Posts Tagged ‘Henry Ascher’

Henry Ascher in documentary

January 27, 2015
Henry Ascher. Photo: Stefan Tell

Henry Ascher. Photo: Stefan Tell

Professor of paediatrics and jury member Henry Ascher is being portrayed in Bo Harringer’s new documentary Aven de döda har ett namn (“Even the dead has a name”), now featured at the Göteborg International Film Festival. The context is really a journey through time. Partly Henry’s political journey from the Vietnam War to his involvement in the Palestine-Israel conflict, but also a trip even further away in time about his parents and grandparents, his entire family on his father’s side who was murdered in Nazi concentration camps. Bo Harringer wants the film to be “an appeal to all people to learn from history and thus fight Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, all oppression of people of different religions. We must learn to say no, we cannot allow the Nazis to march unnoticed on our streets.” An extremely important and urgent issue, not the least today, on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

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

Workshop at the Frölunda Cultural Centre

October 9, 2013

Henry 2

— Aaah!

There is a murmur through the room. The lights have just been turned off and a new image emerges, glows from the book that lies in front of 22 eight-year-olds. This year’s laureate of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, Isol, is showing illustrations and talking about her books. She has just demonstrated how the children can unleash their imagination and create fun and unexpected things with drawings.

She asks the children to suggest a number that she then draws on a whiteboard. And she draws another one. And another. Isol twists and turns the numbers without any apparent order. And suddenly, the numbers have become a funny figure! With pen and paper, scissors and crayons, anything is possible.

Henry 3

The children in the primary school Flatåsskolan in Gothenburg have already read Petit, the Monster and Numeralia and talked about Isol, Astrid Lindgren and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. And now she actually stands here, in front of the children, at the Frölunda Cultural Centre. The children live nearby, in a suburb of Gothenburg, but many of them have roots far away in other parts of the world.

— My mother is from Brazil, one boy says.

Isol speaks English with the children and many of them answer her with a good command of English. Sometimes she speaks Spanish and then America Vera-Zavala translates.

Isol shows images from her latest book, Nocturne – Dream Recipes, to be published in Swedish in January 2014. Copies of the book are handed out to the children and they start working in pairs. On every page of the book there is a plain ink drawing. Then the light in the roof is turned off and each book is illuminated by a desk lamp or a flashlight. The excitement trembles in the air. The children count to 30. Then all lights are turned off.

Henry 5

— Aaah!

Now another fantastic image appears, that glows greenish yellow in the dark. An image of a dream!

— Now you shall make your own dreams, Isol says. Draw what you like.

Paper, pencils and crayons are distributed. Hearts, houses, lightning, cars and exciting shapes are emerging. The children cut them out and put the pictures on the last page, which is white and empty.

Then all the lights are turned on over the books.

— This time we count to 50, Isol says.

The “aaah” is more overwhelming this time. The children quiver with joy to see the results of their own creations. And then the illustrations slowly fade away.

Henry 6

They immediately start with their next picture. They draw, change and start all over again. They put pens and scissors in patterns and are surprised by the results. Finally, the lesson is over. The children want to continue and are disappointed when they are told to finish, but soon forget the disappointment when librarian Anna Carin Svedstam at Frölunda Library inform them that they are actually allowed to bring the books home.

While the teachers prepare the children to leave, the queue of children in front of Isol is growing. Everyone wants an autograph. And everyone wants to give her a hug …

Henry Ascher, member of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury

Hello there, Henry Ascher

July 2, 2012

Photo: Joakim Roos

Chief and associate professor of paediatrics, Henry Ascher, took the position as new member of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury on July 1st.

Tell us a little about yourself. Who is Henry Ascher?

I’m a paediatrician who does a lot of work relating to the health and rights of refugee children, and indeed to the rights of all children. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that health involves much more than conventional medical care. For instance, culture and literature are crucial to human health.

You’ve received multiple awards for your commitment to and work in the field of children’s rights and human rights. What is it that drives you?

A sense of justice. It’s really about resisting oppression and injustice, about not imposing ourselves on others, not subordinating other people. This may have something to do with my family background. My parents arrived in Sweden before the Second World War as refugees fleeing the Nazis. My father lost his entire family. Throughout my life, I’ve always recalled my maternal grandparents’ concept of justice and their belief that the lessons to be learned from the horrors of Nazism are universal. We must work to create the conditions in which all of humanity can thrive and prevent such atrocities from ever happening again.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My encounters with children, especially those living in difficult circumstances. As a fellow human, you can achieve a lot by giving children support and affirmation. Through small efforts, you can accomplish many things of great importance to children. Take the example of child refugees, who are often viewed either as helpless victims or as really strong individuals. We have to realize that the two are not mutually exclusive – that children can be both at the same time.

Read the entire interview here.