Rainy first day of the award week

May 26, 2015

Our South African guests spent the first day beeing interviewd by the Swedish press. Swedish National Television decided to shoot the interview outdoors, and luckily, just before it started to rain.
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But just in time for the photo shoot with super photographer Stefan Tell, it started to rain. But as you can see Malusi, Carole and Ntombi kept a very positive mood.
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After the final photo session we went to Astrid Lindgren’s flat at Dalagatan in Stockholm, to meet her daughter Karin Nyman and Johan Palmberg, great grandson.
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The first day of the Award week was completed with a reception at the Swedish Institution for Children’s Books.

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Welcome to Stockholm PRAESA!

May 20, 2015
Malusi Ntoyapi, Carole Bloch and Ntombizanele Mahobe. Photo: PRAESA

Malusi Ntoyapi, Carole Bloch and Ntombizanele Mahobe. Photo: PRAESA

We are so looking forward to meet PRAESA next week. PRAESA will be represented by Director Carole Bloch, training coordinator Ntombizanele Mahobe and Programmes Support Officer and early literacy community trainer Malusi Ntoyapi. Starting on Monday, which will be focused on interviews with press, the award week will contain meetings with children, school representatives, the book industry etc. If you happen to be in Stockholm on Tuesday, we strongly recommend the public talk at Kulturhuset (House of Culture) starting at 6:00 pm. No admission and open to everyone!

Some of the events during the award week:

May 25, Interviews with press. Visit to Astrid Lindgren’s home at Dalagatan, Stockholm.
May 26, Participation in the award ceremony for the reading promotion project Children and Books.
May 26, Public talk with author and jury member Mats Kempe at Kulturhuset (House of Culture). At Kulturhuset’s auditorium 6:00 pm, 3rd floor. Free admission.
May 27, Workshop with children at Kulturhuset.
May 28, Visit to Hjulsta elementary school running the project “The world’s ALMA”.
May 29, Visit to the Astrid Lindgren school in Vimmerby.
May 29, Opening of the new exhibition The whole world’s burning! at Astrid Lindgren’s Näs.
June 1, Award Ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall.

More information about PRAESA here

Image from a Nal’ibali (isiXhosa for “here’s the story”) project - PRAESA’s national reading-for-enjoyment campaign to spark children’s potential through storytelling and reading.

Images from a Nal’ibali (isiXhosa for “here’s the story”) project – PRAESA’s national reading-for-enjoyment campaign to spark children’s potential through storytelling and reading.

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Guardian about the war diaries

May 13, 2015

Today Guardian’s Alison Flood writes about the recently published War Diaries by Astrid Lindgren:

Years before her stories of the red-braided Pippi Longstocking would make her famous, Astrid Lindgren was a 32-year-old mother in Stockholm with two small children, recording the nightmares of the second world war in 17 volumes of diaries that have just been published in Scandinavia for the first time.

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Documenting the progress of war and how it affected her family life, the diaries run from 1 September 1939 until the end of hostilities in 1945 – the year that the publication of Pippi Longstocking would change the Swedish author’s life for good. It took a team led by Lindgren’s granddaughter Annika Lindgren two years to turn the 17 handwritten volumes into the just-published Krigsdagböcker (War Diaries). The book includes facsimile images of the pages, which Lindgren peppered with press cuttings, as well as unpublished family photographs from the war years.

“The family has always known about her diaries. We have always thought, what a pity it was that we couldn’t show them to more people, but we considered it impossible on account of their cumbersome size. At last we decided that her notes without the cuttings are interesting enough to publish. They make a coherent story,” said Lindgren’s daughter, Karin Nyman, the original audience for Lindgren’s tales of the mischievous Pippi.
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“They make fascinating reading, these records of happenings in a neutral, non-belligerent country, squeezed in between Hitler- or Stalin-attacked or occupied countries. Spared, but often in anguish,” said Nyman. “It seemed timely [to publish this year], 70 years after the peace of 1945.”

The diaries, Nyman added, were kept by her mother “in an old chip basket, originally used as a vessel for sending food supplies from Astrid’s parents on their farm, things like eggs, butter, bread, that were scarce in Stockholm during the war.”

“Oh! War broke out today. Nobody could believe it,” writes Lindgren on 1 September 1939. “Yesterday afternoon, Elsa Gullander and I were in Vasa park with the children running and playing around us and we sat there giving Hitler a nice, cosy telling off and agreed that there definitely wasn’t going to be a war – and now today! The Germans bombarded several Polish cities early this morning and are forging their way into Poland from all directions. I have managed to restrain myself from any hoarding until now, but today I laid in a little cocoa, a little tea, a small amount of soap and a few other things.”

