A photoproject in Dalarna with women from all over the world.

Imagine for a moment that you have come to a place that you know nothing about. The only thing you know is that you do not know anyone there and that no one knows you. Slowly but surely, you take the first steps into the society that your are not familiar with together with people that you do not yet know. You may feel struck by a sense of invisibility when passing by others. People might think they know a lot about you from the place they assume that you come from, while you know they do not really know anything about you. That can make life a little bit difficult.

Who is allowed to call themselves a "kulla"?

I am a photographer who lives in Sweden and Dalarna. Six years ago, I came to Sweden to start a new life with the love of my life. We are happy and feel more and more fortunate and grateful for every day that passes. With all I had to appreciate during my time in Sweden, I have known the feeling of invisibility described earlier. A year ago, I began my work with an idea for a photo project that comes from my soul and my heart. The idea came to me after a train trip home to Dalarna after visiting my family in my other home country. I got into a conversation with a women on the train that told me that I would never be a "Dalkulla". "Why so?" I asked. She said: "Did you not know? You have to have lived for three generations in Dalarna to be allowed to call yourself a Dalkulla." This sparked curiosity in me. I started to do research and decided that I wanted to put a light on women and their stories and ask the question: "Who has the right to say that they are from Sweden and Dalarna, to say that they are an ”Dalkulla?”. ("Dalkulla" or just "kulla" is what we locally call women from Dalarna here in the county of Dalarna).

SVT- SWEDISH NATIONAL TV CHANNEL in Dalarna INTERVIEW ABOUT THE            PROJECT

English subtitles are available under video settings.

The history of the dalkulla

The history of the Dalkulla is special. There are different clothes in different towns in Dalarna that are traditionally associated with the "Dalkulla". Studies have revealed that women from Dalarna, called Dalkullor, migrated through the nordic countries and as far as Russia to work and earn money for the families back in Sweden. This was needed because of the poverty in the region during that period. These were strong women that provided for their families. Many years later other strong women have arrived to Sweden and Dalarna. They come from different parts of the world but as the "Dalkullor" from the past the all have their personal experiences, struggles and stories to tell.    

The Exhibition

From September 2016, and four months, my pictures are shown at an exhibition in the Dalarnas Museum. Dalarna Museum is the County Museum of Dalarna. It reflects the region's collective cultural heritage with its distinctive history, tradition and culture.

The book

The pictures that I have taken are of women that have a connection to Dalarna and backgrounds from different parts of the world and with different clothes. With them I have danced, laughed, talked and shed tears. Now I want to make a book with the photos. I want to create an opportunity to reflect more on the questions of identity and belonging that this project brings up and stop for a moment and think about what these women have to say. 

Nirvana signing the exhibition contract with Dalarnas museum
Nirvana signing the exhibition contract with Dalarnas museum

order

The book can be ordered via our webshop. The book is in three languages: Swedish, English and Farsi (persian).