måndag, december 21, 2009

lördag, oktober 17, 2009

24 hours in Östersund

Just on the spur of the moment I managed to make a trip to "Republiken Jamtland" on my off day. At first I received an email that morning from SAS about the bargain deal they offered, then I called the hostel in Östersund and was told they had a free room for the night so I went straight to the airport after breakfast. Haven't been backpacking for years, it surprised me how uncomplicated the whole trip turned out to be. Perhaps I'm not very keen for planning in general, improvisation once again made my day.

The hostel was really cozy in a typical Nordic wood house. Plus, I was the only guest at my floor, so I felt quite at home. The hostel manager was a super nice Swedish lady who told me the local tales of Jämtland, including of course the monsters in the lake Storsjön. Later I took a promenade along the lake myself, not seeing anything unusual, though, only the lovely forests wrapped in a white mist. The atmosphere was really idyllic here.

If you visit Östersund one day, you shouldn't miss the moose farm at the outskirt of the city, which I only knew about after I left. Wish I could have stayed longer.

Jamtflaggan, the flag of Republic of Jamtland, by the side of the national flag of Kingdom of Norway, in Sweden!

onsdag, oktober 14, 2009

Amsterdam - Hamburg

Although my first-time ever visit to Amsterdam was brief, once I was there I almost instantly fell in love with the Dutch type - their laid-back, outgoing personalities most impressed me.

Without knowing beforehand anything about this city I had booked a hotel very close to Leidseplein. It turned out to be a good choice. The location was abuzz with vibrant nightlife. Pretty refreshing to pass through thongs of crowd down a street packed with different kinds of restaurants still remaining open at 1 am on a weekday.

Check out my online album:

When I reached Hamburg by train, it was exactly ten days before the German General Parliamentary Election. One curious find I encountered was this graffiti inscription that was seen left on a candidate ad for Guido Westerwelle, the leader of Free Democratic Party, Chancellor Angela Merkel's new governing partner. Not sure if it's because the liberal-leaning of the pro-business Free Democrats caused consternation among some die-hard German nationalists. "Stop Islam", that's what it reads in public near Hamburg Hauptbahnhof.

lördag, augusti 01, 2009


Eritreanska midsommarfirande i Husby, den omtalade "utanförskapsområden". Många reagerar på begreppet strukturell diskriminering men när jag var där, jag såg en annan sida av de marginaliserade som bor i miljonprogrammet.

Reportage Gallery

torsdag, juli 02, 2009

Where is my Iranian vote?

Anyone who has watched Nahid Persson Sarvestani's documentary "Drottningen och jag" from last year, a surprising tale of encounter between a communist girl and the Iranian exiled empress, would perhaps be less surprised to find both the Iranian communists and royalists coming together to demonstrate against the alleged vote rigging in Iran's current presidential election.

On June 23rd, hundreds of overseas supporters of Iran’s defeated presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi, many of them wearing masks, turned out in Stockholm to began an almost daily protest for Iranian democracy and press freedoms, culminating in the break-in and storming of the Iranian embassy in Stockholm several days later.

Some dissenting voices were also heard during the open demonstrations. While I was attending a rally at Sergel's Square, at its conclusion all of a sudden a few pro-government old guards started to yell at a young female protester, who, then, angrily retorted: "I'm not going to be shut up by you orthodox zealots!" Luckily with the police standing by, the argument didn't descend into violence.

I was asked why most of the slogans were exclusively in English, but how many of us could actually tell the difference of Farsi from Arabic just by looking at the written signs? There are other plausible reasons as well, or does it really matter?

onsdag, juni 10, 2009

My new baby

Thanks to the jerk who stole my D300 in downtown Stockholm the other day, I finally come back to tinker with films - not that bad, huh?

The good deal I found at tradera.se gave me a mint conditioned Contax G-1 plus Carl Zeiss Planar T* 45mm f2, costing less than 3,000 SEK in total. I wished it was a G2, but I actually liked the older version more, which felt more right in the hand, a great back-to-basics I should add. The Zeiss planar is said to the sharpest 35mm lens ever made, but nay, more relevant for me is its "normal" focal length I'd like to accustom my eyes to.

Last evening I shot my first Tri-X roll, how neat! Mastering the rangefinder focus is a wild guessing game, though. I assume I missed roughly 50% of all the exposures. An alright start.

That's what happens when you lose motivation or ambition, feel stuck or slow forward - just unlock the shutter and press on.

Although, a dream camera like this one still my heart pause!
Leica I Schraubgewinde (Modell A, 1930)

lördag, mars 14, 2009

Navigator of the Seas

Stockholm with its natural harbors and access to the Baltic Sea has naturally seen many visitors coming here by waterways. The biggest, as far as I know, must be MS Navigator of the Seas, ranked among the largest passenger cruise ships in the world. She's really HUGE, I remember in 2007, when she was about to arrive here, the Port of Stockholm made a special arrangement just to make sure she's fine to dock here.

Another memorable visitor was Götheborg, a replica of the historic vessel bearing the same name from the eighteenth century, coming to Stockholm in 2008. One year before Götheborg just returned to Sweden after its much celebrated 20-month voyage to China. You could see her in the background of this picture, with the sails visible.

tisdag, februari 24, 2009

Chopping Women

"Women over 50 who chop and stack 20 cubic metres of wood, throw axes and make waffles."

Dorte Olesen’s installation 'Women Chopping Wood'.
Sergels torg, Stockholm, December, 2007