The Knife to write music for Swedish anti-national 'cabaret'

Avant-electro act serve as a house band for a production, entitled Europa Europa, conceived by the Swedish art collective Ful

The Knife are writing music for a new “anti-national cabaret” called Europa Europa. The avant-garde act will serve as a “house band” for the production, which is conceived by the Swedish art collective Ful.

Europa Europa is scheduled to debut at Visby’s Almedalen park on 1 July and will tour outdoor stages throughout Sweden in the lead-up to the country’s September elections. All the performances will be free to the public, highlighting contemporary debates tackling migration and asylum policy, as well as Sweden and the European Union’s alleged human rights abuses.

“With cakes, contemporary cabaret music by the Knife, voguing, love, and admiration, Europa Europa celebrates the hundreds of thousands of people who, each year, defy cameras, dangerous water, barbed wire [and] police violence ... [to cross] Europe’s ... outer and inner boundaries,” reads a translation of the project’s official website. “We want to pay tribute to these [migrants] and criticise the real criminals - namely the border police, Frontex and EU governments, which constantly poses a threat to these heroes’ lives and safety.”

Ful - the Swedish word for “ugly” - is an artist collective based around queer, feminist and post-colonial theory. These are ideas that the Knife, too, have tried to manifest in their recent music. “Being brought up in a white wealthy family in a Western country, we were privileged,” Olof Dreijer told Pitchfork last year. “And we have a privileged position as people being able to make music and study and get asked about what we think about the general political situation. This brings responsibility ... It makes us think about how we can use this attention in the best political way.”

Before releasing their fourth album, 2013’s Shaking the Habitual, the Knife collaborated on a 2010 stage show with Hotel Pro Forma, Mt Sims and Planningtorock. Tomorrow, In A Year was an “electro-opera” inspired by Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of the Species. It visited London’s Barbican hall as part of an international tour.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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