Bibylon (2023)

Bibylon (2023)

A positive art response to political disobedience; a testimony of art’s essential place in society as an instigator of change and critical action for the benefit of the people.

Bibylon is a celebration of democracy, collaboration, education, culture and everyone’s future, namely the children of the world. A traveling, mobile library collection that demonstrates our international differences – different nations and cultures – and our shared and universal sameness – the care for our children’s education.

640 books (ages 6-16yrs) in 66 different languages, representing 45 countries.
All the books were donated by embassies in Sweden, books without borders (UA), De Nederlandse school, Pol Hoste and the Astrid Lindgren company.

Inspired by events in Sölvesborg’s municipality in 2019*, Bibylon invites us to reflect on connected issues that still spur ongoing debates in Sweden and the rest of the world, such as the connections between immigration and economy, the difference between language and culture, long-term societal perspectives versus short-term election rhetorics, research on integration and mother tongue education. Bibylon is a continuous balance between positive and negative perspectives that are unapologetically ignored by the children enjoying its beautiful stories, in their mother tongue.

Read all about the work on the mini-site:

press release 30.5.2023 (Swedish)
Swedish Radio 30.5.2023 (Swedish)
Tidningen Syre 8.6.2023 (Swedish)
Magasin K 27.6.2023 (Swedish)
Biblioteksbladet 11.10.2023 (Swedish)

* After a political shift in the 2018 elections, Sölvesborg was one of the first municipalities to come under the direction of the Swedish Democrats party, which drafted a 220-point program for the municipality opposing national recommendations and good practices such as stop buying public art in line with the recommendations of the national cultural policy goals, changing the rules around official flagposts’ use, resulting in no longer allowing rainbow flags on official flagposts, as well as requesting edits, in violation to the national library law, to the local library plan, resulting in no longer buying foreign language children’s books for the school libraries.

Images from the Bibylon sneak peek at the 9th World Summit on Art and Culture, Stockholm (3-5 May 2023) – image credit:Lies Lecompte
and from the offical inauguration at Weld, Stockholm (30th May 2023) – image credit: Weld production / Katya L.