AMERIKANARE : American car culture in Sweden

Posted by Dee-Ann On May - 15 - 20143,562 views


copyright by Gregor Schmatz

Gregor Schmatz is currently studying Photography at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland.

The project AMERIKANARE (meaning “an American” in Swedish, and is commonly used to refer to American cars) started in the summer 2012, when I travelled for a month around Sweden with Linnéa Lyckberg. She was doing research for her anthropology dissertation about the American car culture in Sweden. We visited festivals, car enthusiasts, car clubs, and car builders to get as many different perspectives and the most complete insight as possible. The American car culture is a huge phenomenon in Sweden. American cars are very hard to miss, in fact during an earlier road trip throughout Sweden, I came across so many American classic cars that I thought a festival was going on, but it was only a nice sunny Sunday! To put it in numbers, Sweden has the largest collection of classic cars outside of the USA and out  of Sweden’s population of 9 million people, about half a million are involved in the American car culture. The reasons for the popularity are numerous, this will be something that will be featured in the book. We are currently looking to find a suitable publisher. It is a fascinating outcome of history, culture and geography.
During the first trip I probably took too many pictures, trying to cover everything, as I wasn’t sure yet what I wanted out of the series when we started. This is also the reason I want to go back again this summer, as after countless hours of editing, I think I know what is still missing in the series and could approach the next trip in a more focused manner to do the work this series deserves.
Once I finish this project I want to do a book collaboration with Linnéa Lyckberg and organize exhibitions.
You can support my project and the future book HERE. You will get high quality prints in return!

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