Published: 05-02-2024 18:17 | Updated: 11-02-2024 10:25

KI’s Culture Prize awarded to Anna Nordlander for House of the Body

Image of the diploma and a small statue that make up the cultural prize.
The prize is an artwork by Ina Schuppe Koistinen, MTC, with a diploma. Photo: N/A.

Anna Nordlander has been awarded the 2023 Karolinska Institutet Culture Prize for her House of the Body initiative (Kroppens Hus), which unites art, culture and science in an innovative approach to public health education.

Congratulations on the prize. What does it mean to you, and Kroppens Hus? 

Anna Nordlander
Anna Nordlander at Kroppens Hus. Photo: Martin Stenmark.

"KI’s Culture Prize is proof that the House of the Body (Kroppens Hus) is on the right track when it comes to public health education. Our aim is to use art, culture and science to reach out to a wider public and spread the word about public health in a new and innovative way," says Anna Nordlander, doctor of infectious disease and researcher at the Department of Laboratory Medicine, who started and now runs Kroppens Hus with Andreas Blom at Stadsgårdsterminalen in Stockholm.

Why is it important for culture and science to meet? 

"The more we know about the body and soul, the better we can take care of ourselves and improve our mental and physical health. Using art as a language allows us to educate without being didactic and to get more people interested in medicine and science in a way that’s more fun and accessible."

"Preventative health is important and here, too, knowledge is power. Hopefully, we can made complex medical facts more accessible and comprehensible through new pedagogical approaches and art."

"We also want the scientific community to appreciate the value of art and understand that everyone benefits from having culture in their life in whatever form it takes, from music and drama to fashion and graffiti, to name just a few examples."

What’s next for Kroppens Hus? 

Annika Östman Wernerson presents the award to Anna Nordlander.
Annika Östman Wernerson (right) presents the award to Anna Nordlander. photo: N/A.

"We hope to move in to Forskaren with the Museum of Science and Technology this spring. Otherwise, we look forward to continuing our partnership with the performing arts collective Svärmen, whom we worked with during KI’s Culture Day."

Motivation of KI's advisory board for culture 

"With her House of the Body (Kroppens Hus) initiative, Anna Nordlander from Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge has created an interface where life science and culture meet and cross-fertilise each other in a way that is as entertaining as it is informative. 

At the same time, Kroppens Hus is an artistic platform for learning and a forum for everyone, an attempt to close the gap between ostensibly disparate arenas in society that holds its own even in the face of international competition. 

Anna Nordlander has made a unique contribution to the creation of this platform for cultural exploration in an inclusive medical environment."

About Karolinska Institutet’s Culture Prize

Every year, KI awards the prize to one or more individuals at KI for their valuable contribution to promoting synergies between art and science both in the cultural sphere at KI and in interaction with the wider community.

The award comprises a sculpture by former KI employee Rebecca Lagercrantz and a diploma with an original artwork designed by docent Ina Schuppe Koistinen, Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC).

All employees, affiliates, students and alumni of KI are welcome to nominate candidates. The recipients are chosen by KI’s advisory board for culture.