African Shopping in Stockholm

African Shopping in Stockholm

Uncover the beautiful colors of Africa in Stockholm as Bobbie Traut explores deeper into Stockholm to find African shopping in Stockholm with unique designs, textiles, art, and jewelry.

colours of africa store
Colours of Africa photo courtesy of the author

Cities have layers. And as you dig deeper into a place, you begin to peel back those layers. You find that your perspective and relation to that place has shifted, deepened, expanded.

To go beyond what you see on the surface requires some excavation. The digging is worth it, however, because that is where you find the treasures.

On the surface, Stockholm has an abundance of beautiful shops with Swedish or Scandinavian made goods. There are textiles, pottery, and paintings, and other unique products by local Swedish designers.

The streets of Gamla Stan are lined with these shops, drawing in tourists and locals with their bright and creative window displays.

Even with so many unique choices, I wondered if designers and products from outside of Scandinavia had found a place in Stockholm.

African Shopping in Stockholm

I dug a little deeper, and I found African art, textiles, jewelry, pottery, sculpture, and so much more on Södermalm—a stone’s throw away from Gamla Stan.

If you are looking to change or diversify your home decor to include patterns and designs from different parts of the world, then look no further than two of Stockholm’s Africa-inspired stores.

Colours of Africa

colours of africa meerkats
Colours of Africa photo courtesy of the author

If you have no particular destination in mind and are interested in a variety of products from across the continent, then Colours of Africa is the perfect place.

Each item lists its country of origin. You can find bracelets made from recycled plastic flip flops, all the way from Mali. There are delightful cream-colored, wooden meerkats with wide dark eyes from Zimbabwe, available in three sizes.

You can find handwoven rugs, carved candle holders and brightly-colored accessories.

Colours of Africa strives to buy direct from the artists and craftspeople themselves. More of your money goes directly into the hands which carved your new wooden meerkat or wove multi-colored rugs from recycled plastic. 

AfroArt

afroart in stockholm
Afroart photo courtesy of the author

Visit Afroart and support local artisans who preserve traditional crafts and folk art. The store features handicrafts not only from Africa but also Asia and Latin America, including Nepal, Bangladesh, and Guatemala. 

Since 1967, Afroart has focused on using art and handicrafts as a means to educate and broaden public understanding of these regions.

By introducing people to rainbow-hued fabrics, intricate beadwork, and detailed basket weaving, your appreciation grows for the artistry, skills, and traditions of other lands and cultures.

Afroart has two locations in Stockholm, both central, and one in Göteborg.

Go beyond shopping with Afrikagrupperna—a membership-based organization

afrikagrupperna calendar
Photo courtesy of Afrikagrupperna. Click here to buy this calendar

Shopping is not the only way to peel back Stockholm’s varied and diverse layers.

Afrikagrupperna hosts occasional film screenings, discussions and other events on topics related to the continent— some in English and some in Swedish.

A membership-based organization, Afrikagrupperna supports local partners in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe in finding sustainable solutions to eliminate poverty.

The organization also focuses on educating and informing people in Sweden about the continent. In an effort to shift perceptions of these countries, Afrikagrupperna dismantles distorted stereotypes and gross generalizations.

Anyone can become a member and participate in the organization’s decision-making processes. You can contribute to the organization’s mission for a yearly fee of 240 to 300 SEK.

African Jazz Club

Hosted at the Hotel Hellsten in downtown Stockholm, the African Jazz Club performs usually twice a month. Find them on the weekends with songs and beats that get toes tapping and people out of their chairs dancing.

The Club brings in musicians—both local and international – with various styles such as the Stockholm-based group—Kuvumbana.

Influenced by the music of Mozambique, this East African troupe also hosts public percussion and dance circles for anyone at any skill level. Beginners are welcome! You can bring your own drum or borrow one to participate in the drum circle.

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Author: Bobbie Jo Traut

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