A “terrible despondency” is “weighing on everything and everyone”, she goes on, in a translation by Sarah Death. “The radio churns out news reports all day long. Lots of our men liable for military service are being called up. A ban has been imposed on private motoring. God help our poor planet in the grip of this madness!”

Continue Reading here.
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PRAESA to visit the International Youth Library in Munich

May 11, 2015

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On June 3rd the German audience will have the chance to meet this year’s ALMA laureate, when PRAESA representatives Carole Bloch, Ntombizanele Mahobi and Malusi Ntoyapi will visit the International Youth Library in Munich.

Program starts at 7:00 pm. The laudatory speech will be held by renowned German children’s book author Kirsten Boie. For more information please contact anmeldung@ijb.de. Link to the International Youth Library here.

The program is a co-operation between the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the International Youth Library.

Visit to Hjulsta Elementary School

May 8, 2015

Yesterday the award office visited Hjulsta Elementary School (grundskola), where the students have been working with the texts and illustrations of previous ALMA laureates for the entire semester. After the announcement of this year’s laureate in March, they’ve also been learning more about South Africa and about the work of PRAESA.

The students have been reading and discussing books by many of the laureates, and by Astrid Lindgren herself, and based on these reflections they’ve been creating their own works inspired by the books they’ve been Reading.

Today the student’s works were on display at the school, marking the end of their project for this semester. It was an absolute pleasure to see the buzzing activity and the creativity put into the project, and here are a few examples:
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Teacher Ulrika Lindmarker and librarian Cilla Dalén.

Teacher Ulrika Lindmarker and librarian Cilla Dalén.

"PRAESA will visit us!" Text about PRAESA's visit during the Award week.

“PRAESA will visit us!” Text about PRAESA’s visit during the Award week.

Some of their work is already documented on the web site Världens ALMA (the World’s ALMA), and can be seen here: http://världensalma.se/

Since PRAESA will be visiting Hjulsta grundskola during the award week, they will soon be able to see for themselves how the classes have been working to learn about their organisation.

Focus on the joy of books and storytelling in this year’s award week

April 28, 2015

Focus on the joy of books and storytelling in this year’s award week

This year’s Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) week begins on Monday May 25. Representatives from South African organisation PRAESA will visit Stockholm and Vimmerby to participate in an extensive program targeting students, educators, media and an interested general public.

– Through their work, PRAESA has shown how crucial books and stories are in creating rich lives for children and young people, says Director Helen Sigeland. With their efforts to make literature vibrant in several languages and to raise children’s self-esteem as a starting point, we hope to inspire and engage. Many people want to meet them, and in the program this year the interaction with students and educators are particularly prominent. We are obviously very delighted and excited about this!

PRAESA, the Project of the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa, is an organisation working to promote reading and literature for children and young people. They were announced as this year’s recipient on March 31. In Sweden, PRAESA will be represented by Director Carole Bloch, Training Coordinator Ntombizanele Mahobe and Malusi Ntoyapi, Programmes Support Officer.

Selection of planned events during the award week:

May 26 Participation in the award ceremony for the reading promotion project Children and Books.
May 26 Public talk with author and jury member Mats Kempe at Kulturhuset.
May 27 Workshop with children at Kulturhuset.
May 28 Visit to Hjulsta elementary school that runs the project “The world’s ALMA”.
May 29 Visit to the Astrid Lindgren school in Vimmerby.
May 29 Opening of the new exhibition The whole world’s burning! at Astrid Lindgren’s Näs.
June 1 Award Ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall.

More information about the award week will be published on www.alma.se/en.

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) is the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature. The award, which amounts to SEK 5 million, is given annually to a single laureate or to several. Authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters are eligible. The award is designed to promote interest in children’s and young adult literature. The UN convention of rights of the child is the foundation of our work. An expert jury selects the laureate(s) from candidates nominated by institutions and organisations all over the world. The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award was founded by the Swedish government in 2002 and is administrated by the Swedish Arts Council.

Celebrate World Book Day with Nalíbali

April 23, 2015

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Every year on 23 April, South Africa celebrates World Book Day. Today Nal’ibali, PRAESA´s large-scale national reading promotion program, is launching a special children’s literacy rights poster to assert and affirm for children what they need to become inspired and competent readers and writers. Carole Bloch, Director of PRAESA says:

– Many organisations and communities across South Africa are aware of the fundamental challenge we all face in bringing joy and meaning to print in South African languages to all our children – including the very youngest. At Nal’ibali, we believe all children can grow up to be powerful readers and writers and we hope to further empower them with this guide.

