Swedish version: http://tiggerisomyrke.se


How do You Become a Successful Beggar in Sweden?
An inquiry into the images of begging and giving 2011 to 2016



by due permission of the Malmö Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts, Lund University, Sweden.

To be defended at Umeå Academy of Fine Arts, on14th November 2016 at 12-15


Faculty opponent

Professor Stefan Jonsson

The defense will begin with a public viewing of the five staged works in the web dissertation, the same day at 10-11.



The thesis: text and five art works will be published two weeks in advance, Lund University. All art works will be shown in a solo exhibition at Skellefteå Konsthall October 30 to January 22, 2017. See documentation of all exhibitions here.

See and listen to me talking about the research



My first encounter with a begging person led me to spend five years investigating the new situation regarding begging and giving in Sweden and to try to show how seemingly every-day actions and reactions to another person can be made visible aesthetically with an ethical underpinning. I investigate begging and giving in the sensual realm, in the urban landscape, in the media, and through other activities. The images always constitute the point of departure for the reasoning and for the staged works. Images that separate as well as connect bodies. Which images are at play in the social choreography of begging and giving? In this context, how can images be activated in new ways? How can new images be generated? Begging is a call to social interaction, and regardless of whether the giver interacts socially with the begging person on the street, the giver is implicated in the asymmetrical value systems of the European Union. In the first staged work I hire a professional market researcher to find out how a beggar in Sweden should behave to be successful. This becomes a film that I then show opposite another film in which begging people talk about how givers give. This is followed by a number of staged works and an interdisciplinary theoretical discussion involving, among others, Judith Butler, Sara Ahmed, Hannah Arendt, as well as a number of artistic works concerning how images – and bodily actions – are linked to the social image and the body politics. The situation on the street is a multidimensional experience. The arrangement of the choirs in the staged work The Chorus of Begging and The Chorus of Giving, indicates a space for social interaction and thus demonstrates a different order that demands different actions in terms of language, movement, and attitude toward each other. It’s a social choreography: when the participants practiced and sung together a political form emerged. The aesthetics create spaces for action between the begging and the giving that can be used for continued ethical negotiations and new staged works.




The five staged works that are part of the thesis

BORDER, 2:10 min, animation, 2011.

What Images Does the Giving Face? & What Images Does the Begging Face?  Film installation for a room, filmed 2011–2012, translated by Ioana Cojocariu and Maria Draghici, edited by Kristina Meiton.


The Places I, photo series, 2011–2016.

The Places II, photo series, 2014–2015.


Body on Street, an ongoing photo demonstration begun in 2014. In July 2016 it consisted of 58 photographs.


The Chorus of Begging and The Chorus of Giving, Film installation for a room, the version shown in the thesis is the one projected at street screenings, 2014.

On the Production of The Chorus of Begging and the Chorus of Giving, film about the production that is shown separately, in connection with the film installation, 2014.


Documentation of exhibitions can be found at: www.ceciliaparsberg.com.



Solo exhibitions with the five staged works

Skellefteå Konsthall, October, 2016 – January 2017.

Varbergs Konsthall, September – January, 2015.

Värnamo Kulturhus, September – October, 2015.

Väven, Reflektera Konsthall, Umeå, April – May, 2015.

Skövde Konsthall, March – June, 2015.


Group exhibitions, screenings, street screenings of individual staged works

What Images does the Giving face? & What Images does the Begging face?, Shiryaevo biennial, Samara, Russia

The Chorus of Begging and The Chorus of Giving, street screening, Värnamo, 2015.

The Chorus of Begging and The Chorus of Giving, street screening, Clandestino festival, Gothenburg, 2015.

The Chorus of Begging and The Chorus of Giving, on Spotify, 2015.
The Chorus of Begging and The Chorus of Giving, street screening, Slussen, Stockholm, 2014.
The Chorus of Begging and The Chorus of Giving
presented as an audio performance in ”Sunday Run-Up” at CCAP; Caprioli studios, 2014.

The Chorus of Begging and The Chorus of Giving, ”Motbilder”, curated by ICIA , Göteborg, 2014.

