Posts Tagged ‘Kennet Johansson’

Sweden’s Minister for Culture opens the Bologna Children’s Book Fair

February 14, 2013
Photo: Stefan Tell

Photo: Stefan Tell

“It is a great honour to be opening this important event and it will be exciting to see Swedish literature for children and young adults in an international context,” Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, the Swedish Minister for Culture, stated in a press release yesterday.

“As well as giving Sweden an opportunity to promote its children’s and young adult literature, the fair also offers a forum for discussions and debates on how we can stimulate young people to read more books.”

Photo: Sweden's Ministry of Culture

Photo: Sweden’s Ministry of Culture

As we´re written before on this blog, Sweden will be Guest of honor at Bologna Children’s Book Fair, which opens on March 25. As guest of honor, Sweden will be presenting a major exhibition of contemporary Swedish illustration, as well as seminars and activities featuring Swedish’ authors and illustrators (further reading about the programme here).

Kennet Johansson, Director General of the Swedish Arts Council, commented the Swedish’ participation with the following words:

“The Swedish Arts Council administers the world’s greatest award in children’s and young adult literature, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA), whose recipient is announced each year in Bologna. Now we have an additional opportunity to promote reading among children and young people internationally, and we are very pleased for this chance to present Sweden as guest of honor.”

Both Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth and Kennet Johansson will participate at the announcement of this year’s ALMA recipient, at the Illustrator’s café  at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair on March 26 at 1:00 pm.

Opening day of Göteborg Book Fair

September 27, 2012

The first intense day of the Göteborg Book Fair offered a lot of interesting seminars and conversations, many of them in the limelight of reading promotion. Here´s a few highlights:

The Committee on Literature, appointed by the Swedish government last year, presented its final report. The purpose of the Committee’s work was to leave suggestions on how to strengthen the position of literature, and to propose what kind of efforts should be done by the government to meet the technical challenges of today.  A report of 600 pages was officially handed over to the Swedish Minister for Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth. The report is commented by the Director General of the Swedish Arts Council, Kennet Johansson, available in Swedish here.

The Swedish Reading Ambassador, Johan Unenge, opened the Swedish Arts Council’s stand program this morning. He gave his
opinions on how to engage reading for children and young adults.

Furthermore, Kennet Johansson, talked to Anna Ekström, director general of the Swedish National Agency for Education, about the importance of encouraging reading for children and youths. Much of the conversation dealt with the importance of school libraries. – The school library was extremely important in the village I grew up in, said Kennet Johansson. We were only allowed to borrow one book at a time during the weekends, but I managed to negotiate myself to three books instead.
The conversation was also about the need for libraries to co-operate with schools, as to the need to develop the skills of teachers and educators. Anna Ekström emphasized the importance of school libraries as a refuge for children who may have a hard time.

Paediatrician and former member of the ALMA jury, Lars H Gustafsson, talked to Kjell-Åke Hansson, managing director of Astrid Lindgren’s Näs, on the subject of children’s rights and Astrid Lindgren’s speech Never Violence! from 1978. Why was it really considered to be so provocative at the time? – With Never Violence! she made a connection between the violence at home and world peace, Lars H Gustafsson said. Every strike is a strike towards war.
Lars H and Kjell-Åke talked about Astrid Lindgren’s way of strengthen children’s self-esteem and to make them feel that they also have rights. – You can never underestimate her achievements, Lars H finished.

Finally, Larry Lempert, head of the International Library in Stockholm and chairman of the ALMA jury, was presented to the Greta Renborg award for his remarkable marketing efforts. You can´t really tell by looking at the image, but he was very happy!

Major initiative for children’s literature in Bologna 2012-2013

September 23, 2011

Next year the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award will be presented for the tenth time and celebrated with an anniversary exhibition at the 2012 Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy. During the fair, the 2012 award recipient will also be announced.     

In March 2013, Sweden will be the guest of honour at the international Bologna Fair. The Swedish Arts Council (Kulturrådet) announced this today at a press conference in Gothenburg.

Swedish Minister of Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, Roberta Chinni, responsible for the Bologna Children's Book Fair, and Kennet Johansson, Director General Swedish Arts Council

“We have been given a unique opportunity to showcase Swedish children’s and young adult literature in an international context. The rights of children and young people are central to Sweden’s cultural policy,” says Minister for Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth. 

“We are responsible for the world’s largest prize for children’s and young adult literature and we now see this as a further opportunity to promote Swedish literature and to encourage children and young adults to read.  We are extremely pleased about being the guest of honour at the Bologna Fair,” says Kennet Johansson, Director General of the Swedish Arts Council.

More information is available in our newsroom here.

Shaun Tan’s award lecture

May 28, 2011

Tuesday evening, the auditorium at Kulturhuset in Stockholm was filled to the last seat with an enthusiastic audience listening to Shaun Tan’s Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award lecture. Katti Hoflin welcomed the audience and Kennet Johansson, Director General of the Swedish Arts Council, welcomed Shaun Tan on stage.

Shaun Tan spoke about his work, his inspiration and his thoughts on stories and art. Below is an excerpt where Shaun Tan speaks about how great art asks well crafted questions rather than delivers answers:

“A good creative idea is little more than a hunch, an intuition that something meaningful is out there, over in the darkness beyond the houses, trees and power-lines. It can’t be spoken of directly: explanation or advice won’t work here. For an idea to really weave itself into the fabric of your memory, it must be experienced first-hand: you have to find your own resolution. This is what good literature offers the reader, and especially the young reader, encountering so much of this world for the first time, and children will happily respond to anything that respects their own insight, without telling them what to think.

The surrealism of my stories and pictures is partly a confession of ignorance, an acknowledgement that life is weird and mostly undiscovered. It’s okay to be uncertain, puzzled and not have all the answers.”

After the lecture, as Shaun Tan exited the auditorium, a very long line of readers were waiting to have their books signed. In the foyer, artist Tor Svae had made an installation inspired by Shaun Tan’s book The Arrival and his animated film The Lost Thing was screened.

For anyone who missed the event, the complete lecture will be broadcasted by UR Samtiden on 30th of May at 17.30. It will also be available on demand here.

All photos by Stefan Tell