Posts Tagged ‘Elina Druker’

ALMA seminar in Istanbul

December 5, 2014
Photo: Elina Druker

Photo: Elina Druker

The Swedish Consulate General in Istanbul on Thursday hosted a presentation of Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention. Helen Sigeland emphasized the importance of the nominating bodies and Elina Druker, PhD in literature and jury member, gave a presentation of Barbro Lindgren. Prof and jury member Henry Ascher concluded the evening by talking about Astrid Lindgren’s humanistic values and the UN convention of the rights of the child. Invited to the event were reading promoters, librarians, teachers and representatives of writers’ organisations. Maybe some of the guests are future nominating bodies!

Turkish illustrator Friedun Oral and Elina Druker.

Turkish illustrator Feridun Oral and Elina Druker.


Photo: Henry Ascher

Photo: Henry Ascher

Lecture with Elina Druker. Photo: Henry Ascher

Lecture with Elina Druker. Photo: Henry Ascher

Lecture with Henry Ascher. Photo: Elina Druker

Lecture with Henry Ascher. Photo: Elina Druker

The Arrival at bilingual theatre Uusi Theatre

September 22, 2014

Last Saturday was the premiere of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival at the Swedish Finnish Uusi Theatre in Stockholm. The Director Emil Sandberg says that the themes, language, identity and alienation in the book felt anxious for the bilingual theatre.

– The new country, which Shaun Tan’s story is set in, is as foreign to all beholders of different cultures and languages, but thus equally available, says Sandberg.

Back row: Stage Designer Karl Anders, Composer Yves Diop, Director Emil Sandberg. Front row: actors Jaakko Kulmala, Sannah Nedergård and Sanna Sandberg.

Back row: Stage Designer Anders Karls, Composer Yves Diop, Director Emil Sandberg. Front row: actors Jaakko Kulmala, Sannah Nedergård and Sanna Sandberg.

The performances are played on either Finnish or Swedish entirely dependent on the audience, but also dominated by a ringing nonsense language spoken by the inhabitants of the foreign city, completely incomprehensible to both the protagonist as well as the audience. Sandberg says that the entirely wordless graphic novel invites you to a dramatic performance, just as the movement and sounds from actors and stage design opens up a possibility to give the story new interpretations. The performance is played by three actors: Sanna Sandberg, Jaakko Kulmala and Sannah Nedergård, and is set at Uusi Theatre’s home stage at Hälsingegatan 3 in Stockholm. The music has been composed by Yyves Diop.

/Elina Druker, member of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury

Illustration: Anders Karls, Uusi Teattri

Illustration: Anders Karls, Uusi Teatteri

Astrid Lindgren, children’s literature and reading promotion, a report from Tel Aviv

July 24, 2013

Elina Druker, researcher, critic and member of the ALMA jury, reports from a visit to film festival and a reading promotion project in Tel Aviv, Israel:

Astrid Lindgren’s works and especially her cooperation with photographer Anna Riwkin-Brick has received special attention at the children’s film festival Cinematheque in Tel Aviv, which is going on 18-24 July. This popular festival, organized for the ninth time, is this year focusing on films that have been adapted from children’s books. The Lindgren’s and Riwkin-Bricks’ books are treasured and have classic status in Israel and the books are still read today. In addition to film screenings, other events were organized surrounding these books, including the library Beit Ariela, which last Friday held a well-attended seminar with Palestinian researcher Abed El-Salam, author Tamar Verta and myself, and the Israeli researcher Hanna Livnat. Furthermore, a reading marathon for the younger audience was arranged under the theme of Astrid Lindgren’s Ronia the Robber’s daughter.

Hebrew editions of the book series for children in the world by photographer Anna Riwkin-Brick, used by Elina in her seminar: Elle-Kari, lyrics by Elly Jannes (immensly popular in Israel), Eva meets Noriko-San, lyrics by Astrid Lindgren and Eli in Israel by Lea Goldberg. Photo: Elina Druker

Hebrew editions of the book series for children in the world by photographer Anna Riwkin-Brick, used by Elina in her seminar: Elle-Kari, lyrics by Elly Jannes (immensly popular in Israel), Eva meets Noriko-San, lyrics by Astrid Lindgren and Eli in Israel by Lea Goldberg. Photo: Elina Druker

Other events at the festival were a panel discussion between documentary filmmaker Dvorit Shargal, journalist Kobi Meidan and myself. Shargal is working on a documentary about the children of Lindgren’s and Riwkin-Bricks’  books. In particular, the focus was Riwkin-Bricks and Elly Jannes iconic photo picture Elle-Kari came out in 1952. The auditorium was crowded, and a funny surprise was that the protagonists from the book Eli live in Israel (from 1964), aged five at the time when the book was written, appeared on stage – now almost fifty years later! Link to festival’s web here.

