People and Places

Venice (1947)

In 1947, Kulo and Majlis went for a two-month trip and left daughter Lena at home in Sweden with the grandparents. They travel through a Europe that has just come out of the second world war and end up in Venice, Italy.

Majlis and Kulo at Piazza San Marco, Venice in 1947.

Paris (1947-1950)

In 1949, Kulo and family moved to Paris and lived at the Hôtel de la Paix for 1 year. Kulo is accepted into Picasso’s painting school as well as into L’Académie André Lhote. Kulo’s daughter Lena says that she had to go by herself between the bar, where Majlis and Kulo often sat, home to the hotel and back again. She was often sitting on the sidewalk outside the bar playing with her doll.

Kulo’s daughter Lena with her doll in Paris the Christmas of 1948.
Lena’s doll – named “Rosalie”, now in the care of her daughter Sara. Picture from 2023.

In Paris, they meet painter Wiking Svensson who became their friend. Also in Paris is Tage Nilsson, whom they already know well from their time in Stockholm. Tage’s girlfriend is young, Swedish actress named Inga Gill and she sometimes babysits Lena. In just a few years after babysitting Lena, Inga would become a favourite actor of Ingmar Bergman and appear in several of his movies, including epic classics like The Seventh Seal, where other famed actors like Max Von Sydow were part of the cast.

During the time living in Paris, Wiking won $10,000 on some share certificates and Lena remembered that there was a huge party then!

Hotel de la Paix, Paris, where Kulo and family lived for a year in 1949.
Swedish actress Inga Gill, who was Kulo’s daughter Lena’s babysitter in Paris. Only a few years after babysitting Lena, Inga would become a favourite actor of famed Swedish movie director Ingmar Bergman.
Swedish newspaper article with the title “Swedish at Montparnasse”, picturing the Swedish painters Viking Svensson, Fabian Lundquist and Kulo Green. The article text reads; “There are plenty of Swedes at the art academies in Montparnasse and around the café tables in Quartier Latin”. Here, three boys from the art colony at the west beach have met outside Dôme, from the left; Viking Svensson, Fabian Lundquist and Kulo Green”.
The crossing in Montparnasse, outside legendary restaurant Le Dôme at 108 bd. Montparnasse, Paris, where Kulo and collleagues are pictured in the article above. This picture from July, 2018. Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway were some of the artists that frequented Le Dôme while Kulo lived in Paris. Edith Piaf sings about the cafe in her, for Kulo’s stay in Paris, contemporary song “Paris” from 1949.

Edith Piaf’s song “Paris” from 1949

Restaurant Le Dôme is still in business in the same place as when Kulo and his colleagues frequented it. Here is the restaurant’s website:

Nils Ferlin, friend, poet and lyricist

The Swedish poet and lyricist Nils Ferlin, was a friend of Kulo.

Nils Ferlin was born in Karlstad, Värmland, where his father worked at Nya Wermlands-Tidningen. In 1908, the family moved to Filipstad, and his father started his own newspaper. His father died the next year, however, and the family moved from their comfortable residence to a humbler dwelling in the industrial district so that Ferlin could finish his education. He graduated at the age of sixteen.

Although many of Ferlin’s poems are melancholic, they are not without humor. Several were set to music and became popular songs such as En valsmelodi, an attack on the music industry. Ferlin sold over 300,000 volumes of his poetry during his lifetime. His lasting appeal is partly attributed to his vivid portrayal of central Stockholm before urban renewal and his association with the popular culture that flourished there then.

Sketch of a sleeping Nils Ferlin by Kulo Green. A curious fact is that this sketch was hanging in the entrance of the residence of Kulo and Majlis and the back side served as a telephone book and notepad.

Several statues of Nils Ferlin have been erected in Sweden: one in Filipstad of him sitting on a park bench, one in the Karlstad city square of him standing on a table, and one near Klara kyrka in Stockholm of him lighting a cigarette.

Statue of Nils Ferlin depicting him lighting a cigarette at Nils Ferlin Sqare near Klara kyrka in Stockholm.

Torredembarra (1951-1970)

During 1953 – 1962 Lena lives with her parents in Borås on Torstenssonsgatan and they travel to Catalonia in Spain for long periods every year. During this time, Kulo also has a motorcycle that he drives to school to pick up Lena. Majlis is reasonably happy that they are out and about. The helmet law came in 1975, many years later. Lena is of course very proud when her father picks her up at school. During this time, Kulo continues to work as an artist. He has exhibitions in Stockholm and several other places.

Kulo’s daughter Lena with her friend Manolito in Torredembarra, Catalonia 1952.

Melilla (Spanish territory in Algeria)

In 1952, Kulo and family visited Melilla (an autonomous city of Spain in north Africa, bordering to Morocco).

Kulo’s daughter Lena with friends in Melilla, Morocco 1952.