Cultural Café #1: Are historical ‘sins’ ever to be forgiven?

History teaches us of the many great things mankind has achieved but can also show us the big mistakes made over and over again in time.

Depending on how you were taught it in school you most likely either love it or hate it and that has a lot to do with how it was presented and what way you engage with the past. This video by ‘The School of Life‘ gives a good intro to ‘History’ as a subject and the problems in the way it is taught.

Through time many things change including consensus over certain topics and behaviours which brought us to discussing if moral behaviours committed by people in the past should be judged by today’s standards. We listened to some extracts of BBC Radio 4’s programme ‘The Philosopher’s Arms’, originally aired in 2013 and available online via BBC Sound.

During the discussions, the participants shared a lot of interesting suggestions on things to read about connected to the topic. We listed some of them here:


  • “Enlightenment Now” by Steven Pinker
  • “Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral.” by Bertolt Brecht
  • ”Årstafruns dagbok” a dairy by Mrs Märta  Helena Renstierna 
  • “The World of Yesterday” by Stefan Zweig

Originally the event was scheduled to last approximately an hour but ended up lasting almost two hours. We sent out a survey to all the participants to get their feedback and see what can be done to improve the format before our next event which we expect will take place towards the end of July / beginning of August. More info coming soon!

Our first digital cultural café was presented by Alexander Maxia and Tove Ljung from Base10 startup hub in Uppsala. It took place on Thursday, July 2nd and people joined from four different countries. More events will follow, keep following us on social media and sign up to our mailing list here!

Big thanks to Jason Dainter, CEO of Base10 for kindly lending us the space to broadcast; Joakim Fichtel from Almi Uppsala for the support and advice leading up to the event and James Maxia for additional research into the topic presented.

Ofvandahls – A Fika Institution

Uppsala is a very lovable city, especially for students. It’s a place where many historical events took place and if buildings could talk, most would tell fascinating stories dating back centuries. Cafés too played a key role in fuelling the academic work, a great example of this is Ofvandahls.

The café opened its doors in 1878 as ‘Erik Andersson Konditori og Damkafé’ and changed name to Ofvhandals in 1901. In many nation songbooks you find a song dedicated to it which mentions a series of things you could have ordered at the time (including ‘avec’ such as cognac, punsch etc.) which shows the long lasting love affair between the café and the student community.

A former Uppsala student, class 1968, told me that she and her friends often used to take lunch or fika there and then when the cathedral bells rang they would run up the hill to Universitetshusset to attend lesson. “Many cafes and restaurants come and go but Ofvandahls stays” said the lady who was visiting Uppsala for the day and chose to stop by at her cherished café.

Today the student atmosphere lives on and there still is a dedicated discount on coffee. Many still choose to meet there as opposed to going to more modern cafes in the center, prefering its coziness to free Wi-Fi. Homemade cakes, soups, sandwiches and the selection of teas offer something for everyone’s taste, especially on a cold winter day when something comforting is what you need.

Many things in Uppsala’s society are changing for better or for worse but the fika is a lasting institution in which people meet up, chat for hours and no matter how many cups you drink your bank account doesn’t suffer and drowsiness is not a problem; on the contrary, the more you drink the more you get pepped up, talkative and creative, as the caffeine rush goes through your veins.

This daily ritual lives on strong and so does the temple of traditional fika such as Ofvanhals, with its over 140 year history. It is a guarantee that no matter what happenes in the world, in that corner of Sysslomansgatan the hot drinks keep flowing; providing continuity in service that stands outside the boundaries of time.

  • Location: Sysslomansgatan 5, 753 11 Uppsala – Sweden
  • WiFi: No
  • Student Discount: Yes
  • Best for: ordinary Swedish coffee (filter) and traditional cakes!

Event: ‘Espresso Yourself’ – Uppsala

Ever wondered what’s the secret behind a great tasting Italian coffee? Love the barista made cappuccino but at home the froth never comes out right?

This is your chance to find out what makes a good Italian coffee and gain tips from a professional on how to become your own barista.

