Raoul Wallenberg Memorial, Stockholm, August 2012

Happy Birthday, Raoul Wallenberg

Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish architect and diplomat who helped rescue tens of thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary during World War II, would have been 101 today. Some are taken from us much too soon.

Wallenbery was just 34 when he disappeared and was later reported to have died in a Soviet KGB prison on July 17, 1947. The memorial pictured above, taken last August, is in Stockholm’s Raoul Wallenbergs Torg, or Square.

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Muscular man petting boat. Door of the Handelsbanken, Stockholm, 16-Aug-2012

Seven Snaps from Stockholm: An Exercise in Speed, Pt II

Muscular man petting boat. Door of the Handelsbanken, Stockholm, 16-Aug-2012

Muscular man with tail petting boat. Door of the Handelsbanken, Stockholm, 16-Aug-2012

Like this quickie from Brussels a few months ago, this post about another European capital was, from start to finish, an exercise in speed. And again with my upcoming 14-month trip* in mind.

The working plan will be to post something daily, which oftentimes will require an extremely quick turnaround, or preparing some posts in advance. Logistics along the way might thwart that plan. So might posting burnout or fatigue. Nonetheless, that’s the plan I hope to stick to.

These were taken over the course of two days in Stockholm last August, a city I’ve grown quite fond of after several working visits over the the past decade. There’s no theme per se with this selection, just things that caught my eye during relatively quick strolls around the central part of the city. Seven are posted here, while 59 in all are on my flickr stream here.

*Ten (!) days to go!

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Non Violence, 1997, by Carl Fredrik Reutersward, Olympic Museum Park, Lausanne, 31-Aug-2008

Delicate

Non Violence, 1997, by Carl Fredrik Reutersward, Olympic Museum Park, Lausanne, 31-Aug-2008

Non Violence, 1997, by Carl Fredrik Reutersward, Olympic Museum Park, Lausanne, 31-Aug-2008

More sad but tragically uncommon news from the U.S. yesterday; this time 20 elementary school children were among the murdered. Most stunning to me is that I’m not more stunned.

This is Non Violence, a 1997 sculpture by Carl Fredrik Reutersward at the Olympic Museum Park in Lausanne. I first saw this in August 2008, about two years after seeing another version (below) near The Göteborg Museum of Art. This morning it was the only image that fits Delicate, this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge theme. Delicate to describe the ‘debate’ about the ease of accessibility to guns in the U.S. And delicate to describe the bruised egos of politicians who continue to cower to the increasingly mad demands of the NRA and other guns rights advocates.

There’s nothing left to be said about a debate that’s long overdue.

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Evert Taube statue, Stockholm

Discovering Evert Taube

Evert Taube statue, Stockholm

I had no idea who Evert Taube was when I discovered this statue in the smallish Järntorget square in Stockholm’s Gamla stan, or old town. Local musician or composer was my guess – he’s holding sheet music, is draped in a coat-as-cape and confidently lifting his sunglasses towards his beret. I liked that he’s not propped up and displayed on a pedestal, but rather standing at street level, as if he’s eyeing passers-by or on his way somewhere.

Evert Taube’s hand

It turns out that Taube, who died in 1976 at 85, was and remains one of Sweden’s most respected folk singers, a legendary traveler and sailer, and the author who penned the most well known Swedish language anti-Fascist poem. His song Änglamark, written for a popular 1971 Swedish cult film The Apple War, or Äppelkriget, was an early anthem for the environmental movement and is still widely performed today.

I spent the past hour searching for and listening to some of his songs. Check out Balladen om Gustav Blom, Byssan Lull, and my favorites on this relaxing misty night, two renditions of his composition Nocturne – an instrumental version performed by Julian Lloyd Webber and Sven Bertil Taube and a 1949 clip of a Taube performance.

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