As a lot of you might know, I’m from Sweden – the land of IKEA, cinnamon buns and naked people. And growing up there, talking about gender and sex was encouraged, and of course helped shape my own ideas about feminism and sex.
Films like I Am Curious (1967) marked Sweden as a place where the sexual revolution had a place in cinema as well as in people’s beds. In an interview with David Frost, the famous (and later assassinated) politician Olof Palme said that of course pornography could be done in good taste, just like everything else. Years later, in 2009, came Dirty Diaries Mia Engberg, the series of feminist porn films that were even funded by the Swedish Government (to the horror of some foreign observers!), a triumph for the feminist porn genre.
But then, it got quiet again. From my home in Barcelona, I had the feeling that Sweden was now too scared to talk about explicit films. I was starting to worry that the conversation had stagnated for good, leaving little room for progress of the genre in Sweden.
That’s why I’m so happy to see that young women are fighting the fight back home, questioning the state of mainstream pornography and actively making the kind of films they would like to see themselves! Alicia Hansen and Zara Kjellner are making waves with their project New Level of Pornography. They’ve made their own film, “Female Fantasy” and they have gathered a bunch of sex-positive female led adult films for a screening tonight at Kulturhuset in Stockholm. They’re also showing my film “Eat With…Me“.
A still from “Female Fantasy”
This screening at Kulturhuset marks an exciting shift of attitudes in Sweden. Discussions are opening up and most importantly women are creating their own films and speaking up against the tired representations offered by the porn norm. I can’t wait to see what these bright young women will do in the future. Below, see what the girls have to say about the project.
Alicia Hansen and Zara Kjellner
- Alicia and Zara, can you tell the readers a bit about the project?
It all began with weekly dinners with our female friends. We discussed sex and gender and soon realized that female sexuality is a topic that we wanted to work with artistically, so we created New Level Of Pornography and invited other female artists to create own works, in terms of porn. We wrote a manifest to work from. Our main hope is that the project will inspire other women to work with porn and eventually change the male-dominated business.
- And what about your film, Female Fantasy?
Female Fantasy is a magical morning meeting, two people meet in a bus shelter, the sun is rising, the birds scream, they are tired, but still, who wants to be lonely when the morning comes? The film is feministic because the perspective lies with the female, this is her fantasy and her dream.
- I think your screening tonight is a great sign that women’s efforts to create their own sexual narratives porn are being taken more seriously – what do you think?
It is amazing how many people, especially women, have showed a great interest in the project. To us it’s important to change something from the inside, we wanted to contribute the porn-business with our idea of what porn can be. We hope that this movement will continue and grow stronger, because you have to be many to change something.