Bart Moeyaert accepts the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2019

Bart Moeyaert accepts the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2019

The Belgian author Bart Moeyaert tonight received the world’s largest literature award, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award at a ceremony in the Stockholm Concert Hall. The award was presented by H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria. In his acceptance speech, Bart Moeyaert emphasized the importance of offering children valuable memories.

− It’s curious how words that you learn as a young child can remain etched in your memory forever. It also shows exactly how important the age of six, seven, eight is. The fact that something can be etched in the memory. The fact that we can seize the opportunity to etch something of value in it. The fact that what is of value does not necessarily have to be the child-sized version (or whatever adults imagine to be child-sized), said Bart Moeyaert.

Apart from the prize sum, 5 million SEK, the laureate received a diploma, presented by H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and illustrated by Karin Cyrén och Maja Zetterberg. In her congratulatory speech, Swedish Minister for Democracy and Culture Mrs. Amanda Lind said:

− There are as many childhoods as there are people who have ever lived. Actually, if we include all daydreams, all fears and all wishful thinking, there are even more childhoods. Bart Moeyaert, you have showed us so many different childhoods.

The ceremony was hosted by the actress and comedienne Nisti Stêrk. During the evening, musical entertainment was provided by Swedish singer Sarah Klang who performed the songs Mind, Blue Bird and newly released Heaven. Performer Jason Diakité read from Moeyaert’s novel Brothers. Seven young boys acted as Bart and his brothers. Choco Canel was DJ and the trumpet fanfare was performed by Johan Lindeborg and John Axelsson.

The award ceremony ends a week of ALMA events, including a public lecture, school visits and a trip to Astrid Lindgren’s childhood home in Vimmerby. 

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.

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