Join Lost in a Cup and La Tazza d’oro for an evening where all will be revealed about espresso coffees, latte art, Italian coffee tradition and much more.

You will get the chance to see Italian coffee expert and barista trainer Ismaele Rombi working his magic. He came especially from Italy to showcase great coffee so make the most of his tips! Feel free to ask him for advice and find out what it takes to make great tasting coffee, even at home or in the office.


There will also be the opportunity of tasting La Tazza d’oro coffee which is roasted in Cagliari, following 80 years of Italian espresso tradition. Discover one of the most renowned coffee brands in Sardinia that is now available on the Swedish market.

The event will be hosted in the beautiful Hamnpaviljongen Restaurant in the centre of Uppsala, just by the river.

Entry is Free of charge but you need to fill in the form and let us know how many will attend. If you no longer can make it, please let us know asap! The number of spots at the event is limited.

Click here to be re-directed to the RSVP form

More Info:

Facebook event

Hamnpaviljongen Restaurant website

Social Experiment: Pop-Up Café in Studentstaden

Pop-up shops, restaurants and venues have been popping up everywhere like mushrooms after the rain and appear to be the latest hipster trend.

So why not try out this concept with a Café?

That is exactly what we did today here at Lost in a Cup HQ in Studentstaden – Uppsala. The name of the neighbourhood in Swedish means literally ‘the city of students’  and it is the part of the city with the highest concentration of student rooms; Uppsala in general is also known as the most important university city in the country. You can’t get more student-centric than this!


The amazing part is that although so many students live in proximity of each other they rarely say hello to each other, let alone engage in conversations with neighbours.

So here came the idea: to attract people with good coffee and create a social space where strangers would actively be encouraged to engage with each other. Truly a social experiment. One of the attendees pointed out how this was ‘so not Swedish’ and chuckled and the fact it was something out of the ordinary attracted her to visit in the first place and would come back to future events.


Factors such as the size of the venue, limited to one 13 sq. meters plus a corridor and the authenticity of the Pop-Up Café being in an authentic student corridor made the setting ideal for spontaneous social interactions. Like a student house party but without alcohol and blaring music, just a chilled atmosphere and good conversations.

Only glitch in the project was the out-reach as the idea and development of the Café came around 24 hours before the actual event took place. Many Swedes plan their schedule with at least a week in advance so Italian spontaneity does not work as much as the organiser had hoped so the crowd was fairly small.

However, Sunday the 25th of November it will happen again! This time with more people and maintaining the good coffee and gingerbread biscuits which really went down a treat.


Will you join?

Check out the link to the Facebook event with all the details.



Libralerna Answers

Liberalerna (L) or the Liberals in English, answer the 9 Political Questions asked to all major parties represented in Stora Torget, Uppsala.
Answering our questions is Liberalerna candidate for Uppsala municipality and region Anders A. Aronsson.

1.     What are the core values your party represents?
Liberalerna is the Swedish liberal party, as the name clearly shows. Our representatives have through the history put forward and worked actively for, as example, equality between men and women. It was a liberal prime minister in Sweden when the parliament decided that both men AND women should have the right to vote in the general elections.
Freedom to choose, market economy within frames decided by the parliament, equality, no discrimination of any kind….
Individual responsibility for the common good.


2.     Where would you place your party in the Left-Right political spectrum?
The Liberals in Sweden is in the middle of that spectrum.

3.     Which are the parties you feel closest to in the European Parliament?
The Swedish Liberal Members of the European Parliament are members in the ALDE group, where you also find the FDP from Germany, The Party for freedom and progress in Belgium and other like that.

