Hanna Wildow, born 1983, lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. In her artistic practice, she explores language, body and spatiality. With a desire for interspaces, breakages and gaps; she searches for warped spaces and errant narratives. She got her MFA from Konstfack University College of Arts Crafts and Design in 2015. Since then, her work has taken place in hangmenProjects, AHRA International Conference, Stockholm University of Dance and Circus, ccap Stockholm, ArkDes Stockholm, Participant Inc. New York, London Biennale MANILA Pollination, Charles James Gallery Los Angeles and Human Resources Los Angeles. She has self-published two online-archives, has been published in publications such as Haunt Journal of Art and Kritiker, and has received various scholarships, grants and residencies. Hanna Wildow also works as a teacher in Swedish as a second language, primarily to newly arrived teenagers.


lyrical text (in English) / lyyrinen teksti (englanniksi)

An excerpt from a poetic investigation of relations and lingustics on the border.

It will be all right
someone says
        but it won’t
It wasn’t even a problem for me to begin with
and for whom it was
it will not be all right


I’m wearing a black short skirt when I meet up with A outside the subway station and she is wearing golden sandals with heels and pearls. She got them when she turned 18 from her legal guardian who no longer is allowed to be her legal guardian. We eat dinner in a restaurant that serves food from her country
        and she tells me how to cook it
        and she tells me what she did on her birthday
        and we toast to her 18th birthday
A day I longed for my entire adolescence
A day she has feared since she arrived to Sweden
Halfway through the dinner I tell her my idea
        I want to make an artwork with you
        tell your story
        Would you like that?
She answers
        Everyone wants to hear my story
        first the Swedish migration board
        then the social services
        then the immigration reception center
        then the lawyer
        then the migration board again
        soon the migration court
again and again
over and over
state all that has happened detail by detail
most preferably the things you don’t want to or can’t remember
put none of the past behind you
your past is your life sentence
forget your childhood forget repression of memory
but do not forget to tell
over and over again
what happened
how it happened
when it happened

I read somewhere that trauma from war eats itself into the flesh of mothers, passes through the uterus from one generation to another to a third grandchild.
And I think of my mother who spent summer breaks on orphanages when her mother went in and out of hospitals for the body and hospitals for the head before she eventually died from what is called

    an enlarged heart

And I think of the strangeness in a heart growing too large and I think of two world wars and two falling husbands and one seek for refuge eating themselves into her flesh all the way to her heart which grew and grew and grew until neither that nor anything else could grow anymore and I think of what the world would look like if we eventually become an army of girls with traumas from our mothers and their mothers in our dna.

I know that this pain is not mine but
I don’t know what to do with the fact that it hurts so much

Time passes and passes and I want to hide us within it. To somewhere it passes but I don’t want to know whereto because this shall not pass. I want us to remain and for it to remain with us
        farthest in the back
        alongside the time
Times passes and passes and by every step it shrinks. Waiting is coded into the cells
is torturous and yet
        maybe the only simile of safety we still have left.
Later holds no resorts only deportations
        wait with me
        until nothing passes