Sweden to greet richness of immigration with culture, arts

Sweden to greet richness of immigration with culture, arts

Last-minute preparations are underway at the Swedish Embassy in Ankara to celebrate 50 years of migration from Turkey to the Nordic state with various cultural activities, which were kicked off with a classical music concert in Ankara.

Swedish Ambassador to Ankara Lars Wahlund will have guests from his homeland quite often during the rest of the year due to the cultural activities.

Wahlund’s residence hosted Semmy Stahlhammer, the first concertmaster of the Stockholm Royal Opera, earlier this week. On Jan. 21, Stahlhammer rehearsed in the brick villa on Cinnah Street, one of the capital city’s main roads, before the Jan. 22 celebration concert marking “the 50th Anniversary of Labor Migration from Turkey to Sweden.”

The concert by Hacettepe University Symphony Orchestra conducted by Naci Özgüç and featuring Stahlhammer will be a kind of “inauguration” of a series of cultural events to mark the strong long-standing cultural ties between Turkey and Sweden, Wahlund told the Hürriyet Daily News.

“The pièce de résistance of the events will be held on Sweden’s National Day with a performance by Ms. Katarina Dalayman,” Wahlund said, referring to the internationally acclaimed Swedish soprano.

A daughter of a Turkish engineer and a Swedish seamstress and born in Stockholm in 1963, Dalayman is widely defined as one of the world’s most sought-after dramatic sopranos.

“After terrible things happened in Paris and increased tension in Europe, it is also important to show the positive effects and possible things with migration, how it makes a society rich. Fifty years ago, Sweden was perhaps the most homogenous country [in Europe] together with Finland and Denmark. Now it is much more open and heterogeneous,” he said.

Among those events, screening of anthology movies will honor the memory of Tuncel Kurtiz, the late Turkish actor, director, and screenwriter. In the late 1950s, Kurtiz began his acting career as a stage actor in Istanbul and later in Sweden and Germany.

“Gül Hasan” (Hasan the Rose, 1979), Kurtiz’s directoral debut; “E5: Ölüm Yolu” (E5: Road to Death, 1978), a documentary by Kurtiz, and “Otobüs” (The Bus, 1974), directed by Tunç Okan and telling story of a group of illegal immigrants traveling from Turkey to Sweden, will be screened during the year.

Meanwhile, five plays by August Strindberg, (1849-1912), a Swedish playwright, novelist, and short-story writer, who combined psychology and naturalism in a new kind of European drama that evolved into expressionist drama, have already been translated into Turkish by the Swedish embassy. Translations have been handed over to Director-General Nejat Birecik of the State Theaters who pledged to put them on stage.