Bjornson Prize to Edward Snowden

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Edward Snowden, the American whistleblower, gets the Bjornson Prize for his disclosures regarding governmental surveillance.

Former security contractor Edward Snowden won the Norwegian Bjornson Prize for freedom of expression last Tuesday and received yet another invitation to leave his exile and receive the award in person.

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The Bjornson Academy said the 31-year old fugitive had won the Bjornson Prize, named after the Norwegian Nobel literature laureate, “for his work protecting privacy and for shining a critical light on US surveillance of its citizens and others.”

The Academy hopes to hand over the award to Edward Snowden at this year’s Bjornson Seminar in Molde on 5 September. Bjørnson Academy has been in contact with several lawyers to consider whether Snowden may come to Norway without being extradited to the United States.

Snowden was awarded Sweden’s Right Livelihood Award in 2014 but chose to accept it by video link rather than leaving his exile in Russia.

https://youtu.be/rgL0FDCyTrg

He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the second year in a row. The Nobel Prize will be awarded in Oslo on October 9.

Bjornson Academy
The Norwegian Academy of Literature and Freedom of Expression (Det Norske Akademi for Litteratur og Ytringsfrihet) is a Norwegian institution, founded in 2003, and also called Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson-Akademiet. The background being that Norway, contrary to many other countries, lacked a free and independent academy of literature.

Who was Bjornstjerne Bjornson?
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (1832-1910) was the son of a Norwegian pastor. At school in Christiania (Oslo) Henrik Ibsen was one of his fellow students.

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In 1857 he succeeded in starting a literary career when he wrote the historical play Mellem slagene (Between the Battles) and became stage director at the Norwegian Theatre in Bergen.

During the following years he took part in national politics (as he did all his life) and divided his creative activities between historical tragedies and country tales such as Arne (1858) and En glad gut (1860) “A Happy Boy”, both of which were meant to show a kinship between the contemporary peasant and the saga heroes of old in their taciturnity and love of adventure.

Bjornson on Norwegian bank note
Bjornson on Norwegian bank note

The years 1860-1863 he spent abroad, mostly in Italy, where he was deeply affected by Michelangelo and Greek sculpture.

The seventies were marked by a second visit to Italy (1873-1875) and a turn toward realism and social problems which produced the plays En fallit (The Bankrupt) and Redaktøren (The Editor), both in 1875. In Kongen (1877) “The King”, he dealt with the loss of Christian ideals in today’s secular society, a concern which led him into a religious crisis and to a rejection of the church dogma.

Bjornson, painting by Peder Severin Kroyer
Bjornson, painting by Peder Severin Kroyer

In 1882 he left Norway and spent five years abroad where En hanske (1883) “A Gauntlet” was written, a play in which he attacked hypocrisy concerning sexual matters as well as the liberal attitude of the Bohemians. During the following years he wrote educational novels such as Det flager i byen og på havnen(1884) “The Heritage of the Kurts” and På Guds veie (1889) “In God’s Way”, with its main theme of religious tolerance, as well as the educational play Over evne, annet stykke (1895) “Beyond Human Power”.

His last important plays were Paul Lange og Tora Parsberg (1899), which treats the theme of political tolerance, and finally Nar den ny vin blomstrer(1909) “When the New Wine Blooms”. Bjørnson’s collected works were published in nine volumes in 1919.

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Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (1832-1910) was the son of a Norwegian pastor. At school in Christiania (Oslo) Ibsen was one of his fellow students. Bjørnson participated early in the movement for a national Norwegian theatre and wrote some poetic plays which he did not publish. While a student, he became a literary critic for theMorgenbladet in 1854 and contributed criticism as well as stories to various other newspapers. In 1857 he succeeded in starting a literary career when he wrote the historical play Mellem slagene (Between the Battles) and became stage director at the Norwegian Theatre in Bergen. During the following years he took part in national politics (as he did all his life) and divided his creative activities between historical tragedies and country tales such as Arne (1858) and En glad gut (1860) “A Happy Boy”, both of which were meant to show a kinship between the contemporary peasant and the saga heroes of old in their taciturnity and love of adventure. The years 1860-1863 he spent abroad, mostly in Italy, where he was deeply affected by Michelangelo and Greek sculpture.

The seventies were marked by a second visit to Italy (1873-1875) and a turn toward realism and social problems which produced the plays En fallit (The Bankrupt) and Redaktøren (The Editor), both in 1875. In Kongen (1877) “The King”, he dealt with the loss of Christian ideals in today’s secular society, a concern which led him into a religious crisis and to a rejection of the church dogma. In 1882 he left Norway and spent five years abroad where En hanske(1883) “A Gauntlet” was written, a play in which he attacked hypocrisy concerning sexual matters as well as the liberal attitude of the Bohemians. During the following years he wrote educational novels such as Det flager i byen og på havnen(1884) “The Heritage of the Kurts” and På Guds veie (1889) “In God’s Way”, with its main theme of religious tolerance, as well as the educational play Over oevne, annet stykke (1895) “Beyond Human Power”.

His last important plays were Paul Lange og Tora Parsberg (1899), which treats the theme of political tolerance, and finally Nar den ny vin blomstrer(1909) “When the New Wine Blooms”. Bjørnson’s collected works were published in nine volumes in 1919.

Bjornson received the 1903 Nobel Prize in Literature “as a tribute to his noble, magnificent and versatile poetry, which has always been distinguished by both the freshness of its inspiration and the rare purity of its spirit”, becoming the first Norwegian Nobel laureate.

Bjornson Prize to Edward Snowden, written by Admin