Little Rock Nine: Transforming American History Into Swedish Culture
April 11, 2023 6:30 PM
Little Rock Nine: Transforming American History Into Swedish Culture

The Little Rock Nine were the group of nine African-American students who attended a racially segregated school in Arkansas in 1957. Their enrolment helped spark the Civil Rights Movement and contributed to the desegregation of the school system throughout the United States. Despite the physical distance, this historical American event engages and inspires the Swedish cultural scene to this day.

Author and journalist Elisabeth Åsbrink, one of Sweden’s most prominent non-fiction writers, is currently writing a book about the Little Rock Nine in close collaboration with one of its nine members, Gloria Ray Karlmark, who has lived in Sweden since the 1960s. Meanwhile, Västmanlands Teater, a Swedish performing arts theatre, will soon show a stage performance by playwright Irena Kraus and scenographer Annika Bromberg about the nine students titled A Moment in Time, directed by Rebecca Örtman.

How do writers and theatres in Sweden engage with documents from the American Civil Rights Movement? What are they inspired by and how do they tell this story to a Swedish audience? Join us on April 11 for a conversation about transforming historical material into literature and performing art, and children's right to culture and education in Sweden and the United States today.  


Welcoming Remarks & Introduction

· Helene Larsson Pousette, Cultural Counselor, Embassy of Sweden

· Dr. Sandra Shannon, professor emerita of African American literature, Department of English, Howard University


Moderated Conversation

· Rebecca Örtman, director of A Moment in Time

· Elisabeth Åsbrink, author

· Dr. Beth Ferholt, associate professor, Department of Early Childhood and Art Education, Brooklyn College, City University of New York

· Masa Avramovic, researcher in children’s participation, Södertörn University in Stockholm

· Dr. Sandra Shannon (moderator)


Musical Performance & Reading of A Moment in Time

· Annika Bromberg, costume & set designer       

· Miriam Aïda, musician

· Ann Petrén, actor


The event is organized with the outreach partners Collaborative on Global Children's Issues and The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics.

Register here to attend