organizers, and Alia, one of the project’s volunteers from Sweden, were present at the exhibition on the the last Saturday (8th of September) to answer questions of the exhibition’s visitors. Being the representatives of the project, Kawthar and Alia got to go around, talk to people and have interesting discussions.

Photo: Alia,Crossed Paths of Europe’s volunteer, is talking to one of the visitors

As the venue was open for the public, many people came to the venue by accident and went around and looked at the photos despite that they hadn’t seen any announcement about the exhibition. That is why we chose to have this exhibition in a public place, as we wanted to reach people that we usually don’t reach with our facebook announcements, posters and brochures that we distributed. We heard many comments about the importance of having public events in a place visited by hundreds of people. We believe that this method was successful in reaching a wider target group.

Inspired by the photos, many questions were asked about both the project’s volunteers and the photos they have taken. Interesting discussions where raised about the similarities and differences and how Europe looks like in the eyes of people from different countries. An interesting photo that attracted many of the visitors was the photo of the strawberry, which was taken by Alia. The reasons why many people were interested of the photos is that it is a typical Swedish photo as many visitors described it. Another reason is that Alia was there which led to her talking about her photo and attracting people to her photo.  As you see in the photo above, Alia is talking to one the visitors about this photo.

Another interesting thing is the timing of the exhibition. We were there on the 8th of September, the day before the elections in Sweden. Many people were interested of the topic: ‘Integration’ as it is an important topic discussed by politicians.

The third exhibition of the project Crossed Paths of Europe prompted interesting discussions between the visitors and the team about the inclusiveness of the European identity. We were ,through this exhibition, able to reach a wider target group and start discussions with people  who usually aren’t interested of the subject. The exhibition, displaying similar yet different photos of people and places from different countries, widened people’s view on the European identity beyond the person’s background, physical appearance or accent. ‘We are more similar than we know’ is a conclusion that many of the attendees came to.  

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This event is part of FutureLab Europe’s Crossed Paths of Europe project.