On the last day of this month, I’ll be partaking in a concert for diversity and equality at Katarina Kyrkan, a beautiful church on the South side of Stockholm, Södermalm. The church is part of Katarina Församlingen which includes Allhelgonakyrkan, Sweden’s most highly-attended church. When I was there the first time, I was struck by how many non-Christians were in attendance, including Jews, atheists, plus many recovering alcoholics (some Christian, some not). The priest himself is a recovering alcoholic and a big Dylan freak, which only goes to show you…not sure, but it’s a cool congregation!
I’m excited to be taking part of this concert. Partly since I haven’t played since February, but also because it feels at least symbolically like a really important event. There will be many excellent and some better-known artists, such as Swedish-Iranian rapper Behrang Miri, who I met at shul once(!)
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/736500293058011/
The concert is called Sida vid Sida, meaning “side by side” which can be interpreted in various ways; right now in Sweden, and really all over Europe and in the world, there seems to be an increase in intolerance…it’s always hard to make general statements like that, but I can say that the generally accepted feeling here is that there’s a lot of negative energy going around. This concert is an attempt to give a dose of positivity to the climate here, less than two months away from the general elections where voters will have a chance to choose a new (or old) government!
Sida vid sida is also a line from an old “progg” song (check out this link about the Swedish genre, progg: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progg), Staten och Kapitalet, which was later turned into a really heavy punk song by the legendary and mystical Joakim Thåström of Ebba Grön. There, sida vid sida refers to the state and the banks working side by side to basically f- over the people…once again, a blanket statement!