America Vera-Zavala

AMERICA VERA-ZAVALA is a playwright, author and debater. She became known early on as a political activist in the global justice movement. She has written several books on democracy and globalization and participated in Lars Norén’s project The Polish Plumber, which resulted in her debut play, Concha Tu Madre.

In the autumn of 2020, Ordfront published her book Fucking Alien – A Swedish Story About Racism  (Svartskalle – En svensk historia)

Fucking Alien: A Swedish Story About Racism

By America Vera-Zavala

“Am I 16 years old when I call myself by a racial slur for the first time? Since then, I search for the right words. Circumstances force me to accept the words I find: darky, alien, racialized. Racism has not been an issue I want to address. But in the autumn of 2015, I go into a deep grief. I see racism more clearly than ever. This text is an attempt to process the grief. “

It is something that is constantly present throughout the whole story. Even the first kiss is marked by it. It is a story that is never private, but deeply personal and therefore so touching. It is a text that with a clear eye shows how racism affects those who do not fit in. It is an unbearable, fragile, crying, angry, proud, strong and invincible text. It is a text that with theoretical sharpness and with intellectual brilliance shows how racism is created, where it finds its nourishment, how it is fertilized and grows but also how it can be effectively combated and crushed.

America Vera-Zavala stabs her pen in the Swedish heart. She starts from the inside, in the country she conquered as her own, and ends from the outside, observing everything and everyone who over the years has talked about Sweden not being hers anyway. Rarely has systemic racism been freed from its wrapping of benevolence and self-sufficiency with such precision as in this refined essay. Which is also a revolutionary text. The aliens are many. Broken hopes, shattered dreams, suffocated lives: I can not breathe. America Vera-Zavala finds her own way of saying it, and at the same time renews Swedish essay writing and social analysis.

-Stefan Jonsson (author of The Others and Where the Story Ends).

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