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  • Arts & Culture
  • Issue 35

Word:
Flygskam

Can a new sort of shame slow air travel?
Words by Megan Nolan. Photograph by Johanna Wallin.

Etymology: Swedish singer-songwriter Staffan Lindberg announced in 2017 that he would no longer use air travel, a decision co-signed by other Swedish public figures including opera singer Malena Ernman (Greta Thunberg’s mother) and the Olympic athlete Björn Ferry. The neologism flygskam has gained popularity in the years since, combining the Swedish words for flight and shame.

Meaning: Flygskam refers to the particular anti-flying movement that grew out of Sweden. But it also relates to the more general and subjective issue of guilt that an individual may feel around their carbon footprint and air travel. It is hoped that an atmosphere of disapproval toward frequent fliers will gradually shift attitudes and decrease the normalization of commercial flying.

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This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Five

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