Eduardo Goldenstein. Photo: Elina Druker

Eduardo Goldenstein. Photo: Elina Druker

Among many films from different parts of the world, the Cinematheque also screened a preview of a film based on 2004 ALMA recipient Lygia Bojunga’s Corda Bamba (from 1979), which opens in the theatres in Brazil this fall under the auspices of the Brazilian Director Eduardo Goldenstein. The film, which is Goldenstein’s debut, is about a girl in a circus family trying to deal with a great sorrow. Goldenstein tells that he read the book for the first time when he was ten years old and describes his relation to Bojunga’s novels:

I was her reader as a kid and it turned out that I became a filmmaker as an adult. For me this film is a special homage to Lygia Bojunga’s work, so important to many generations of young Brazilians.

Link to trailer here.

Eyal Feder at the Garden Library in Tel Aviv and Elina.

Eyal Feder at the Garden Library in Tel Aviv and Elina.

Books as a human right

During my stay I also visited the Garden Library, a reading promotion organisation in the southern parts of Tel Aviv, which offers books for refugees, migrant workers and their children via a small outdoor library. The library was founded by ARTEAM, a socially engaged art collective, and is today run by volunteers. I met Eyal Feder from the Garden Library, who told me that the library currently contains 3,500 books in languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Bengali and Hebrew. Every weekend families and children from Tel Aviv’s southern neighborhoods are gathering in Lewinsky Park to visit the library, and the organisation also arranges regular theater performances, reading and writing assistance and other activities. The library is formed by two open bookcases, which are supported by the walls of a public shelter located in the heart of the park. It has a simple roof, which provides shade and shelter. After sunset, the bookshelves are lighted up from behind, which allow reading and creates a meeting spot in the evenings. This small but remarkable library, surrounded by playing, reading and chatting children, is situated in the middle of a harsh environment but is, at the same time, a welcoming and truly inspiring meeting place for both adults and children. More about Garden Library here.

Elina Druker

The Arrival by 2011 ALMA recipient Shaun Tan. One of the 3500 books in the Garden Library. Photo: Elina Druker

The Arrival by 2011 ALMA recipient Shaun Tan. One of the 3500 books in the Garden Library. Photo: Elina Druker

Photo: Elina Druker

Photo: Elina Druker

Book AW with Elina Druker

April 26, 2013

DN 1

Book After Work is a series of inspiration nights for pedagogues in Stockholm, arranged by reading promoting project Barn&Böcker (Children&Books). Yesterday it was time for the Stockholm teachers to get an introduction to Isol’s artistry by Elina Druker, member of the ALMA jury.

Elina spoke about Isol as a young, brave artistic voice and showed examples of Isol’s humour, how she captures the absurdities of the adult world and uses the picturebook medium to deal with the grand, important matters of life.

Barn&Böcker is a collaboration between the Education Department of Stockholm City Council, Stockholm City Library, Skansen, and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

DN 2

Why not read a really good book?

December 21, 2012

We suspect that many of you blog readers might have some lazy vacation days in front of you now. Why not read a really good book? Here are some suggestions from the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

Mats Berggren. Photo: Stefan Tell.

Mats Berggren

Mats Berggren, member of the jury:

I´ll put your letters under the mattress – A correspondence 1971 – 2002 (our transl.) by Astrid Lindgren and Sara Schwardt (Salikon 2012). The best book I´ve read this fall. I was expecting some Astrid Lindgren curiosities, but this is something much more. Sara’s drama, which emerges through the letters, is captivating, I read the entire book at one sitting to find out how it went. She writes well, she is after all only 12 years old when the book begins. There is a directness in the teenage heart that makes me think of Barbro Lindgren’s books. Astrid is very skilled at being personal enough to get Sara to open herself. A the same time you get clues about Astrid herself – she complains about how hard it is to write, it took an entire spring to finish the last two chapters of the Brothers Lionheart.

