I am a Swedish-Brazilian artist, researcher, writer and educator. I currently work at the Media and Communication Studies Department at Södertörn University in Stockholm, Sweden.

My research interests include cultural politics, aesthetics, and the philosophy of migration and diaspora in the fields of contemporary art, media philosophy, and media activism. I often work in collaboration with artistic collectives and art institutions considering issues in visual, gender, social and environmental justice. See publications and presentations.

I have an artistic practice with contemporary art exhibitions and public art installations using a variety of mediums connected to my research interests, materializing in photography, video, text and installations. See art and exhibitions.

Latest Publications

The Planalto Riots: Making and unmaking a Failed Coup in Brazil (2024), Lou Caffagni, Isabel Löfgren, Gizele Martins and Paola Sartoretto (eds.), Theory on Demand #51, Institute of Network Cultures.
Download PDF here

This book delves into the attempted coup that transpired on January 8, 2023, in Brasilia, Brazil, following the defeat of Jair Bolsonaro and the inauguration of his successor, President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva. On that day, thousands of extremist Bolsonaro supporters invaded, sacked, and vandalized federal government buildings in Brasília to incite a military coup against the Lula da Silva government and reinstate Jair Bolsonaro as the president of Brazil.

The essays and artistic interventions in this collection aim to unravel the various dimensions of this pivotal event. They discuss the origins, occurrence, and aftermath of anti-democratic Bolsonarist mobilizations, focusing on communicative and symbolic aspects of this historical occurrence. From examining historical aspects to exploring aesthetic meanings, communication strategies, and the dynamics of a collective unconscious, the book provides a critical perspective on the complex process of how an attempted coup is both constructed and dismantled.

Contributors: Viviane Borelli, Lou Caffagni, Apoena Canuto Cosenza, Bartira S. Fortes, Camila Hartmann, Clementino Junior, Tatiana Letier Pinto, Isabel Löfgren, Ada C. Machado Silveira, Alecsandra Matias de Oliveira, Maria Eduarda Mathias, Gizele Martins, Ana Paula da Rosa, Aline Roes Dalmolin, Eduardo Ruedell, Gabriela Schneider, and Oscar Svanelid. Artistic contributions: Tatiana Letier Pinto, Isabel Löfgren, Laercio Redondo, and Gustavo Speridião & Leandro Barboza/Faixa Protesta

What would a Swedish mine be without a party? On metals, minerals, and love during the "green" transition – Climate propaganda in The Swedish Mine advertising campaign. 22 June, 2023

In: Nordic Journal of Media Studies, Special Issue 'The Return of Propaganda', Volume 5 (2023), Issue 1 (June 2023), pp. 194 - 218. Download the article here

This article contributes to the growing field of critical studies about the visual politics of the green transition by highlighting the role of communication and the creative industries in promoting “green” ideologies. The paper presents a case study with a critical analysis of “The Swedish Mine” advocacy advertising campaign, launched in 2021,  to illustrate how lifestyle advertising genres are used to leverage the emotional engagement of progressive, mining-sceptical urban audiences to increase the social acceptance of intensified mining despite increasing climate awareness among progressive audiences. It explores the critical role of creative industries in advancing ideologies about extractivism and sustainability as forms of climate propaganda.

Semiotics of Care and Violence: Memetization and Necropolitics during the Brazilian 2018 Elections and the action #MarielleMultiplica. 14 November, 2022

In: Arkenbout, C and Sherz, L. (eds.) Critical Meme Reader 2: Memetic Tacticality, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, pp.51-73.
Download the book here

The book chapter explores the process of memetization of care and the memetization of violence during the Brazilian elections of 2018, where I follow the Marielle Franco street sign, a commemorative plaque in memory of the assassination of black LGBTQIA+ city councillor Marielle Franco became a memetic gesture for solidarity and social justice on one side, and how it was used to entrench Bolsonarist necropolitics on the other.

The ‘cuir’ turn: Resignifying mutual aid in the struggle against trans necropolitics
Eurozine, 1 June 2022
Read here or Download PDF

Swedish version "Motstånd genom överlevnad"
Ord & Bild, November 2021
Read here

In Brazil trans activists rearticulate language and identity, taking the political campaign trail to greater visibility, recognition and a sense of belonging, helping save lives through collective action and knowing disobedience.

Satellite Lifelines: Media, Art, Migration and the Crisis of Hospitality in Divided Cities (2020), Theory on Demand #38, Institute of Network Cultures, 312p.
Download PDF/Epub or order here

Isabel Löfgren takes us to the Stockholm high-rise suburbs to show us how art projects and transnational media intermingle with the multicultural urban reality. The book outlines a philosophy of hospitality in response to the turn in Europe against refugees, which Löfgren considers to be a crisis of hospitality, not a crisis of migration. Löfgren discusses the ethics that govern the relationship between guest and host, the self and Other. Who has the right to belong and on what terms?  Her participatory art project Satellitstaden, an artistic intervention on satellite dishes hanging on building façades in Fittja, Sweden highlight the voices of residents from multiple backgrounds in co-generative artistic processes.  She argues for a hospitable turn in contemporary art, urban planning and media, in which guest-host relationships are performed, mediated and problematized.

Mãe Preta – Exposição e pesquisa de Isabel Löfgren & Patricia Gouvêa, Frida Produções Culturais, 2018, 104pp. (Portuguese/English edition)
Download PDF here  see the project website here

The Mãe Preta exhibition catalogue and anthology includes all the artworks in the exhibition project from 2015-2018 regarding the visual memory of motherhood and slavery in Brazil in connection to contemporary feminist struggles and visual justice. The volume is organized by artists and researchers Isabel Löfgren and Patricia Gouvêa featuring their original artistic work in four exhibitions and 6 essays by international scholars and writers.Texts by Isabel Löfgren & Patricia Gouvêa, Temi Odumosu (Malmö University, Sweden), Alex Castro (Brazil), Lilia Moritz Schwarcz (USP, Brazil), Júlio César Medeiros da Silva Pereira (UFF, Brazil), Martina Ahlert (UFMA, Brazil) e Qiana Mestrich (ICP, USA).

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