LENA SUNDSTRÖM

 

"I write because I love to read.

 

I’ve never liked writing, as I find the process filled with anxiety. Yet once I’m finished, I like reading what I’ve written. The letters of the alphabet are like music notes: laid out in the right sequence, they can transport you into a different mood. You find words arranged in surprising ways. People you never would have come across. A transposition of the self.

 

I write books because, as a journalist, I’m more interested in what happens between news broadcasts than I am in the news itself. As a journalist, I’m slow. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s like running on one of those oval race tracks. If you take it really easy, you can actually end up first, just by standing still.

 

As a writer I’ve always been fascinated by ‛evil’—what we mean by it. Whom we accuse of it. That we are so quick to place it outside ourselves, and outside our own time. Outside the borders of our nation. Outside the ‛normal’ and the banal.

I’m fascinated by how we say: ‛This must never happen again.’ Again and again.

We open museums and commemorate events and talk about the intolerance, the injustices, the genocides. We argue against our better judgement when we say that this must never happen again. Because the only thing we can be sure of is that it always happens again. As a writer and journalist, those are the stories I want to inhabit. The stories that say something about our time. The things we have trouble seeing, because we are standing too close. The things that future generations will talk about, with the passing of time.

 

When I was a child, there was a 9-metre wall cleaving the West Bank in Palestine. When I was young, American soldiers stacked heaps of naked Iraqis in a place called Abu Ghraib. When I grew up, the United States had a president who admitted to approving waterboarding as an interrogation technique, used against people who had never had a trial.

 

This must never happen again."

 

Lena Sundström (b. 1972) is a writer and reporter, who currently works as a host on Kalla Fakta , an award-winning investigative journalism program on TV4.

 

AWARDS:

Augustpriset (Shortlisted) 2009

Guldspaden 2009

Publicistklubbens stora pris 2009

 

FOTO: AGNES CAVALLIN

BOOKS:

Traces (2013)

The happiest people in the world (2009)

 

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