Edition 2023


Contemporary Nordic Photography

Ikram Abdulkadir (1995), Jeannette Ehlers (1973), Fryd Frydendahl (1984), Bente Geving (1952), Hallgerður Hallgrímsdóttir (1984), Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff (1967), Heiða Helgadóttir (1975), Hilde Honerud (1977), Tuija Lindström (1950–2017), Monika Macdonald (1969), Hannah Modigh (1980), Eline Mugaas (1969), Raakel Kuukka (1955-2022) & Yeboyah (1996), Emma Sarpaniemi (1993), Lada Suomenrinne (1995) and Verena Winkelmann (1973).

Søsterskap highlights photographers’ strong role over several generations in the Nordic countries. The exhibition explores the welfare state from a perspective of intersectional feminism. Often referred to as ‘the Nordic model’, this system is characterized by a public sector that provides all citizens with social security and welfare services, including daycare and education, and has brought significant improvement to living and working conditions. Basic values underlying the model are openness, tolerance, and the conviction that all people are equal. “The welfare state is a woman’s best friend” is a feminist slogan.
The exhibition brings together photographers based in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Since the 1980s, we have witnessed many active photographers, whose works–based on different approaches from documentary to conceptual–reflect the socio-political context of the welfare state. The interplay between photography and this social democratic model is here seen as a key factor in defining the panorama of camerawork from the region.
The project makes this model visible while questioning certain aspects, harnessing photography to investigate the friction between the subjective, the collective and the political as it plays out within the welfare state. Family life, gender roles, labor, ethnicity, and colonialism are some of the topics discussed in Søsterskap, which also considers the darker sides of the welfare state based on exclusion and continuous economic growth that is accelerating the global ecological crisis.

Curators: Elina Heikka, Charlotte Præstegaard Schwartz, Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger, Æsa Sigurjónsdóttir, Nina Strand, Anna Tellgren and Susanne Østby Sæther.

With the support of Fondation Nordisk Kulturfond 

Publication: Søsterskap, Objektiv #27, 2023.

  • Institutional partners

    • République Française
    • Région Provence Alpes Côté d'Azur
    • Département des Bouches du Rhône
    • Arles
    • Le Centre des monuments nationaux est heureux de soutenir les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles en accueillant des expositions dans l’abbaye de Montmajour
  • Main partners

    • Fondation LUMA
    • BMW
    • SNCF
    • Kering
  • Media partners

    • Arte
    • Lci
    • Konbini
    • Le Point
    • Madame Figaro
    • France Culture