Norway vs. Germany 1-0

Sunday nights are what they are. Nights on Sundays. No big revelation there. This particular Sunday I'm really hung over. Last night was the press photographers club's party here in Stockholm. Good fun and also a decent lecture by the Norwegian photographer Marie Sjosvold. Interesting mixture between videos and stills, documentary and fiction.

Tomorrow is a new day, new week. Last week was not as good as I would've wanted to be. Yeah, not a language error, last week I wasn't on top of my game. That needs to change. So tomorrow is a new day. Here's a new, well old, photo. Elias Åkesson is a talented artist and great guy. I'm waiting for him to release a new album with his band Elias & the Wizzkids. This shot was taken in the stairwell at Tacheles in Berlin a few years ago. He lived there and I was visiting with my then girlfriend Ida. I've been to Berlin twice, both times have been interesting but sort of chaotic. Kind of like the city itself. I'd love to go back there soon.

So we have Norway and Germany. Both countries have had an election in recent times. Germany today, Norway almost two weeks ago. Germany just decided to re-elect Angela Merkel, Norway decided to keep their social democratic government. I'm more happy about the Norwegians' choice of leadership than the Germans'. But who am I to pass judgment over their choices?

©petter cohen


My life as a photographer is over.

At times when you look at the last job and you realize that you don't think one single frame is good, life just sucks! Today is one of those days. I know this sentiment doesn't last all that long but when I'm in this mood I just want to give my camera to charity and start waiting on tables again.

This photo is as blue as I feel. The guy on it isn't.
Göran Dahlström a.k.a. St. Göran is a great friend,
an amazing dj, wicked producer and he turned 25
earlier this year and his brother Jonas (also a sweet dj)
is turning 30 soon. Those two always cheers me up,
no matter if it's by putting on some sweet tunes or just
by being great guys. I'm looking forward to the party guys!


"Bandits with planes and Moors"

Our history - Your future

No Saab, it is NOT my future! Or maybe it is but in that case I did not want it. Perhaps you did? Perhaps is it your quest for economic gains that has led you so far astray that you can claim that I, the person sitting in the seat next to me, and anyone else would want our future to be controlled and threatened from above by stealth bombers. In this you are mistaken. But perhaps you are right. Perhaps my or our future will be a future where the sky and therefore the earth will be dominated by unseen aircrafts that are designed to carry death and destruction in its bomb bay. Most likely these will be unmanned drones thus distancing the perpetrators from the act even further than today. No, that should not be my future. That shouldn't be anyones future. But if this is a future that will be, it is through your making.

Shame on you!

"And one morning all that was burning,
one morning the bonfires
leapt out of the earth
devouring human beings-
and from then on fire,
gunpowder from then on,
and from then on blood.
Bandits with planes and Moors,
bandits with finger-rings and duchesses,
bandits with black frairs spattering blessings
came through the sky to kill children
and the blood of children ran through the streets
without fuss, like children's blood."

extract from Pablo Neruda's I'm explaining a few things

Another day, another train.

So I'm back on a train going to the south of Sweden. Had some amazing days, had some good comments made about the GMO-job, and something even more fantastic things happening. I might let you know, we'll see about that though.

A friend called me a few weeks ago asking me to take some photos of him. Obviously I agreed. Can't really seem to turn down my friends when they come asking for favours. I'm definitely a believer of what goes around comes around. So come on now, come around! And you do, as I said I've had amazing feedback coming my way so I'm quite thrilled. Now if I could only find a way to get rich...

Yeah, this is Erik Augustin Palm, I think his business card says writer/graphic designer/creative
genius or something like that. He's a nice bloke who's about to move first to Spain and then on to
his favourite city San Fransisco to do some heavy freelancing. No need to say good luck to you.
Just keep up the good work!


Should've, would've, could've

It's Saturday, I should've done plenty of things today but didn't. This means only one thing. I've got to do it tonight or tomorrow. And since I've got other things to do tomorrow I've got to do it tonight i.e. now.

I'm currently working my way through some shots for a friend and folk music artist Malin Foxdal. We spent a day and night up in our home town Falun and its surroundings to shoot some new images for her upcoming album. On it she'll be interpreting Gillian Welch's music in Swedish so check it out when it comes out. Obviously I'll post on it then. We went looking for the rural Sweden which isn't that hard in the region of Dalarna. And now I'm editing it all and I think it looks good. More to come on this issue later as I said.

So now I need to sit my ass down and keep on working those pics and also start planning for some interesting assignments for Fokus as well. It looks like I'm going down south next week for a small shoot in Malmö. Hopefully I'll be able to stay the night there to hook up with some friends as well.

Well, here are some more pages from the last few issues of Fokus:

The party leaders from the coalition government. From the left Fredrik Reinfeldt
(M), prime minister; Göran Hägglund (Kd), minister for health and social affairs;
Maud Olofsson (C), minister for enterprise and energy; and Jan Björklund (Fp),
minister for education.

The Swedish national scene a.k.a. Dramaten is trying to broaden their fan base. Probably
necessary if it wants an audience that is actually alive in a few years. Well, I guess it's not
that problematic but at least they're branching out.