Body on Street, Re(s)on Art, Stockholm, 2014.

Body on Street, Tacit or Loud, Malmö, 2014.

Body on Street, Sveriges Konstföreningar, Umeå, 2014.

Body on Street, GIFF – Gothenburg Filmfestival, 2014.

How do you become a successful beggar in Sweden?, presentation of thesis project in progress, in conjunction with 50% doctoral seminar, World Culture Museum, Gothenburg, 2014.



Published articles relevant to the thesis project

Parsberg, Cecilia, ”Giveriet i den fria rörlighetens Europa”, Glänta No. 1, 2014.

Parsberg, Cecilia, ”Giving in free movement Europe”, transl. Sarah Clyne Sundberg, Eurozine.com, August 6, 2014. Accessed July 26, 2016, http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2014-08-06-parsberg-en.html.

Parsberg, Cecilia, ”Konsten kan skapa ett nytt handlingsutrymme”, Sydsvenska Dagbladet. November 28, 2014. Accessed May 2, 2016, www.sydsvenskan.se/kultur–nojen/cecilia-parsberg-konsten-kan-skapa-ett-nytt-handlingsutrymme.

Parsberg, Cecilia, ”Den nya utsattheten – om EU-migranter och tiggeri”, Socialmedicinsk tidskrift, Vol. 92, No. 3, 2015. www.socialmedicinsktidskrift.se.



Participation in Swedish media during the work on the thesis

Lund, Sandra, ”Mot ett kyligare samhälle”, Arbetet, February 19, 2016. Accessed June 19, 2016, www.arbetet.se/2016/02/19/mot-ett-kyligare-samhalle.

Föreningen för Samhällsplanering, PLAN, No. 5, 2015.

ZENIT, No. 46, 2015.

Egefur, Christian, Hallands Nyheter, October 3, 2015. Accessed June 19, 2016, http://www.hn.se/n%C3%B6je/konst/i-samspelet-mellan-tiggare-och-givare-1.1871374.

Leverin, Sara, ”Konstnär tigger om svar”, SVT Nyheter Halland, October 3, 2015. Accessed June 19, 2016, www.svt.se/nyheter/regionalt/halland/konstnar-tigger-om-svar.

Alkner Timner, Lina, ”Tiggare och givare ger ton”, Värnamo Nyheter, September 17, 2015. Accessed June 19, 2016, www.vn.se/article/tiggare-och-givare-ger-ton.

SR, Morgon i P4 Jönköping, August 20, 2015. (0:17 to 0:27). Accessed June 19, 2016, sverigesradio.se/sida/avsnitt/591215?programid=2260.

Manga, Edda, ”Cecilia Parsberg gör nattlig street-screening på Clandestino festival”, MyNewsDesk.com, May 27, 2015. Accessed June 19, 2016, www.mynewsdesk.com/se/pressreleases/cecilia-parsberg-goer-nattlig-street-screening-paa-clandestino-festival-1168021.

Manga, Edda, ”Dysturbance – Clandestino Talks program släpps ut!”, MyNewsDesk.com, May 11, 2015. Accessed June 19, 2016, www.mynewsdesk.com/se/pressreleases/dysturbance-programmet-foer-clandestino-talks-slaepps-ut-1159077.

Borg, Bo, Konstperspektiv, No 2, May 11, 2015. Accessed June 19, 2016, www.konstperspektiv.nu/nytt-nummer-den-15-maj-tema-filmbilder.

In Premiera, Antena 3. Interview for a ”Pierdut Paradis Ofer Recompensa”, a two-part Romanian documentary about the poor who travel to Sweden to beg. Part one, May 3, 2015. Accessed June 19, 2016, http://inpremiera.antena3.ro/reportaje/pierdut-paradis-ofer-recompensa-317.html. Part two, May 10, 2015. Accessed June 19, 2016, http://inpremiera.antena3.ro/reportaje/pierdut-paradis-ofer-recompensa-2-318.html.

