…stub and fuse

/ Sara Lidman, Varje löv är ett öga (Every Leaf is an Eye)

The article on the other hand is stub and fuse.
You write it when the mass media depiction of a course of events has built up such a rage inside that you can’t find breathing-space to work on your novel
until you’ve handed in a protest

“Why am I not involved in changing the world?” Sara writes in her diary. Today we know that she was an active part of the public discourse for more than fifty years. 

Visits to Africa and Vietnam laid the foundation for her deep commitment to human rights. There Sara experienced war, apartheid and colonialism; the dreadful consequences that follow from not obeying and respecting the equal value of all people. 

Her engagement influenced public opinion. Most noticeably in the long debate around Vietnam. Also, in issues such as labor legislation and the environment. She debated tirelessly in articles and speeches. In town squares, workplaces, gyms, theaters, concert halls and university auditoriums. In radio studios and televised debates. For Sara there was no lectern too small or too big, whether it stood in Jörn or Umeå, in Lund or Stockholm, in Hanoi, Reykjavik or Toronto. 


A Call to cousins

Radio Hanoi 1965

“There was also an identity card with the picture of your missing comrade. At first I didn’t want to see it. But later, in the dim hope that he could give some explanation for his life and death in Viet Nam I looked at his photo – and saw a beautiful boy, born in 1944. He seemed so familiar, like I’d always known him – and I opened my eyes wide faced with his last name: it was Swedish.”

An Address

Writer’s attack Luleå 1982

”The forest, this masterpiece,
this never-ending, inscrutable tension between sun and earth. In front
of the anthill, next to the spring, in waiting for the capercaillie’s calls we get an inkling about how tumultuously splendid we ought to write to have the right to a single snag as writing paper and book cover. 

Yes, we are ashamed mr Erlander

Aftonbladet, 1967

“The question is very important: what 

in the eyes of the government is a bigger crime:
to bomb two cities or to smash 

twenty-five windowpanes?”

Read more speeches and articles by Sara Lidman in the exhibition’s library.

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