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Swedish Colonialism, Exotic Africans and Romantic Anti-Capitalism: Notes on the Comic Series Johan Vilde
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Adult Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2387-1883
2016 (English)In: Third Text, ISSN 0952-8822, E-ISSN 1475-5297, Vol. 30, no 1-2, p. 60-75Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The award-winning Johan Vilde comic series deals with what has been referred to as a concealed part of Swedish history – namely Sweden’s involvement in the slave trade during the seventeenth century. The protagonist is a cabin boy on a Swedish merchant ship who is forced to escape after being accused of mutiny. After jumping ship, he floats ashore in Cabo Corso – located in modern-day Ghana – where he is eventually adopted by a local clan and grows up in an African kingdom. From there, he will go on to witness the harshness and brutality of the slave trade with his own eyes. Comprising four albums published between 1977 and 1982, the comic aligns itself with, and is a prime popular cultural example of, what can be classified in broad terms as a wave of international solidarity movements in Sweden. What this essay discusses is how the anti-colonial and anti-capitalist underpinnings of the Johan Vilde series rekindle a much older Romanticist position. This essay will argue that this well-intended ethically dimension of attempting to subvert the imperially established border between civilisation and where the wild things roam also relies on a position produced by colonial discourse. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 30, no 1-2, p. 60-75
Keywords [en]
johan vilde; anticapitalism; swedish colonialism; romanticism; slavery; comic; exoticism; new left; captivity; postcolonialism; racism; janne lundström
National Category
Humanities and the Arts Specific Literatures Cultural Studies History and Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-141012DOI: 10.1080/09528822.2016.1251753OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-141012DiVA, id: diva2:1142898
Available from: 2017-09-20 Created: 2017-09-20 Last updated: 2017-10-05

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CiteExportLink to record
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Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf