Disparity tourism in Sweden
'Upper-class safaris' in the suburbs of Stockholm take participants between neighborhoods to highlight widening economic disparities.
Stockholm — • A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.
In Sweden, a group of disaffected young people is challenging the country’s image as an egalitarian, equal-opportunity society. How? By organizing “upper-class safaris,” which load class-conscious participants onto buses that take them from the center of Stockholm, the Swedish capital, to two of its eastern suburbs: Fisksätra, a working-class neighborhood, and Solsidan, a wealthy one.
The journey between the two suburbs takes five minutes, but, says tour organizer Martin Fredriksson, they are “worlds apart.”
The unconventional sightseeing trip is organized by Allt åt Alla (Everything for Everyone), an association that abides by the Marxist credo “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”
At the end of 2011, reports from Statistics Sweden and the Swedish Center for Business and Policy Studies highlighted widening economic disparities and showed that the correlation between family background and income has become more pronounced.
Allt åt Alla insists that such disparities must be understood as a class issue and that the safari tours could spark a serious discussion through a fun initiative.
But well-to-do residents of Solsidan may not be willing. They have objected to the invasion of their privacy and to being likened to animals.