Moderna översatte till Nan Goldin

När Moderna Muséet fick läsa skrivargruppens texter blev de så berörda att de ville översätta dem till engelska för att Nan Goldin och hennes team skulle kunna ta del av dem. Här är texten som skickades till Nan Goldin och hennes team samt till hennes galleri i New York:

Briefly about the magazine: Social Politik (SP) is published on the web. SP examines and debates the rapid societal transformation. The perspective from below goes without saying. Democracy, justice, solidarity, and equality are core values. The readers are people who work in social services and other related fields of activity and, of course, those whose lives and existence are affected by the Swedish social policy. SP has been published since 1994 by the non-profit, non-party, and union independent organization Socialpolitisk debatt.

The members of the creative writing group, Enough, have all left a life of addiction behind. They have visited and written about the exhibition on behalf of SP’s editor-in-chief (whom I invited to the press screening last autumn). These are their texts about the experience, translated from Swedish into English.

Original article in Swedish

“Thankful to be alive”

I do not go to museums. The few times I have done it, and the last time was a long time ago, I have been bored. Today, me and friends in a new creative writing group, all of whom have a past addiction, went to Moderna Museet in Stockholm to see Nan Goldin’s This Will Not End Well.

Nan has compiled still images into digital slideshows, but also cut together film sequences. After watching the first slideshow, Sisters, Saints and Sybils, I was speechless. The slideshow begins with photographs from Nan’s childhood and is a tribute to her older sister Barbara, who committed suicide at the age of eighteen. Here, images of self-harm, abuse, and death are shown, voices testifying to shame, anger, and pain, along with an amazing music selection, which only enhanced all the emotions. This slideshow would have been enough really, as an incredibly strong experience. I could have left the museum gripped and satisfied, albeit in pain.

Then we saw four slideshows as well as one- and three-channel videos that, although there were glimpses I appreciated, I choose not to write about. Finally, we saw the slideshow Memory Lost. After over thirty years of being drug free, I was thrown back into the anguish, pain, and sorrow of losing one’s soul to an addiction. The images, the voices, the music, the feeling throughout the slideshow made tears flow down my cheeks. I was immensely touched. Unfortunately, the museum closed before we could finish seeing Memory Lost. I will go back to experience this slideshow again, see it through. This, to remind me how grateful I am that I am alive and well today, against all odds. It could just as well have ended for me as for most of Nan’s friends and for my own old friends who rest in peace.


More voices about the exhibition:

Sisters opened up old wounds and stirred emotions that took me back to my own teenage years. The panic of being locked in with people who hold you down and treat you like you are crazy. The lack of love and affirmation. Being mistreated, feeling panic, not getting any air. Anger, hatred of the outside world, and a feeling of being completely misunderstood by the adult world. Powerlessness, insecurity, and hopelessness. Nan Goldin’s work shows that she is an incredibly brave and strong woman.


At first, I did not really understand the idea behind the exhibition which could make me feel anger for a short while. Many images also evoked strong feelings of reluctance and disgust. Then I understood the message and I really liked the exhibition. It made me think a lot afterwards.

Perhaps it is primarily aimed at people who have gone through their own addiction, and people who have found themselves in situations where they are exposed to the abuse and suffering of people close to them.

I have lived a similar life, I have experienced what was shown. I saw my own previous life, the way I used to live. Now I somehow understand my life and my choices in a new way. My choices, my life, no one else’s.


This Will Not End Well evoked very strong emotions and I was very touched. All of a sudden, I was crying, I remembered things from my own life in addiction. There were awesome images, awesome people, and great music. Taboo subjects such as addiction, mental suffering, homosexuals, transgender people, prostitutes—all of this is addressed in a beautiful, loving way.

The exhibition was true, real, and an extremely important exhibition about things that cannot be talked about, that are hidden and silenced.


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