In the past 30 years, during times of modern conflict and a mass diaspora of people fleeing violence and war, Sweden has far exceeded any other country in providing asylum for those seeking it. Peaks during the Balkans war and now responsive numbers from conflict in the Middle East has seen record statistics for individuals heading for Scandinavian shores. Nearly 25% of Sweden’s population is now foreign-born, but in a country proud of its reputation for diversity, the city of Malmö, in the country’s south, is witnessing a growing support of Sweden’s far-right political party (the Sweden Democrats) and their open anti-immigration policy.
This in part is due to the notoriety of a Malmö suburb known as Rosengård - a small section of the outer-city where tall apartment blocks are deposited with refugees from all the world’s recent conflict zones: Somalis, Iraqis, Iranians, Bosnians, Palestinians. Almost 100% of the suburb’s population are foreign-born. Rosengård’s disrepute amongst Swedes stems from the area’s recent history of violence and physical displays of frustration and images of burned-out cars and ghetto-like scenes in the media have perpetuated this reputation. But despite this notoriety, Rosengård is a place with a tight-knit and friendly community. Perhaps galvanised by their common displacement, a suburb of such cultural and linguistic diversity has been unified. Whilst frustrated by their tenuous link to an ostensibly alien landscape, people from Rosengård are resilient, they are surviving but most of all they are proud of Rosengård. Some even call it home.