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Salad Hilowle

In Stockholm-based artist and film maker Salad Hilowle’s commissioned film Sylwan, Astrid Lindgren’s famous story about Pippi Longstocking becomes a window to an overlooked side of Swedish history.

It is a story about the first documented Afro-Swedish actor Joe Sylwan, and his family of performers and actors, who was playing a minor part in the first and rarely screened 1949 film adaptation of Pippi. Later, Sylwan’s son, Ramon, played Starke Adolf [Strong Adolf] in the more well-known television version of Pippi from 1969, shown many times on Swedish Television. Starke Adolf works at the circus and is introduced as the strongest man in the world – any man who dares is invited to challenge him in wrestling. However, for Pippi, who is not a man but the strongest girl of all times, he is no match and she easily wrestles him down to the delight of the audience. In the visually seductive Sylwan an actor playing Joe Sylwan enters the stage of an eighteenth-century theatre and tells the true story of a racist attack, which became a much-publicized trial in Stockholm in 1932. 

Aspect ratio 1,78:1 (16:9)
Prod. format
Duration 00:14:25
Language Swedish
Color BW
Sound Stereo
Year 2022
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About the artist

Salad Hilowle

Salad Hilowle is a filmmaker and artist. His artistic practice revolves around identity, memories and place, His short film “Letter to Sweden” was shortlisted for Goldbaggenomination, and an honorary mention in Tempo Documentary Festival for best short film. The same film was also seen by more than 1 million on TV in 2017. In the same year, Hilowle made artistic decoration at the IFO house in Tierp. 2018

Salad Hilowle grew up in Gävle. He has studied film in Los Angeles at Glendale Community College. After that, he trained as a cultural producer at Linköping University and worked with film and TV productions in Oslo, among other places. His first short film Erinra (2015) was directed, edited, written and photographed by Hilowle during his studies at Konstfack. For his efforts, he was awarded the Filmstadens Kulturstipendium and one of Sweden’s largest scholarships from the Siblings Karin and Erik Engman’s scholarship fund. Hilowle’s second short film Letter to Sweden (2017) received a lot of attention in festival circles and was shown at film festivals around Europe. In 2018, he took his master’s degree in free art at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Hilowle’s cinematography challenges the general picture of what documentary photography is by constantly oscillating between video art and contemporary documentation. Something that distinguishes his two later works Waryaa (2018) and City No. 13 (2020). In 2020, he was awarded the Bernadotte Scholarship for his project Vanus Labor (2021) in making people of African origin visible in Swedish art history.