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A dark imaginarium: The Bridge, Malmö and the making of a ‘non-existent’ place

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The article assesses the role of (hyper-)mediatized placemaking on the city of Malmö, Sweden, contextualizing the creation of an imaginary ‘southern Scandinavian city’ on top of a real urban zone with exceptional attributes and serious challenges. Paying close attention to Malmö’s image within and beyond Nordic Europe, I draw on three sets of artefacts to interrogate this phenomenon: (1) the visual and narrative content of the Swedish Danish television series The Bridge (2011–present), (2) tourism development strategies and tactics employed by the city of Malmö and (3) museological interpretations of the interplay between the conceived, lived and perceived spaces and places of Malmö. In doing so, this article seeks to advance and deepen of the discussion of screen tourism in influencing geographical imagination and place branding.
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Keywords: Malmö; The Bridge; geographical imagination; place branding; popular culture; screen tourism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Farmingdale State College

Publication date: September 1, 2017

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  • Cities have been increasingly at the forefront of debate in both humanities and social-science disciplines, but there has been relatively little dialogue across these disciplinary boundaries. Journals in social-science fields that use urban-studies methods to look at life in cities rarely explore the cultural aspects of urban life in any depth or delve into close readings of the representation of cities in individual cultural products. As a platform for interdisciplinary scholarship from any and all linguistic, cultural and geographical traditions, the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies prioritizes the urban phenomenon in order to better understand the culture(s) of cities.
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