Kent G R Olofsson, Jörgen Dahlqvist

Death to the Welfare State: An Exposition on Political Discourse and Artistic Collaboration

Död åt välfärdsstaten (Death to the Welfare State) was a theatre performance for actors, dancers, and musicians that dealt with a concern that the welfare system in Sweden was about to be dismantled. To explore this worry political speeches were superimposed with a narrative inspired by George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm to examine how perceptions of welfare in Sweden have changed from the early 1900s to the present. This artistic research exposition elaborates on the process of developing the theatre piece. It unpacks how the relation between discourse and narrative informed the text and music, and how it allowed for a dramaturgical structure that included all the various performative elements and artistic expressions. Furthermore, the exposition discusses how the performance was composed through a collaboration that was characterised by an open-ended dialogue between the artists and how this enabled distributed decision making, as well as artists performing in other ways than they are used to. The exposition explores the open format of Research Catalogue. Through text and video documentation it builds on the dramaturgical structure of the performance itself: an introduction, five parts and an epilogue. The ambition of the exposition has been to make yet another iteration of the performance.


Jörgen Dahlqvist is a playwright and director. Since 2003 he has been the artistic director of Teatr Weimar. He has written more than fifty theatre plays that have been staged by Teatr Weimar but also at Dramaten, Malmö Stadsteater, Helsingborgs stadsteater, Orionteatern and Ă–rebro Teater. Several of the productions at Teatr Weimar have also been performed internationally. He held the position as the dean of the Malmö Theatre Academy between 2009 and 2012, where he then has worked as a teacher. Since April 2021 he is a PhD student at the institution. 

Kent Olofsson is a composer with an extensive artistic output of over 200 works that span a broad field of genres, ensemble types and contexts including music for orchestra, chamber music, electronic music, rock music, and works for dance, theatre, and operas. He has since 2009 collaborated with Teatr Weimar exploring the compositional, dramaturgical and technological aspects of intermedial theatre. Since 2021 he is Professor of Performing Arts for the profile area Concept and Composition at Stockholm University of the Arts.