A travelling exhibition co-produced by the Swedish Exhibition Agency, Forum for Living History and the Museum of World Culture.
The purpose of the exhibition is to raise the questions of peoples equal value, what we can learn from history and the importance of respecting human rights. Through participation and based on history, the exhibition raises awareness of how we are categorizing people today. The exhibition in general, and the workshop The suitcases in particular, engage the visitors by giving them tasks in the different sections of the exhibition. Every group of visitors get one (out of five) suitcase(s) and will use it to address the following themes:
Measurement and categorization – can you tell anything about people just by their looks?
Inheritance and environment – what do we inherit and what is based on environment?
Sterilization – the government vs the individual, who should decide?
Nazism – how the Nazis categorized people with dysfunctions during the 1930-40’s.
Experiments on humans – what has been done in the name of science?
All of the themes are used to discuss how we nowadays face current issues, i.e. prejudices, rights etc.
The young participants have to address difficult questions concerning human value and our recent history, which has not been done in Sweden before. In 1922, the world’s first institute for racial biology opened in Uppsala, Sweden. It meant that Sweden was at the forefront of eugenics research. What kind of society, science and politics made that possible? The five suitcases help the participants to understand history and values of the early and mid 20th century and make them face current issues.