'I believe in ketchup!': Girlhood, punk, and Moodysson's we are the best!

Scott MacKenzie, Anna Westerstahl Stenport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article engages with the field of girlhood studies to offer a reading of Lukas Moodysson's feature film Vi är bäst! (We are the Best!, 2013). Two intertwined yet apparently political and cultural systems are examined: the Swedish secular, egalitarian welfare states of the 1930s to the 1970s, often called Folkhemmet (the People's Home), and the first-wave Punk movement from the late 1970s and early 1980s, imported from abroad but itself a significant youth subculture in Sweden. Punk offers the possibility of new forms of inclusion and participation within a musical subgenre or movement for girls and young women; in the Swedish context, this allows girls and young women to imagine a position outside the consensus culture. However, in line with Moodysson's other films, We are the Best! does not challenge heteronormative paradigms in ways that are unproblematic or necessarily radical.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-83
Number of pages16
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Folkhemmet
  • Girlhood
  • Lukas Moodysson
  • Punk
  • We are the Best!(film)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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