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Lunds konsthall presents portraits of 100 inspiring persons
Albert Wiking, Dalai Lama. We Have A Dream at Lunds onsthall. Photo: Albert Wiking.

LUND.- Come and meet more than 100 inspiring persons who have followed their dream! What encouraged them to do so, and how were they feeling as they did it? See their portraits and read the stories of Dalai Lama, Zara Larsson and many others. This project was started in Lund several years ago by two friends, equipped with a simple camera and a Hotmail address.

Having a dream is a strong motivation. The purpose of the exhibition and the book We Have a Dream is to inspire everyone to dare follow their dreams: big or small, now or later in life. Dreaming gives us power and courage.

Lunds konsthall now shows a selection from 114 portraits, taken all over the world between 2002 and 2016. Each portrait is accompanied by a story, and together they want us to realise that nothing is impossible. The exhibition is a document of our time, showing some of the most influential people in the world alongside youngsters and other ordinary people who really want to influence their immediate surroundings.

We Have a Dream is essentially a photography project, but one that goes beyond the portrait frames. The initiators – Albert Wiking, who took the portraits of the participants, and Oscar Edlund, who interviewed them – wished to make a contribution to a more liveable world by showcasing positive examples. A teeming network of contact persons, agents, managers and other gate-keepers have facilitated, or blocked, their countless attempts to gain access to Nobel Prize winners, royalty, activists, performers, artists, entrepreneurs and everyday fighters. Once the enquiry went through it could still take years to reach an agreement or book a meeting.

‘We and those we portrayed are convinced that art has a real potential to influence us, one person at the time. Our dream is that every viewer will relay the stories to others and become inspired to act. In order to make this happen I believe it was an advantage not to be backed up by any organisation, country or Prime Minister. This, I think, is something the participants found fascinating’, says Albert Wiking.

‘It has been a long journey. It took between four and seven year to secure Malala Yousafzai’s, Ai Wewei’s, Dalai Lama’s and Jane Goodall’s participation in this project. The common denominator for all participants is that they have a touching story to tell’, says Oscar Edlund.

Among those portrayed are members of the punk band Pussy Riot and the Chinese regime critic and artist Ai Weiwei – people who have stood up for democracy. This is also true about the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousfzai, who is fighting for girls’ right to education. Other participants include human rights judge Navi Pillay, musicians Annie Lennox, Quincy Jones, Patti Smith and Timbuktu, model and actress Ruby Rose, writers Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Yeonmi Park, as well as UN functionaries Anders Kompass and Jan Eliasson.

One of the first to be photographed was Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh. Her portrait was taken in Lund and the interview was scheduled to happen later. Soon afterwards she was brutally killed by a deranged assailant. She has, however, left her imprint on this exhibition.

Albert Wiking (1956), initiator, photographer and designer. He has authored a number of exhibitions and books, such as Eldvatten (‘Firewater’, 1998), about well-known and unknown people and their relation to alcohol. After premiering at Lunds konsthall it toured for several years and attracted more than a million visitors.

Oscar Edlund (1979), initiator, responsible for the interviews and for recruiting participants. He has previously worked for Swedish Television, His Majesty the King’s Foundation for Young Leaders and the Nobel Foundation. Wiking and Edlund have previously produced the book and exhibition Rtt – mellan krlek och revolution (‘Red: Between Love and Revolution’, 2001).

Daniel Rydn (1955), journalist with long experience of working for the regional daily newspaper Sydsvenska Dagbladet. He has written the texts for We Have a Dream and authored a number of books, for instance 101 historiska misstag (‘101 Historical Mistakes’), Historiens tyranner (‘Tyrants of History’) and En fiende p tallriken (‘An Enemy on the Plate’). Recipient of the Swedish Publicists’ Association’s award Guldpennan (‘The Golden Pen’) in 2003.

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