Midwife in the Mountains

“The midwife in Lapland was my first photo-essey to be sold abroad. It was sufficiently exotic, I guess. I was 22 and this success inspired new adventures.”

Lennart Nilsson’s pictures and stories about Siri Sundström, the midwife in the Swedish wilderness, was widely published in Swedish and international media. Behind the mountains lay a Sweden that was unknown even to the Swedes.

“In 1945, I accompanied the midwife Siri Sundström in Arjeplog for weeks, after a tip from a Lapland doctor, Einar Wallquist. We got around up there in the wilderness with a wood gas car first, then on horseback, and sometimes the last part on skis. Siri Sundström was a fantastic woman, and it was exciting to watch her at work. She had helped some 2,500 women around Arjeplog give birth. I gave her an album with pictures to thank her for her help. She later donated it to some museum up there.”