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The Swedish Troll Factory

The Swedish Troll Factory makes visible the strategies and power interests behind a unique disinformation campaign and how it manipulates the democratic system.

The film uncover a massive disinformation campaign against the Swedish welfare model that started in the 1970s. The campaign is unique in the world in its strategic structure and extensive scope.

A small but powerful group that collectively owned the entire Swedish export industry began to see the Swedish welfare model as a roadblock to their financial interests.

Through a comprehensive mapping, it becomes visible how they started a spectacular disinformation campaign that for 50 years has distorted the official historical record about why the unique Swedish welfare model had to be dismantled.

But there were no official economic statistics to show that the Swedish model did not work. Instead, they produced false statistics that formed the basis for a completely new description of reality. The massive spread of disinformation about the Swedish economy led to an economic, ideological and political paradigm shift. New strategies and methods were used to manipulate citizens perception of reality.

The stated aim of the campaign was to make the democratic influence on politics irrelevant, that regardless of which political party wins the elections, the same economic policy would be pursued. Where the stated goal was also to get citizens to stop having expectations of politics.

All the problems we see today with a growing distrust of the political and democratic system, and scientific facts, can therefore be seen as a predictable consequence of this campaign and paradigm shift. It also gives us the background to when politics began to become meaningless, and more about creating mock debates and rhetorical plays in the media where, for example, scientific facts are no longer an obvious starting point.

The Swedish Troll Factory makes visible the strategies and power interests behind this unique disinformation campaign and how it manipulates the democratic system.

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Articles by Kybernein Institute

Kybernein Appendix

In this appendix you can find more information about The Campaign and The Swedish Troll Factory.

Download the appendix here

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Kybernein Institute at Konstfack Research Week

Institutionalizing Voices
Location: Zoom (Open to the public), 29 January 2021 – Find out how to join here
A discussion around artistic practices, think tanks, research and institutional behaviours in relation to the case of Kybernein Institute and The Campaign. With Nathalie Gabrielson, artist and director of Kybernein Institute, and Marti Manen, curator and director of Index Foundation as well as guests Pamela M. Lee, art historian and professor at Yale University, and Daniel Suhonen, director of the think tank Katalys.


Kybernein Institute at Index Foundation

The Campaign
Location: Public gathering at Index Foundation in Stockholm, 21 August 2020
Kybernein Institute presents the exhibition The Campaign during one evening at Index Foundation. The Campaign is a new investigation of how a network of think tanks led a hidden revolution in Sweden during the 70s and 80s which transformed the foundation of a unique social model.

Interview Pamela M. Lee
Spela video

Interview by Kybernein Institute

Think Tank Aesthetics

Interview with Pamela M. Lee Carnegie Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at Yale University.

Interview Daniel Suhonen
Spela video

Interview by Kybernein Institute

Performativity of Think Tanks

Interview with Daniel Suhonen, founder of the Swedish think tank Katalys.

Exhibition by Kybernein Insitute

The Campaign