The poster has been developed to further the impact of PRAESA’s 2014 Charter of Children’s Literacy Rights, which helps adults to put in place the conditions and resources children need to become fully literate.

– The poster is available in all 11 South African languages to ensure ease of access to the content, and to affirm the equal importance of all languages for literacy development, says Arabella Koopman, Nal’ibali Content Development Manager.

It´s available in the following languages:

Kitty Crowther in Mons – premiére tomorrow!

April 22, 2015
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Photo: Gerda Dendooven

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Photo: Mons2015

For four weeks now, 2010 ALMA laureate Kitty Crowter has been working with a very special project in Maison Losseau, Mons, Belgium.

She’s been making illustrations, just like a Venetian painter, in a white box inside the Maison Lossseau. Tomorrow the box opens and everyone will be invited to enter it through a little, very little door and will dive in the wonderful world of the slag heap or rather in the wonderful idea Kitty has of it: an imaginary scenery in real size, drawn from the floor to the ceiling. Little creatures, crazy trees, unbelievable Worlds.

The installation is open for a month, until May 25th. The project is part of Mons2015 – European Capital of Culture, more information here.

Congratulations Kitty – we ´d loved to be there!

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Photo: Gerda Dendooven

A greeting from Näs

April 17, 2015
Photo: Astrid Lindgren's Näs

Photo: Astrid Lindgren’s Näs

The award office got his lovely photo from Anneli Karlsson at visitor’s centre Astrid Lindgren’s Näs after the announcement. Students from intermediate level of compulsory school (11-year-olds) in Vimmerby followed the press conference live at Näs. During the upcoming weeks they will study the work of PRAESA and learn more about South Africa and reading promotion. Soon (late May) they´re going to meet PRAESA’s representatives in connection with the award week. As Anneli Karlsson put it: We all look forward to meeting them!

PRAESA strives to support children’s self-esteem and linguistic identities

April 14, 2015
Photo: PRAESA

Photo: PRAESA

PRAESA, Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa, was founded in 1992 by the anti-apartheid activist and academic Neville Alexander, who was held for ten years as a political prisoner alongside Nelson Mandela on Robben Island. From the 1980s until his death in 2012, Alexander worked to raise awareness of multilingualism as a key to personal and societal development. His objective was to offer children schooling and literature in their native tongues. For more than twenty years now, PRAESA has made powerful, innovative moves to highlight literature as a key component of both personal and societal development, always grounded in the specific conditions of South African society and culture.

PRAESA has three core goals: to provide children with high-quality literature in the various South African languages; to collaborate with and foster new networks among publishers and reading promotion organisations; and to initiate and carry out activities that support and sustain a culture of reading and storytelling in socially vulnerable communities. South Africa is a country of 11 official languages, with a large gap between poor schools in rural areas and townships and urban schools with stronger resources. PRAESA was an early advocate of using literature and stories in literacy instruction. It has also addressed fundamental questions of how to support school systems in vulnerable areas and how to encourage bilingual or multilingual teaching.

In 2006, PRAESA started the Vulindlela Reading Club in Langa, a township outside Cape Town. The club was quickly followed by many more, both in Cape Town and in other provinces. Club activities emphasize the importance of weaving together books and group reading with dramatization, singing games and storytelling. PRAESA strives to support children’s self-esteem and linguistic identities and activities are held both in children’s native languages and in English. The starting point is always children’s natural curiosity about stories, reading and literature. The Vulindlela Reading Club formed the point of departure for the Nal’ibali project: a large-scale national reading promotion program begun in 2012. Nal’ibali is a network of reading clubs that uses media campaigns to encourage children to read and inspire parents, grandparents and teachers to read with them.

PRAESA believes in change at the grass-roots level. Reading clubs are run by local volunteers, who attend workshops and receive training and mentoring. They continuously develops its strategies and methods to support socially vulnerable areas and reach out with stories and books.

PRAESA’s work manifests fundamental values of democracy and a view on human rights inherited from its founder, Neville Alexander. It is pledged to break down language barriers and support the peaceful co-existence of languages, in partnership with others and with full faith in linguistic, ethnic and cultural diversity.

PRAESA is the 2015 Laureate for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Link to the jury citation here.


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