In this Swedish culture special, we’ve profiled 13 of the country’s forerunning institutions whose unmissable programmes for 2023 will enthral tourists and locals alike. Spanning the Vikings, naval history, heritage textiles, modernist furniture, mind-bending paradoxes and far more, the events and exhibitions slated to launch this year have cemented Sweden as one of the most exciting countries in Europe in which to immerse yourself in the arts.

Both Sweden’s capital and its second city are celebrating big birthdays this year. Gothenburg is turning 400 years old and will recognise it with a culture festival in June, while the renowned Nordiska Museet in Stockholm is turning 150, and putting on a smorgasbord of arts events in the coming months. This backdrop of cultural jubilees also provides a fantastic opportunity to discover the smaller – but no less pioneering – museums and galleries around the country. In these interviews with curators, founders and historical experts from institutions large and small, we take you behind the curtain of Sweden’s exhilarating cultural sector.


Sweden’s commitment to artistic freedom

Page 58. Photo: Kjell Renblad

In 2023, the Swedish Arts Council will host the ninth World Summit on Arts and Culture together with the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA). This much-anticipated latest edition of the renowned event will see government representatives, cultural policymakers, researchers and artists come together to discuss how to safeguard artistic freedom.

The term may sound nebulous, but artistic freedom entails concrete rights recognised and protected under international law. UNESCO defines it as ‘the freedom to imagine, create and distribute diverse cultural expressions free of governmental censorship, political interference or the pressure of non-state actors’.

That the Swedish Arts Council is co-producing the summit this year is a significant accolade, and the IFACCA praised the Swedish Arts Council for its “longstanding commitment to artistic freedom”. It’s praise, not only for the organisation, but for the entire country whose national drive to support the cultural sphere, at home and abroad, has made it a leader in the global fight for artistic freedom.

The World Summit on Arts and Culture will take place in Stockholm, from 3-5 May 2023.

Sweden’s commitment to artistic freedom

Page 68. Photo: Åke E:son Lindman

Learn more about the Swedish Arts Council’s work:

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