Mapping the Making and Breaking of British Propaganda Infrastructures in Sweden during World War II

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During World War II, both Nazi Germany and the Allies invested heavily in propaganda in neutral Sweden. The battle for hearts and minds did not only involve widespread dissemination of propaganda, but Stockholm became a veritable hot-spot for espionage as well as intelligence gathering on enemies’ propaganda efforts (Gilmour 2010). Drawing on previously neglected material from the Civilian Security Service’s counter-espionage, as well as material from the British Ministry of War Information, this paper studies the media production of the British Legation in Stockholm and tracks the circulation of British film propaganda in Sweden during World War II.

Drawing on Swedish foreign policy, the National Board of Film Censors’ task was to assess whether imported films could harm Sweden’s relations to other nations, in which case the films should be banned or partially censored. While much previous research has focused on the propaganda films distributed in Swedish cinemas (Svensson 1976), little attention has been devoted to the clandestine film screenings that were organized by member clubs, friendship societies and other associations throughout the war. As Jussi Parikka notes, a media-archaeological tuned analysis shifts attention to “alternative histories, forgotten paths, and sidekicks of media history” (Parikka 2013: 167). Drawing on Parikka, this paper places the center of attention on moments of construction, innovation, failure and breakdown in the building of a propaganda infrastructure. This raises the following central research questions: How did the British Legation circulate British film propaganda in Sweden? And what happened when these infrastructures were challenged and resisted?
Period2022 mars 16 → …
EvenemangstitelMedia and Breakdown and Recovery
Typ av evenemangKonferens
PlatsLund, SverigeVisa på karta