A Dip Worth Taking

The Morning Dip
By Peggy Anderson
168 pp. Kehrer Verlag. $48.


“The Morning Dip” features over 100 photos of Swedes in (mostly) their bathrobes.

Intrigued?

This book is the project of Swedish/American photographer Peggy Anderson, who spent several years photographing subjects on Sweden’s western coast in an attempt to discover what Sweden is and what, exactly, makes one Swedish.

More than that, this book is a equalizer — featuring Swedes of all backgrounds and classes at the spot of their “morning dip.”

But class differences are still readily apparent.

Note the young, sporty couple with their toned bodies and designer sunglasses. Other class signifiers include the occasional expensive-looking wristwatch and, in one case, a robe from the 5-star Kempinski hotel in Moscow.

Other robes are tattered and look as if they should have been replaced long ago. Footwear is a prime indicator as well, with various types of clogs giving way to a pair of worn sneakers.

I spent multiple days flipping through these photos, finding something new each time. What looks to be simple and straightforward on the surface gives way to a complex image in which there’s always something new — clothing, expressions, posture — to consider.

I came across “The Morning Dip” in a Stockholm bookshop and believed it would make the perfect thing to take away from this charming, if complicated country where — if you look hard enough — you’re bound to find there’s always a bit more under the much-lauded exterior.

This may not be a deep dive into what makes modern Sweden, but it’s definitely a dip worth taking.

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