Elina Druker. Photo: Stefan Tell.

Elina Druker


Elina Druker, member of the jury:

I´d like to recommend Kitty Crowther’s Le Petit Homme et Dieu (Pastel 2010,The Little Man and God , our transl., not yet published in English), a picture book about a little man who meets a strange creature in the forest, a creature that turns out to be God. The book, which is skillfully translated by Lennart Hellsing, is a fun but also staggering story that raises news thoughts and questions, and is perfect for both younger and older readers.

Helen Sigeland.

Helen Sigeland

Helen Sigeland, Director:

The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett (Penguin Australia 2012) is set in World War II England. Two children, Cecily and Jeremy, are sent to live in the country to escape the bombing in London. The two siblings and ten-year-old May soon find mysterious ruins and learn about a terrible legend involving two missing children relating to Richard III. This is a wonderful thrilling novel about power and effect of war for (young) adults. Read it!

Annika Edlund.

Annika Edlund

Annika Edlund, member of the jury:

I can recommend the book Florian Knol by Guus Kuijer (Querido 2006). Florian is an ordinary boy with an unusually large and red hair. A small sparrow sits on his head and Florian names the sparrow Nico. Katya from his school, who is a grade above him, explains that she is in love with him, and that makes Florian’s tummy tickle. At the same time he’s thinking about whether he´s really ready for love, or if he is mature enough to take care of an old person…
… because in the neighboring house old Mrs Raaphorst lives, and she has forgot her key. That´s in itself not that serious, but Florian is perplexed as she talks about a fork when she apparently means a key. There is something very confusing about this. Together with Katya, he decides to help the old lady, whom they call granny.

The book of Florian Knol is a wonderful story about understanding, forgetfulness and love, written by this year’s award recipient, Guus Kuijer. The book was published in 2006 in Dutch, and this year in Swedish. I was delighted and had such a good feeling in my whole body while reading this book. It´s a philosophical and loving book for everyone.

(All images above are taken by photographer Stefan Tell.)

Illustrators for Bologna 2013 announced

November 20, 2012

Today, the participating illustrators of the exhibition on contemporary Swedish children’s book illustrators in Bologna 2013 were announced.

Among the 31 illustrators are well known artists such as Pija Lindenbaum, Sven Nordqvist, Pernilla Stalfelt and Stina Wirsén. But quite a few of the illustrators are born in the 80s, such as Karin Cyrén, Siri Ahmed Backström, Johanna Hellgren and Matilda Ruta. Andreas Berg, spokesman for the jury, announced the news at a press conference at Konstakademien (the Royal Swedish Academy of fine Arts), and in his speech he emphasized the fact that a new generation of illustrators have entered the limelight: “Perhaps we´re standing on the threshold of a new golden age…”

The illustrators have been chosen by a jury appointed by the Swedish Arts Council. Two members of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury, Ulla Rhedin and Elina Druker, have been part of the exhibition jury.

Sweden is to be the guest of honor at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair on 25–28 March 2013, where children’s and young people’s right to culture will be the overall theme. As guest of honor, Sweden will present a major exhibition on contemporary Swedish illustration. The Swedish component of the program will also include seminars and activities featuring Swedish authors and illustrators, both at the fair and at other venues in the city of Bologna.

Kennet Johansson, Director General at the Swedish Arts Council, held a welcome speech.
Lotta Brillioth Biörnstad, Swedish Arts Council, and Andreas Berg, jury spokesman.

Congrats Elina Druker!

October 30, 2012
Photo: Stefan Tell

Elina Druker, PhD and member of the ALMA jury, has been appointed University Lecturer in comparative literature with at focus on children and young people. This is the first lectureship with this direction at Stockholm University. The award office caught Elina for a comment between her lectures at the university.

Congratulations on your new job! What significance does it have, do you think, that Stockholm University has instituted this lectureship?

Thanks, I´m really happy! Stockholm University has had a professorship in literature focusing on children’s and young adult literature since the early 80s. It’s great that we get a lectureship in the same direction, it will strengthen our literary profile further.