My interview is archived on the thesis website. [DIREKTLÄNK HÄR]

Ernius, Anna, ”Om tiggeri och givande i enig panel”, Västgöta Bladet, May 7, 2015. Accessed June 19, 2016, www.skovdenyheter.se/artikel/322576/om-tiggeri-och-givande-i-enig-panel.

Bäckström, Hanna, Feministiskt Perspektiv, April 21, 2015. Accessed June 19, 2016, https://feministisktperspektiv.se/2015/04/21/konst-i-gapet-mellan-tiggande-och-givande.

Strömberg, Lillemor, ”Politik och känslor när konsten ger tiggandet röst”, P4 Västerbotten, Sveriges Radio, April 13, 2015. Accessed June 19, 2016, www.sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=109&artikel=6139863.

Strömberg, Lillemor, ”Hon ger tiggandet röst och vill öppna för samtal”, P4 Västerbotten, Sveriges Radio, April 11, 2015. Accessed June 19, 2016, www.sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=109&artikel=6137797.

Bernspång, Karin, ”Känsliga röster i het debatt”, Västerbottens-Kuriren, April 9, 2015. Accessed June 19, 2016, www.vk.se/plus/1422016/kansliga-roster-i-het-debatt.

Claesson, Per, ”Hur tigger man framgångsrikt?”, Skövde Nyheter, March 28, 2015. Accessed June 19, 2016. www.skovdenyheter.se/artikel/283968/hur-tigger-man-framgangsrikt.

Lundgren, Petra, ”Tiggare och givare på konsthallen”, Skaraborgs Allehanda, March 5, 2015. Accessed, June 19, 2016, www.sla.se/skovde/2015/03/05/tiggare-och-givare-pa-konsthallen.

Lillieström, Sten, ”Tiggare och givare i konstnärligt möte”, P4 Skaraborg, Sveriges Radio, March 5, 2015. Accessed June 19, 2016, www.sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=97&artikel=6109280.

Wemmenhed, Ulrik, ”Ny tidning försöker överbrygga maktobalans”, Feministiskt Perspektiv, December 19, 2014. Accessed June 19, 2016, www.feministisktperspektiv.se/2014/12/19/ny-tidning-forsoker-overbrygga-en-maktobalans/#c2151.

Rämgård, Stefan, ”Hon föreläste om tiggarnas situation”, Mora Tidning, November 17, 2014. Accessed June 19, 2016, www.dt.se/dalarna/mora/hon-forelaste-om-tiggarnas-situation.

Morgon, P4 Dalarna, Sveriges Radio (1:18:20 – 1:25:55), November 14, 2014. Accessed, June 19, 2016, www.sverigesradio.se/sida/avsnitt?programid=2813.

”Tiggandets kör i konstverk”, Kulturnyheterna, SVT, August 22, 2014. (Filmed report on the installation The Chorus of Begging and The Chorus of Giving.) www.svtplay.se/klipp/2264607/tiggandets-kor-i-konstverk.

Archived on thesis website: [DIREKTLÄNK HÄR] https://vimeo.com/108839080?

Haag, Lovisa, ”Givandets och tiggandets kör” Tendens, P1, Sveriges Radio, August 19, 2014. Accessed June 19, 2016, www.sverigesradio.se/sida/avsnitt/417601?programid=3381.

Kulturradion Special, ”Ungerska författare samt tiggarnas marknad”, P1 Kultur, P1, Sveriges Radio, August 3, 2014. Accessed July 26, 2016, www.sverigesradio.se/sida/avsnitt/407107?programid=767.

Bernspång, Karin, ”Synliggjord frustration”, Västerbottens-Kuriren, May 16, 2014. Accessed June 19, 2016, www.vk.se/1196038/synliggjord-frustration.
Meidell, Sara, ”I mötet på gatan börjar empatin”, Västerbottens-Kuriren, April 9, 2014. Accessed June 19, 2016, www.vk.se/1169196/i-motet-pa-gatan-borjar-empatin.

OBS, ”Vad säger tiggeridebatten om de som inte tigger?”, P1, Sveriges Radio, February 26, 2014. Accessed June 19, 2016,