Out of Scandinavia

Artist-in-Residence Program

Our 2021 Out of Scandinavia Artist in Residence is Swedish author and filmmaker Lawen Mohtadi, who is an active influencer in social and cultural journalism in Scandinavia. Her best-known work is her acclaimed 2012 biography of the Roma civil rights legend and beloved Swedish children’s author Katarina Taikon (1932-1995), which Mohtadi adapted into a documentary film, Taikon: The Untold Story of a Roma Freedom Fighter, in 2015. An English translation of Mohtadi’s biography, along with a translated selection of Taikon’s famous children’s stories featuring a Romani girl protagonist named Katitzi, was published in 2019 by Sternberg Press (distributed by MIT Press) under the title The Day I Am Free / Katitzi. Copies of this book are available for purchase at The Book Mark.

Mohtadi will join us in person for a full week of programming during OUT OF SCANDINAVIA WEEK, from Friday October 15-Thursday October 21, 2021. (Her visit has been rescheduled from March 2020, when the pandemic forced its postponement.) Honoring the intention of the annual OOS Artist in Residence Program, Mohtadi’s visit will focus on working and interacting with students in the Department of Scandinavian Studies and across campus. While here she will visit courses in many departments, including SCA-100, “Scandinavian Life and Culture”; FTS-100-193 “Childhood in Nordic Folk & Fairy Tales”; ENG-126 “Introduction to U.S. Ethnic Literature”; EDU-363 “Communications Arts and Literary Methods”; and HIS-330 “Immigration in U.S. History.” Mohtadi will also engage with the writing tutors in Gustavus’s Writing Center and join students for meals and receptions during her stay.

In addition to her class visits, Mohtadi will offer a public film screening of her documentary film Taikon: The Untold Story of a Roma Freedom Fighter at 5:30 p.m. Monday Oct. 18 in Alumni Hall, followed by a 7 p.m. lecture and Q & A. This event also will be live-streamed. On Saturday, Oct. 16, Mohtadi will participate in an inter-generational “Meet the Author” event at the St. Peter Public Library at 10:15 a.m., when she will talk about Katarina Taikon and read aloud from an English translation of one of her “Katitzi” children’s stories. The day before coming to Gustavus, Mohtadi will give a film screening and lecture at 6:30 p.m. Thursday Oct. 14 at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. All of these events are free and open to the public, and copies of Mohtadi’s book The Day I Am Free / Katitzi will be available for purchase and signing by the author.

The Gustavus Out of Scandinavia Artist-in-Residence Program is proudly supported by the Marguerite Olson Pratt Out of Scandinavia Artist-in-Residence Program Endowment Fund established by Charlotte (Pratt) '86 and Henrik '88 Nordstrom of Minneapolis, Minnesota in honor of Charlotte's late mother Marguerite, member of the Gustavus Class of 1953, life-long educator, and avid promoter of all things Nordic.

For more information about this year’s OUT OF SCANDINAVIA WEEK, please contact visit coordinator Ursula Lindqvist, Associate Professor of Scandinavian Studies and Director of Comparative Literature at Gustavus, at ulindqvi@gustavus.edu.