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Researchers follows the play of Liv Strömquist

Published: 8 March 2017

On the International Women's Day, Norrbottensteatern and Luleå University of Technology organised a seminar related to the acclaimed show "Liv Strömquist thinks of you”. It was the start of a research collaboration that will continue throughout the spring.

– Liv Strömquist invites us to reflect on what is called love, heterosexual togetherness and how it’s intertwined with issues of power and inequality. She does it through Whitney Houston, Jackson Pollock, Elvis Presley and other characters from the popular culture, says Kristina Johansson, researcher in gender and technology at Luleå University of Technology.

Greater impact on the gender issue

The evaluation that Kristina Johansson leads extends over the entire period of play and deals with the gender perspective on stage and the integration in the operation of Norrbottensteatern.

– The characters are used as a mirror and talk to you and me. I will serve as a gender scientific support to the audience by engaging in conversation, write a reflection included in the program and do an analysis of learning during the time the performance, she says.

With the help of the university Norrbottensteatern wants to deepen the impact of the performances, both in their organisation, but also with the audience. The play provides an opportunity to discuss gender equality says Elisabeth Lax, director of Norrbottensteatern.

– The gender issue is important and we can provide a good platform for conversation, especially in connection with the spring program that have a particular focus on women, now in the play "Liv Strömquist thinks of you”, she says.

A hopeful counter movement

Kristina Johansson have already given input to the ensemble and participated in rehearsals. On the International Women's Day, the researchers meet actors and audience to discuss issues of women and men, performing arts, and gender equality in Norrbotten.


– It is easy to become discouraged and get a negative feeling of the future when the polarisation in society is increasing and the social climate is getting tougher. But there is also a counter-movement, says Kristina Johansson.

She believes that this show and the cooperation between the university and Norrbottensteatern is a good example of that.

­– It is hopeful that we increasingly examine the image of heterosexual love and companionship from a power perspective. They are not new issues, but the humorous approach of this show makes the discussion available to a wider audience, she says.