4.     Why should people vote for your party?
You must live your life the way you want, make your own decisions, dream your own dreams and be able to work to make them come true. That’s freedom and that’s what liberalism is all about. However, freedom isn’t the same thing as everyone doing exactly what they want. If freedom is for everyone – not just the biggest and the strongest – we need common rules. That’s why we have such things as freedom of speech, compulsory education and the police and that’s why we work together to pay for our welfare. Typical liberal ideas!
When education doesn’t work and pupils don’t learn what they need to know – they have less freedom to live the way they want. And when integration is unsuccessful and the gaps become wider – people are prevented from supporting themselves. For that reason, education and integration are the most important issues for the Liberals in the 2018 election. We put education first because it provides choice and freedom. The classroom must be a place for knowledge, calm and peace and quiet so people can work. We want a Sweden that sticks together, in which new Swedes can support themselves and contribute. Language, work and equality are the way into society.

5.     What are the general priorities your party aims at achieving throughout Sweden?
Our top priority is reforms in order to get the Swedish schools to function better. Top priority is also to get the integration process for newcomers in Sweden to work better. We also emphasize that the cooperation within the European Union must be better and deeper.

6.     Why should people vote for your party on a Local level?
The Liberal Party in Uppsala has a comprehensive program with priorities and programs covering the responsibilities that our City Assembly has to deal with. The main priorities are: the school sector (as on national level), integration, planning of the city for sustainability, fulfilment of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and development of the cultural activities.

7.     If elected, what will you do for Uppsala? And for Uppland?
Of course use the long experience of political work and of responsibility in order to get our program from words into reality!

For Uppland, or more correct The Uppsala Region, we have a separate program dealing withthe main responsibilities, namely the health care and preventive measures. Top priority is better organisation and working conditions for the medical staff, like nurses, assistant nurses, doctors… An important proposal is to get more staff that can unburden the nurses etc administration and work where medical training is not needed.

8.     Do you have any links to further material on your party in English?

9.  Any other closing comments or remarks?

Liberalerna stand in Stora Torget, Uppsala

Most important is to vote, to use your democratic rights, and to vote for one of the political parties that stands for individual rights and responsibilities, solidarity with all humans regardless of origin/race/age/sexual preference/religion, social care for the elderly and for people with special needs, for good conditions for small and big enterprises which means job and income for more and more people, for further cooperation within the European Union and with other countries. The Liberal party stands up for that and against both communist and conservative forces.


To read more about the Swedish 2018 Vote go to the homepage of the section.

Photos: Dante Löfstrand ©

Nya Moderaterna Answers

Nya Moderaterna (M) or the new Moderates in English, answer the 9 Political Questions asked to all major parties represented in Stora Torget, Uppsala.
Answering our questions is Moderaterna candidate for Uppsala Fredrik Hultman.

1. What are the core values your party represents?


The Moderate Party defines its ideology as liberal-conservative. According to the party platform, our core values are Liberty, Safety, Openness and Justice.


We believe in the potential of every human being to improve their own lives and the lives of others through entrepreneurship and innovation. Therefore, we want government to be limited, but the state to be strong when it is needed.

2. Where would you place your party in the Left-Right political spectrum?

The party is usually described as being centre-right.


3.Which are the parties you feel closest to in the European Parliament?

The Moderate Party is a member of the European People’s Party (EPP) party group, and has traditionally been rather similar to the British Conservative Party (although, they left the EPP some years ago). The Moderate Party is by far more EU positive than the British Conservatives, but we still share some core ideological tenets with them.

We also have a lot of things in common with the Finnish Kokoomus, the German CDU and the Irish Fine Gael.


4. Why should people vote for your party?

We are a party for the hopeful, the ambitious and the hard working. We believe in the potential of every human being to achieve great things, and want politics to reflect that. Politicians should keep out of people lives, and encourage private initiatives and entrepreneurship. But we also need a strong state, that could provide a strong safety net for those who need support, such as the sick and the elderly.

If more people work and contribute to society, we have more tax money to spend on promoting the general welfare of all people, by investing in education, health care and care for the elderly. We are not the party that makes the most extravagant promises, but we never promise more than we can deliver. We always prioritises core welfare services, such as health care, care for the elderly and education. Those services are provided at municipal and a county level.


5. What are the general priorities your party aims at achieving throughout Sweden?

Our main priorities in this election are reforming the benefits system, cutting taxes for low-income workers and pensioners, investing heavily in cutting waiting times in the health care system, implementing effective environmental policies and ensuring that Sweden is safe by investing in the police force to ensure the rule of law.