This is how my first ever questionnaire turned out. Not the most exhilarating photo assign-
ment ever but definitely a challenge. Shoot portraits of people looking for a job at the un-
employment office. I wanted to do even more stylized portraits, get them in the exact same
spot. Well, that didn't work out so I started shooting them while being seated at the work-
stations instead. It turned out quite alright in print, I think. Not all pages are included here
but check out all photos at Fokus' website, click in the right hand corner where it says


The genes are f-cking everywhere!

The last few weeks me and the fabulous journalist Emma Härdmark have been working on this small reportage about why Swedes are afraid of GMOs. To tell you the truth I really wanted to find out because I'm afraid of GMOs. Well, maybe not afraid of the things themselves but rather I've got this really suspicious feeling towards companies like Monsanto who are among the biggest proponents. Why do I have these feelings? Well, it might be connected to their past. I mean, how does their track record look like? Agent Orange is just one of the things they unleashed upon mankind.

So I'm quite negatively composed towards large corporations doing the things they want to do. And it often feels like they do it to us. Maybe it's just paranoia but hey come on, they're just too bloody big and powerful not to get suspicious about them. What are their ulterior motives? Why does Monsanto want to own the patents on the genes? To make money, obviously. Non-democratic organizations like Monsanto who today owns something like 90% of the total patents within GMO (which sounds awfully like a monopoly position to me). That is scary, no matter what they or their opponents say, I find that scary. What power are we allowing one corporation to have? A non-democratic organization whose only motive is to make more money for their shareholders.

Except from that, I'm also a bit scared of the consequences of GMO. Can we know what the final results will be with our toying with the natural world? We've done it in so many ways for such a long time though so I guess this is just another way for us fine folks to stick it to mother earth again. Nevertheless, it seems like GMO is here to stay, apparently it's really hard for example to find any soy product that isn't in some way genetically modified/manipulated. So I don't really know what to do or say but voice my concern/indifference.

Anyway here is how the story looked in the paper:


Swine flu - whine flu.

Ok, to start with no disrespect to those who actually have got the new flu nor to the unfortunate ones who have died in it. But for me, the swine flu has turned into a whine flu. I've been a whiny shit today. I woke up this morning with a cough, sore throat, the snivels and so forth and thus decided to stay at home. Good choice on my part, not that I think I actually have got the swine flu but if I did it would be bad to be remembered as the intern who got the entire staff sick. Then of course the editorial staff of Fokus is fairly young so some of us are actually in that wonderful group of those most likely to die. Thus I could not only be remembered as the intern who got the editors and reporters sick but as the intern who got them killed. And who would want that on their conscience...not to speak of that diminishing the likelihood to get any future assignments.

So I stayed at home. But as a good intern I didn't stay idle in my bed. Instead I've been toiling away in front of the computer which could've been ok if not my computer also seem to have come down with a cold. It's as slow as I felt waking up this morning. I've even managed to clear some files from the hard drive but still not much seem to be happening. So now, instead of working away on the photos that needs to be delivered, I'm running through every bloody possibility to speed up my dear old companion.

Last fall I bought my first and only car so far. It was a lovely Lada from the last year of the Soviet union. I decided to give it all my love since I know crap about fixing cars. The idea was simple, name it, love it, sweat talk to it and so forth so it wouldn't break down. It worked. The car ran nicely during the entire fall. I did my final project for school with it, which was the reason to get the car in the first place, and did it really well. So being done with that I stopped giving Agniezka (which was the tender name I gave to my old Lada - don't ask me why it came to that name but it's all got something to do with the name of the model being just one letter short of Satmara, a rather foul word in Swedish, and from there on it got to Agniezka. My mind sometimes works in mysterious ways and I often try not to dig in the past afraid to find to many weird, stupid and worrisome and irrational thoughts) the TLC she deserved and she turned sour on me. One day she couldn't be started. So I came around to her this summer to give her what she had missed for almost half a year. The tender love and care I gave her paid off and she ran sweetly again. Thus I sold the bitch.

So what has this to do with my computer being slow? Well firstly I haven't given her a name. This will be my prio one. A name for the lady....and a name I found. Henceforth her name shall be Sofia. I've never had a girlfriend with that name, at least I think I never had one. Oh well, if it turns out that I did date that Sofia who I attended first to sixth grade with, sorry! No it's Sofia after that fairly dull east european capital. The rather boring city of Sofia, or София as it is known in its native Bulgarian, gave me a photo I really like. Therefore, the name of my old trustworthy (ok not so trustworthy for the time being) computer will be Sofia.

So here is some photos from my trip down to Bulgaria and beyond. These trips were the reason I first got into photojournalism and documentary photography. I love to travel and meet new people mainly because when I'm at home I seem to be a bit of a bore that have a hard time leaving my own neighborhood. But since I started photojournalism school I haven't been out traveling much. Or at least not much outside of Sweden. Well that's about to change I hope and soon I'm done with school and can go out into the world again. Lovely!

In an alley near by the women's market in central Sofia.