The two cultural debates of the autumn, about Lars Vilks and Maja Lundgren, indirectly communicate something about a cultural climate in which breaking the norms and conventions is regularly praised, but only as long as there is no clearly defined target group of individuals who are actually provoked. The two really hot cultural debates of the autumn are united in that they both expose the hypocrisy inherent in some areas of Swedish cultural journalism. It is enough to go through our biggest morning papers for a couple of weeks to see how involuntarily words like “provoke” and “challenge” are used with the intention of defining positive qualities within the most varied artistic forms of expression—from our most popular glass designers through jeans fashion to serious art.
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