For the past four years we have seen a rapid rise in violent crime and sex offences. The government has been unable to address this. The number of police has dwindled due to internal issues at the police authority and poor working conditions, while too few are accepted to the Police Academy to meet the need of the Swedish police force. This has also lead to many serious criminal offences not being investigated within a reasonable time. The Moderates want to raise police salaries significantly.


Since the refugee crisis in 2015 it has been made abundantly clear that Sweden cannot have migration policies that greatly diverges from neighbouring countries. Therefore, we want to keep some of the fundamental parts of the temporary legislation that was enacted in 2016, and which expires in 2019. For example, we want temporary residency permits to be the general rule and demand that immigrants who bring over family member show that they will be able to support them financially. We also want improve integration policies by demanding that immigrants learn basic Swedish as a condition to earn permanent residency and citizenship.


Today, taxes are high while it is still possible to earn more from government handouts than by working. We want to introduce a benefit cap, to incentivise work. For the same reasons, we also want to cut taxes for low income earners. As a matter of fairness, we also want to cut taxes for pensioners, so that people who have worked their whole lives can support themselves.


During the past four years waiting times have risen steadily in health care. We want to invest directly in decreasing waiting times. We also want to introduce more teaching hours in primary schools, to improve results and offer more support to students who lag behind.


We are the only party that has presented a plan to increase defence funding so that it will be 2 % of GDP, in line with the NATO requirement, and we also want Sweden to join Nato.


6. Why should people vote for your party on a Local level?


We are the party that prioritises safety, low taxes and core welfare services. We want local government to run more efficiently and cut municipal taxes so that working families and pensioners get to keep more of the money they’ve earnt. By committing to focussing on core welfare services, we can also afford to cut taxes. The Moderate Party is the best option for those who want sound economic policies.


Today, the tax rate in Uppsala municipality is higher than in comparable municipalities, but the welfare services are not by any comparison better in Uppsala than in other municipalities. Out of 290 municipalities, Uppsala schools now rank in 146th place. When the Moderate Party gained power in 2006, schools ranked in 214th place. In 2014 when we lost power, Uppsala ranked in 54th place. We have improved school results before, and with our policies we will be able to do so again.


7. If elected, what will you do for Uppsala? And for Uppland?


In Uppsala we want to implement our seven-point programme for schools, by introducing qualified teacher assistants to minimise teachers’ workload, and allow them to focus more on teaching. We also want to introduce centralised corrections of test, and implement a model for developing better teaching through teacher conferences lead by qualified researchers, or teachers with an equivalent level of academic education.

We want to focus on making Uppsala safer, by introducing more camera surveillance in public places and having more security guards in public areas. It is unacceptable that many citizens are afraid to go out because of the rise in violent crime.

We want benefits for the unemployed to be tied to demands for work applications. There must always be incentives to find work. In Uppsala, everyone who is able to work, should be expected to.

We promise to immediately add funding to schools that need extra funding for children with special needs. We believe that the cuts to that funding has been irresponsible and needs to be addressed as soon as possible. We also want to improve the traffic situation, by creating more parking spaces and get rid of the bottle necks that create traffic jams.

At a regional level, we want to address the staffing needs at the Akademiska Hospital. Nurses have been resigning at a discouraging rate, to the extent that certain wards cannot remain open. We want to introduce a career system, which rewards loyalty and experience, and also conduct necessary re-organisations to improve working hours for hospital employees.

We also want to make investments collective traffic, and are open to creating a tram system, provided that it is the most feasible and economically sound alternative.


8. Do you have any links to further material on your party in English?

This is a brief guide to some of our main policies in this election:årkampanj_2018_uppslag_ENG.pdf


9. Any other closing comments or remarks?

It is important to note that the Moderate Party is cooperating closely with the Alliance (Alliansen), which also consists of “Centerpartiet”, Kristdemokraterna and Liberalerna.