What are the current issues within the research field of children’s and young adult literature today internationally?

The Research areas expand in different directions, indicating that the topic has been established in many countries. Intermedial research, gender studies and cognitive studies are exciting areas among other things.

You are involved in the project “Children’s Literature, Culture and Cognition”, can you tell us about this?

It is a series of books on new European and Scandinavian children’s literature research, which will be launched soon. We are four editors from four different countries, so it is a very exciting and stimulating cooperation.

Do you have any hopes and aims with this new lectureship?

My special interest is picture books, so I hope to draw attention to the picture book further in my work. It is an area within children’s literature where very much is happening right now, both in Sweden and internationally.

Elina Druker begins her new employment on February 1, 2013.

ALMA at IBBY Congress in London

August 24, 2012

The 33rd IBBY International Congress opened on Thursday in London, entitled Crossing Boundaries: Translations and Migrations. John Dunne, secretary of if IBBY UK opened the session and among the key note speakers were three British Children’s Laureates: Michael Morpurgo, Julia Donaldson and Anthony Browne.

Michael Morpurgo got the idea of introducing a system of children’s laurete for promotion of reading from his friend Ted Hughes, “a laureate for grown up children known as adults”. The idea was not to create celebrities but to inspire children to become readers. During his time he travelled to many countries and his enthusiastic speech led to an immediate invitation to Afghanistan from a congress participant.

lllustrator Anthony Browne focuses on how illustrations can help children to retell a story and Julia Donaldson demonstrated how drama can inspire children to read. Congress participants suddenly found themselves on stage acting as cow, pigs, chickens and goats! The system of children’s laureates is now in traduced in Australia, Ireland, UK, US and Sweden.

The four day program is very extensive and there are many things happening at the same time. Link to programme here.

Michael Morpurgo on stage, the first Children’ Laureate of UK.


Julia Donaldson on stage, the present UK Children’s Laureate.


Former ALMA jury member Birgitta Fransson and present member Elina Druker are two of approx. 600 participants at the33rd World Ibby Congress.


Storyteller Anne Pellowski in conversation with Liz Page, Chief Executive of IBBY.

Pippi Artwork by Ingrid Vang Nyman at Näs

June 19, 2012

Photo: Astrid Lindgren’s Näs

Astrid Lindgren’s Näs in Vimmerby opened their sixth summer exhibition last Saturday. The theme is the works of the artist and children’s book illustrator Ingrid Vang Nyman, mostly known for her illustrations of Pippi Longstocking. Vang Nyman is also considered to be the one that introduced modernism among the Swedish children’s book illustrators. Some 50 original illustrations are displayed, along with Pippi playing areas for both children and adults.

Photo: Astrid Lindgren’s Näs

Mikael Ahlerup, Managing Director of the fairytale park Astrid Lindgren’s World, opened the exhibition. Researcher, writer and member of the ALMA jury, Elina Druker, held a lecture about the exhibition protagonist.

The exhibition is produced by the art museum Millesgården in Stockholm, in cooperation with Saltkråkan.

Elina Druker new jurymember

July 18, 2011

We bid the researcher, writer and literary critic Elina Druker very welcome to the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Elina assumed her position as member of the ALMA jury on July 1st. She is a researcher with considerable experience in children’s and young adult literature, with special emphasis on picture books. She teaches and lectures in literature, children’s literature and intermediality at Stockholm University, amongst many other things. The award office caught her during her summer holiday in Finland:

How do you view your new assignment as jury member of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award?
– It is great fun and such an honor to be part of this important award! The prize has over the years highlighted important writers, artists and organizations, and the interesting candidates reinforces children’s and young adult literature.

What is your relation to Astrid Lindgren?
– I think my relationship with Astrid Lindgren is quite common for people in the Nordic countries. Her books are a part of my childhood, and have given me important reading experiences. As an adult I have continued to read her books for my son. Reading her books as an adult is also a great experience and gives entirely new, often surprising perspectives.

Right now you´re on summer holiday. What books will you bring to the hammock?
– We read a lot aloud at home, inspite of the fact that my son is 14 years old. At the moment we read much science fiction, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is the last book read. I have for myself read books by the Japanese writer Haruki Murakami.