The exhibition room at county museum Upplandsmuseet was filled with visitors when The whole world’s on fire! opened on Friday. Based on Astrid Lindgren’s diaries 1939-45, the exhibition put forward current issues such as Where does evil come from? How do we learn from history?
Speeches were given by Anneli Karlsson, exhibition curator at cultural centre Astrid Lindgren’s Näs and producer Annmari Kastrup among others, and Karin Nyman, Astrid Lindgren’s daughter, inaugurated the exhibition. Karin Nyman has been involved in the release of the War Diaries and transcribed Astrid Lindgren’s handwritten notes from the 17 oilcloth booklets.
Astrid Lindgren started writing a diary with the outbreak of the World War II. She was then living with her husband and two children in Stockholm. As yet she wasn’t a celebrated authoress. Her work describing the horrors of war in her diaries 1939–45 laid the foundation for her powerful civil courage and roll as opinion leader later in life. The so called War Diaries were published by Salikon Agency last year.
The exhibition also takes Astrid Lindgren’s values into our own time. Current social topics such as xenophobia, nationalism and individual’s responsibility are highlighted and discussed in an interactive form. Huge room is given to stories and testimonials from people who have come to Sweden because of the war. Their stories create, along with Astrid Lindgren’s diaries, a harrowing picture of how war and violence affect the individual.
Upplandsmuseet has complemented the exhibition with sort strikes in wartime Uppsala showing future trends before World War II and how Jewish children and refugees from heighboring countries were given sanctuary in Uppsala.