Therefore, we have agreed on certain sets of policies that we would like to implement together with those parties if we are able to rule as a coalition on national, regional and/or municipal level. A vote for the Moderate Party is therefore also a vote for the Alliance. We have no intention of collaborating with other political parties, especially not the Sweden Democrats. However, we have reached agreements with the Social Democrats and the Green Party on important issues in the past, such as the Energy agreement two years ago that was agreed in parliament, and we are open to more of those agreements in the future.

We governed as the Alliance on a national level, in Uppsala municipality and in the Uppsala region between 2006 and 2014. Since 2014 we have been in opposition, and are now looking forward to get back into power.


To read more about the Swedish 2018 Vote go to the homepage of the section.

Photos: Dante Löfstrand ©

Social Demokraterna Answers

Social Demokraterna (SAP) or Social Democrats in English, answer the 9 Political Questions asked to all major parties represented in Stora Torget, Uppsala.
Answering our questions is SAP candidate for Uppsala municipality Hilde Klasson.

1. What are the core values your party represents?

For us Social Democrats there are some things that are more important than others; We are strongly against benefit in welfare service . Equality between men and women is another issue that is significant for us. The pension for the people who has the lowest incomes is a third question that we aim for. The climatechange  is a topic and the education for children and students as well.

2. Where would you place your party in the Left-Right political spectrum?

The Social Democrats in Sweden are to be placed in the middle or a little bit to the left in the political spectrum.

3. Which are the parties you feel closest to in the European Parliament?

The socialdemocratic parties in Europe.


4.  Why should people vote for your party?

Because we don’t want the taxes go to profits for the shareholders who own the wellfare companies. Because we care for a politic that will try to make Sweden  CO2neutral in a couple of decades. Because we work for equality between men and women. And we have a feminist foreign policy. Because we want retired people have good conditions and we will have a healthcare that doesn’t care if you are rich or pore. We are now building a huges amount of apartments, that we are in lack of. And we will give more resorses to the police.

5.   What are the general priorities your party aims at achieving throughout Sweden?

We would like to see a healthcare, school and care that reach everybody. We want to have good alternativs for everyone for the car( get ride of  the fossil fuels) we want more solar energy .We want the banking system to pay some of their profits to the state in order to get more welfare.

6. Why should people vote for your party on a Local level?

We have a good program for to create more jobs. We will see to that the wages are justice between men and women. We will work hard for to get areas that are called “nogozones” to be safe, and nice to live in. We will build apartments for young people to rent.

7. If elected, what will you do for Uppsala? And for Uppland?

If I am elected I will continue to work for a sustainable urban development. And if possible I would work for to get more support to sexually abused women and se to that their rights are taken care of

8. Do you have any links to further material on your party in English?

Here you can find Social Democrats campaign in English and several other languages

9. Any other closing comments or remarks?

I think this election is very scary because the Xenophobic forces are growing stronger and stronger and many people doesn’t reflect over what the limits for the politicians are and which  parties who are responsible for different issues. The real main issue for us is like a kinder egg; fight for democracy and social sustainable society!



To read more about the Swedish 2018 Vote go to the homepage of the section.

Photos: Dante Löfstrand ©

KristDemokraterna Answers

KristDemokraterna (KD) or Christian Democrats in English, answer the 9 Political Questions asked to all major parties represented in Stora Torget, Uppsala.
Answering our questions is KD candidate for Uppsala municipality Mimmi Westerlund.

1. What are the core values your party represents? 
Unlike liberals and socialists, we Christian Democrats do not harbour any utopian notions of what society may become. There is no single answer to aim for. Instead, we act based on good values. There are no perfect people and there are no perfect societies. In our pursuit of a good society, we do not ignore the individual and collective, but focus more on the interrelationships that exist in between: a life partner, family, colleagues, friends, neighbours, churches, companies, associations and charities. We are community builders.


2. Where would you place your party in the Left-Right political spectrum?
Right. We are a freedom and market-friendly based party that emphasises responsibility for our fellow human beings. We aim for reasonable taxation and want to prevent the wastage of taxpayers’ money, and we draw a line between what is and isn’t the duty of politics. 


