Peter Gerdehag's lectures are very appreciated. Seriousness, jokes and hilarious anecdotes in a mix. A recurring theme in Peter's lectures is that he stands on the side of the simple man; farmers and their legacy of rich cultivated nature.
Peter tries to give voice to the timid, those who are constantly run over by thoughtless exploiters out to enrich themselves. Common sense and altruism are beautiful words in Gerdehag's dictionary. Likewise, long-term thinking and reflection.
For requests about lectures by Peter, please see Information under Contact in the main menu.
Life in Hycklinge
The 18-year long prelude before the film Life and Death of a Farmer was recorded. The period is also described in an award-winning book, The Farmer's book (text by Jan Danielsson), sold in over 40,000 copies. Peter started this still ongoing documentation over thirty years ago, the longest known documentation of a farm in Sweden.
East Coast Archipelagos
Peter has photographed the nature of the East Coast Archipelago in every season of the year. Since the mid- 1960s, he sailed up and down the coastline. For fifteen years he helped distribute about 40,000 kilos of meat to the once endangered white-tailed eagle. About 270 visits to various eagle's nests resluted in the book White-tailed Eagles (1988), with texts by Björn Helander.
This is how Peter describes The Fairest Island, a film he shot a decade later:
"The islands of St. Anna, Tjust and Misterhult are our country’s most secretive landscape. We all have a mental picture of the archipelago, but only a few people really know anything about these beautiful and wild places. I made a film where I followed Mr. Archipelago himself, Pelle Gräslund, on Grönsö in the Gryt archipelago. Noone knows the islands and their secret life better than Pelle. The film uses a holistic approach to the archipelago, demonstrating its wealth of nature, history and culture. The purpose is to show the world the unique biological and cultural values that make up the archipelago."
My Life With the Horseman
The Horseman's real name is Stig Anders Svensson, he is 65 years and lives a quiet life in the middle of the village Råskog in the highlands of Småland. His world is like a parallel universe, where time seems to have stopped long ago. Stig-Anders is completely dependent on the gifts of nature, since he lives of the earth and the forest with almost no income. His best friends are the three Ardennes horses or "Flickera" (The Girls) as he affectionately calls them. It's the horses that determine the rate of the work to be performed.
Stig-Anders looks peculiar and doesn't fit in the frame of how a person should live in our time. It's easy to dismiss him as an eccentric, but maybe we can, by observing the world from Stig-Anders' point of view, get a different perspective on life and learn something about ourselves? I've kept on taking photos of Stig-Anders as an ongoing report on his life after the movie and the book. How has he coped with the fame and huge amount of admirers? How is his life today? Read more on The Horseman's homepage: www.hastmannen.com
My Life With the Women with Cows
In southern Halland near the village of Knäred, I became friends with the last hand-milking women in Sweden. Britt and Inger are sisters and each other’s total opposites. Big sister Britt is the greatest fan of cows in the universe and it's a well-established fact that she would die within a month if she lost her beloved sharp-horned cows. Little sister Inger on the contrary is thoroughly fed up with cows and she has but one advice to Britt: "Sell the goddam cows! Old hags like us shouldn't have cows!"
It is immensely capturing to follow these bickering old ladies, who make us think about the meaning of life and how to spend our short time on earth. At the same time, we get a unique insight into a way of life that was common not so long ago; a way of life thousands of Swedes, still living, have grown up with. Incredibly beautiful and moving photographs packaged in a lively appearance.
When the Wind Turned Over the Land
Bråbygden is the most well-known recultivated old farmland north of Oskarshamn. I have followed the trends and changing times there since the early 1980's. Back then, everything in this unique landscape was slated to become a spruce plantation. But the population united and with common power turned the area into one of the most beautiful countrysides in Sweden, with extremely rich biodiversity. Instead of a depopulated spruce forest, there is now a vast, open landscape, so popular to live in that there is now a shortage of houses. This unique landscape was saved by a single, industrious man from the Balkans, lovingly nick-named Frasse. All this is portrayed in the book When the Wind Turned over the Land, sold in over 25 000 copies.
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