Tuesday, August 02, 2016

The early eighties

In the picture, I am four years old. The memory may be false but somehow I can remember the very moment when the picture was taken that summer day on the island of Brännö. Almost all my early memories of childhood are like that, bright and carefree. It was a time of plenitude and afternoons slowly fading in topaz light. Talking to a friend who grew up in the Soviet Union, she said very much the same things about her childhood. It is easy to think of these times as being innocent, as somehow sheltered from the stark realities of the present. Of course, in retrospect, one just has to remember the constant threat of nuclear annihilation, the war in Afghanistan or, to put it closer to home, the exclusionary logic of the Swedish welfare state, in order to realize that there were always contradictions and ambiguities. Yet, considering what came after, especially in Russia, it is not surprising if some people chose nostalgia over reason.

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