3. Which are the parties you feel closest to in the European Parliament?
We are a part of EPP, European People’s Party along with the Swedish Nya Moderaterna (The Moderates).


4. Why should people vote for your party? 
We have attempted to dissolve the weak leftist government throughout the mandate period, we were a driving force behind the exposure of # transportgate which deposed two Ministers. We tore down the ‘opinion corridor’ when our grassroots movement nullified the December Agreement (Decemberöverenskommelsen). We have been a stable part of all centre- right governments since we entered the Riksdag in 1991. On top of that, you get a party that has the courage to place soft values first – safety, healthcare, and welfare.


5.What are the general priorities your party aims at achieving throughout Sweden?
1. Build more homes for the elderly 
Current government policy will result in housing shortages for 20,000 elderly by 2030. This means that we will not be able to offer everyone good elderly care. The way to prevent this shortfall is to build more residences.


2. Strengthen the elderly’s  personal finance 
Abolish pension tax and  lower the tax for elderly  who want to work.  Increase housing grants  and rent cap levels.


3. Remove county council responsibility for hospitals 
The distribution of healthcare across 21 different county councils is inefficient and unequal. We can shorten healthcare waiting times and give everyone qualitative care if the state assumes the primary responsibility for healthcare.


4. Employ an additional 10,000 police officers
We want to resolve the police crisis of the last few years with better working conditions, higher salaries and increased  police recruitment. Sweden needs an additional 10,000 police officers.


5. ‘No’ to parental leave quotas 
Families know best what solution is appropriate for them. That’s why we say ‘No’ to parental leave quotas and ‘Yes’ to unreserved parental leave. We also want to lower taxes for families with children. 


6. Stop wasting tax payer’s money
Money that could be used for welfare is being wasted on costly and misguided subsidies and municipal white elephant building projects. We intend to stop this.


6. Why should people vote for your party on a Local level? 
We have plan for a more secure Uppsala for you and your family.


In Uppsala, security should not only be a political slogan – it should be a keyword in all of the municipality’s activities and works:


Residents should be guaranteed safe streets and squares; 
Children should be guaranteed a safe upbringing, and 
Elderly should be guaranteed a safe elderly care.


You should simply be able to trust that basic welfare works.


Our main suggestions for safer streets and squares:
1.      Values and norms should be given a greater part in integration work.
2.      The municipality’s rules should be reviewed to regulate where begging should not occur 
3.      The security perspective should be an integral part of urban construction work to avoid creating environments that are perceived as insecure.


Our main suggestions for safer families:
1.      The size of the children’s groups in kindergarden should be reduced to up to 12 children in the toddler groups and 15 in other groups.
2.      Build 1,000 new smaller houses with 2-4 stories yearly, instead of tower blocks.
3.      Children in need of help and support from e.g. social services should never have to wait, especially the children who grow up in families with substance abuse problems.


Our main suggestions for safer care for the elderly
1.      Every person over 85 years of age should to be guaranteed a place in adapted accommodation (elderly care, nursing home etc)
2.      Home service needs to be reviewed with new site sharing and improved quality, e.g. by reducing the number of home care staff.
3.      Open more meeting points for older people, who offer exercise and senior restaurants, including in rural areas.


7. If elected, what will you do for Uppsala? And for Uppland? 
Except for the above we’ll take responsibility for Uppsalas economy – stop wasting the tax payer’s money and start building our welfare strong again! 


8. Do you have any links to further material on your party in English?


9. Any other closing comments or remarks? 


Uppsala’s residents should be guaranteed more secure streets; the children should beguaranteed a safe upbringing and kinder-garden, and the elderly should be guaranteed a safe elderly care. You should simply be able to trust that basic welfare works. Up until then – we have to cut spending on things that isn’t basic welfare such as the couch on Forum torget that cost 12 million SEK ( 

To read more about the Swedish 2018 Vote go to the homepage of the section.

Photos: Dante Löfstrand ©