An American in Stockholm

I have just come back! Stockholm is amazing!

But let me start from the beginning. About a year ago The Husband was invited to present at Stockholm University. The topic – Empathy – was his specialty, and of course he said yes. I too said “But of course!” meaning that I was going too, and surprised him only a little.

Now, a year later, we are just back having spent 11 days in Stockholm. And what a tour that was! I will try to tell the story with my sketches.

SAS airline surprised us by being unusually on time! In the last 10 years I don’t remember anything starting or ending at the promised time where air travel was concerned! The second surprise was that the food was almost edible. Still, there were some peculiarities – strange raggedy curtains between classes (we of course flew the “chopped liver” class.)

This is Södertörn högskola – South Stockholm University – where The Husband was a keynote speaker. This giant amazing bazalt rock is the centerpiece of the campus. The conference “What is Empathy and what do we need it for?” was multidisciplinary, which means that, while it was overrun by philosophers, there were also psychiatrists, psychologists, psychoanalysts, people with the whole alphabet after their names and one artist.

The title of my husband’s talk was “A Heideggerian Approach to Empathy: Befindlichkeit is not Enough.” You can read it again, I’ll wait. But it would not make any more sense than the first time. The talk however was amusing and very entertaining, he made me laugh. I skipped the rest of the presentations (they spent three days convincing each other that empathy is important and we ought to have more of it.) Instead I went sketching, which was the whole point of going to Stockholm.

I have more sketches, but as I am learning any sketching expedition comes with after the show part: sketches have to be tagged, dated, locations cleared, text added where needed, pages cleaned, color corrected or added. Then all need to be scanned and filed. So I will be showing more sketches of Stockholm in subsequent posts until I run out sketches or out of patience, whichever comes first.

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9 Comments

  1. Reply
    Carol King August 26, 2012

    Wow, Sweden. Did you take the “girl with the dragon tattoo” tour also? Your husband has to be super smart to write a paper whose name is unpronounceable.
    Excellent sketches. Looking forward to more.

    • Reply
      Alex Zonis August 27, 2012

      Hi Carol, no, I didn’t know about such tours. I did not even read the book. Did you? Should I? Lou is too smart for his own good, and he knows it too, but can’t help it. It is not easy, LOL. Glad you like the sketches.

  2. Reply
    odilets August 27, 2012

    You sketched all those?? Are you serious??! That’s professional! I’m amazed!
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post! I loved it! I would love to visit Sweden one day!
    How were the Swedes?:)

    • Reply
      Alex Zonis August 27, 2012

      Thanks, odilets! Well, I am a professional, so it only makes sense to draw like one, would you say, LOL? Swedes are great, very warm and welcoming. Everyone speaks perfect English, they have the most beautiful children, and they allow dogs on public transportation! Very civilized and spiritually advanced country :). You should go!

      • Reply
        odilets August 27, 2012

        Thanks so much for replying!
        Yeah, your art work is so amazing! It’s beautiful!
        🙂 If they have beautiful children..then the adults must be pretty good looking as well 🙂 haha
        That’s awesome! I have 2 cats…maybe they’ll let me bring cats on buses haha
        Thank you again! That’s my dream right there:)
        Thanks for helping me!

  3. Reply
    Lou Agosta August 27, 2012

    Yep – That’s just the way it was. Beautiful city – built on 14 islands between lakes and the Baltic Sea, beautiful, welcoming people, and a great conference. Would go back at the drop of a hat. For further details on the conference itself and the work on empathy see the associated web site.

  4. Reply
    lesliepaints August 31, 2012

    The jet at O”Hare is fun. Clapping, What a cool sketchbook!

    • Reply
      Alex Zonis August 31, 2012

      Thank you, Leslie! Good to see you! I haven’t been blogging much lately and miss my blog friends. Hope all is well with you!

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