Ethiopia in Swedish press during the Italo-Ethiopian conflict 1934-36
2015 (English)In: The State and the Study of Africa: African Studies Association 58th Annual Meeting, November 19-22. 2015, San Diego, California. / [ed] D. A. Masolo, Derek R. Peterson, 2015, 96-97 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
In 1935, Fascist Italy invaded independent Ethiopia, a member of the League of Nations. To a small and neutral country like Sweden, without a direct colonial heritage and largely isolated from the affairs of the colonized world, the war served as a touchstone for the quality of the League and received extensive attention in the press. It gave rise to great indignation in public opinion, further spurred by Swedish citizens’ half a century history of involvement in the Ethiopian modernizing project. Swedish sympathies for the Ethiopians developed to an extent which hitherto had not existed with regard to any other African or Asian people, long before the anti-colonial movements of the 1960s. The objective of the planned research project is to demonstrate that the Italo-Ethiopian conflict and identification with Ethiopia brought Sweden into a new, international and global community and thereby contributed to a self-image of Sweden as a modern and democratic society, as reflected in the formation of public opinion. This will be done by analysing the image of Swedish-Ethiopian relations in the press during the conflict. The present article is limited to giving an outline of a research proposal, seen against the backdrop of the massive popular manifestations in Sweden in the late summer of 1935, immediately before the outbreak of the war in October. The source material, the Swedish press, is remarkably rich and hitherto not used in research. Instead of a state-centred perspective, the article emphasises that the conflict animated a plurality of networks, contributing to the rise of an anti-colonial public opinion in the Swedish press. The conflict brought Sweden closer to world events and introduced to Swedish readers a debate about the colonial world order. At the same time there was an intensified production and reproduction of new knowledge: Ethiopia came much closer. In September, one month before the war broke out; Swedish cities saw some of the hitherto largest demonstrations in modern Swedish history against war, fascism and in support of Ethiopia.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. 96-97 p.
Research subject Culture, Identity and Representations
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:du-20408OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-20408DiVA: diva2:882718
African Studies Association 58th Annual Meeting, November 19-22. 2015, San Diego, California.