2012 vs. 2022 – A summary

Isn’t it peculiar how pictures that are only ten years old can feel like they were taken 70 years ago?

Photo: Elisabeth Ohlson, Expressen/M-Magasin, 2012.

Like this editorial in tabloid Expressen (but originally from Amelia Adamo’s M-Magasin). THE STATE COUNCILS. “Cool, stylish, smart and with an important message. You have never seen Sweden’s female ministers like this before.”
Ministers Lööf, Ask, Ohlsson and others, posing with snazzy outfits, styling and handbags, lying on sofas, placed next to signs with political messages about gender equality such as EQUAL PAY. MORE DADDY LEAVE MONTHS. STOP MEN’S VIOLENCE.
A perfect example of trivialization. For women, politics is mostly a fashion show?
Recently I noted for the first time the name of the photographer, and almost swallowed my wholesome 1950’s cigarette… Elisabeth Ohlson! One of Sweden’s most interesting, courageous, norm-critical (before the word even existed) artists.
I couldn’t resist calling Elisabeth Ohlson, who said:
– Those pictures are so damn funny. That’s the flip side of having to make a living as a photographer. I argued with the media, but that was how they wanted to portray these women. It shows how they thought of women back then. Good thing that’s going away!
I agree. We will probably never see photo reportage quite so trivializing again. Or as the magazine Swedish ladies’ feature “The princesses of politics”:

Swedish ladies mag, 2014. Photo: Charles Hammarsten

The only thing that comes close from recent years is Expressen’s “The Candidates”; a lineup of the Green Party’s candidates for new female spokesperson. The only trivializing thing about the (quite powerful) pictures is that the candidates were even gathered for such a photo shoot in the first place, but not the male candidates? Were the men too busy doing more important things?

Photo: Anna-Karin Nilsson, Expressen, 2020.

Elisabeth told me about another, new photo she has taken. Also for a magazine of Amelia Adamo.

Photo: Elisabeth Ohlson, Amelia, 2022.

A photo fo Magdalena Andersson, who gets to spread out over two armchairs with his shoes on, a “busy” look turned away and a slightly amused, self-confident smile. Then it hits me: This is how the newspapers want to portray and think about women in 2022.
And that pictures from 2012 feel like they are from a bygone, incomprehensible era is something positive. Because that means we have changed. ❤️‍🔥
That’s it for my election special! Thanks to all of you who analyzed with me! Now go vote, damn it!