Open Access

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


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 Swedish Mine” advocacy advertising campaign, launched in 2021, is presented as a case study 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. Using visual culture studies, feminist, and critical race theory approaches to analyse the campaign materials, I explore how the campaign aestheticises “green” industrial progress by tokenising multiculturalism, fetishising consumption, and romancing national identity. As a counterpoint, I examine how social media reactions and activist responses illustrate tensions between mining acceptance and mining resistance in Swedish society. I conclude by positioning the campaign rhetoric in various forms of climate propaganda and highlighting the limits of the engineering of public consent for a “green” transition when such attempts use emotions as sites of “cognitive extraction” to cover technological and capitalist imperatives that ultimately promote Sweden as a leading mining nation.