Bengt Bok

The Anonymous – A Documentary Memory and Transformation Project

De anonyma (The Anonymous) is a research project on memory and transformation that is divided into three parts: a book, a audio work, and a film. Over the past twenty years, Bengt Bok has returned several times to a former Nazi concentration camp north of Berlin. The first time he visited the site, he was shocked by the former death camp’s immediate proximity to a surrounding village. A community. Not only today but when the camp was still in use by the Nazis. How could people carry on living so nearby? He subsequently transformed the memories of his personal encounters, experiences and observations both in the camp and in the village into a book, which he, in turn, transformed into a sound work and, finally, into a film. In this exposition, Bok explores what became specific to, and distinctive about, each of the three different expressions or works — in other words, which narrative components remained, which disappeared, and which were added.


Bengt Bok is a documentary filmmaker, radio journalist, and professor at the Stockholm University of the Arts. Amongst other things, he authored the radio documentaries Requiem från en kyrkogård (Requiem from a Cemetery) and Inferno. He is also the filmmaker behind Hemkomsten (The Homecoming), Zigenarhövdingens son (The Gypsy Chief’s Son), En film om när män badar (A Film about Men Bathing), I det vita rummet (In the White Room), and Herr och fru konst (Mr and Mrs Art). His earlier written works, all published by Carlsson Bokförlag, include Möte med den andre (Meeting with the Other) (2008), a book on documentary and journalistic interviews, Den dokumentära dramaturgin (Documentary Dramaturgy) (2013), a book on documentary storytelling, and Inferno (2017), a documentary narrative. Bok has received numerous Swedish and international nominations, awards and prizes, including an Ikaros Prize from Sveriges Radio, a Prix Europa award, and Stora Radiopriset from Sweden’s Radio Academy. In 2015, he received the international Featured Global Expert of the Year award for journalists and documentary film directors; and in 2020, the Swedish Writers’ Union awarded him with its Radio Prize.