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Maciej Zaremba

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Swedish journalist of Polish origins, opinion writer, and translator (of the works of Zbigniew Herbert). After his graduation exam, together with his mother, grandmother and brothers, he emigrated to Sweden. He delivered parcels, was an orderly in a hospital, crane operator, and in this way learned the Swedish way of life and language. At university in Stockholm, he studied film history and the history of ideas. He began work as a journalist in 1981, writing reportages on the subject of the Solidarity movement. He returned to Poland during the period of martial law as a lorry driver. He then found himself in a group of people who were aiding the Polish democratic resistance (in 2005 he received the 25th Anniversary Medal of the Solidarity Movement). He currently works for the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter, where he writes about culture and politics. One of his most significant publications was his writing following the death of John Paul the Second. In 1997 in his book, De rena och de andra… (The Clean and Others…), he brought to light the issue of forced sterilization which was carried out by the Swedish government from 1935 to 1976 on thousands of “unfit” citizens, mainly homeless women, etc. The book created an explosive debate in the other Scandinavian countries, Switzerland, and the United States. In Poland, his most recent collection of reportages has been published, Polski hydraulik i inne opowieści ze Szwecji (The Polish Plumber and Other Stories from Sweden). His publications also include extraordinarily incisive essays on the mentalities of Swedes. For his writings he has received a multitude of awards, including the award of the Swedish Chamber of Attorneys, and the award of the Swedish Academy (the same organisation which confers the Nobel Prize for Literature). Zaremba’s wife, the Swedish author Agneta Pleijel, is also well-known in Poland.

During the 2nd Conrad Festival, Maciej Zaremba took part in the Thinking Live: What Must Not Be Said discussion with Przemysław Czapliński, Marcin Koszałka and Joanna Rajkowska. This year, he will be the guest of the meeting held at the Collegium Medicum of the Jagiellonian University hosted by Michał Olszewski.

Picture: Paul Hansen




Ministerstwo Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego
Co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage