Winners of the Baltic Assembly Prize in 2010

(24.09.2010.)

On Friday, 24 September, the Joint Judging Committee convened in the Saeima to evaluate nominees and decided to award the Prize for Science to Jānis Stradiņš, the Prize for the Arts to Antanas Žukauskas, an artist and sculptor from Lithuania, and the Prize for Literature to Ene Mihkelson, a poet and prose writer from Estonia.

In evaluating the nominees, experts in literature, the arts, and science acknowledge that this year they are characterised by a broad professional diversity and that it was especially difficult to reach agreement on winners of the prizes in the arts and literature. Winners have demonstrated their talent in the Baltic States and internationally and their works will continue to be relevant in the years to come.

Jānis Stradiņš (Dr. habil. chem.) has been chosen to receive this award for his book The Beginnings of Science and Higher Education in Latvia. Professor Ivars Lācis, chairman of the Joint Judging Committee, noted that the committee voted almost unanimously to award Jānis Stradiņš the Prize for Science. “The personality of Stradiņš shines through the written word; he is a man who has won recognition and love not only from a large part of Latvian society but also from the other Baltic states. And this fact is more important than this vote,” stressed the chairman of the Judging Committee.

Antanas Žukauskas, an artist and sculptor from Lithuania, has been chosen for the Prize for the Arts for communicating past values in the fine arts, striking the right balance between the modern and the traditional, and for promoting awareness of Baltic identity in the world. Ramutė Rachlevičiūtė, a member of the Joint Judging Committee, stressed that this artist’s work was vital in creating symbols of Lithuania’s independence. He designed the Lithuanian currency and numerous collectors’ coins that have been circulating all over the world. His works have been exhibited in Lithuanian and European museums, as well as in the most prestigious art museums, galleries, churches, and other locations in a number of cities throughout the world. 

Ene Mihkelson, a poet and prose writer from Estonia, has been selected to receive the Prize for Literature for her poetry collection Torn (Tower). Sirje Olesk, a member of the Joint Judging Committee, comments on Mihkelson’s work by calling attention to its universality: her poetry addresses everyone, as evidenced by the fact that her works have been translated into English and German, as well as into Swedish and Finnish.

It is planned to award the prizes during the BA session that will take place on 21–22 October in Riga. Each prize is EUR 5000. 

The Joint Judging Committee consists of nine experts in literature, science and the arts from Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. 

The other nominees for BA Prize of this year were as follows:

in literature:
• Sigitas Parulskis (Lithuania), poet, prose writer, essayist, playwright, translator and literary critic, nominated for his collected poetry Temptations of an Elderly Man (2009) and the novel Murmanti siena (The Murmuring Wall, 2008);
• Edvīns Raups (Latvia), poet, nominated for his collected poetry Putn’ (Bird’, 2008);

in the arts:
• Andris Nelsons (Latvia), conductor, nominated for his outstanding achievements in promoting the performing arts and creating a positive image of Latvia in the world;
• Tõnis Saadoja (Estonia), painter, nominated for his artistic achievements in integrating Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian artistic environment;

in science:
• Zenonas Butkus (Lithuania), professor, nominated for his collection of historical documents The Idea and Practice of the Unity of the Baltic States in 1918-1940: A Collection of Documents;
• Gabrielle Hogan-Brun, Uldis Ozoliņš, Meilute Ramoniene, Mart Rannut, and Ina Druviete, nominated for the monograph Language Politics and Practices in the Baltic States (2009) – an overview of the language situation in the Baltic States by examining the linguistic, political and social consequences of language policy both locally and internationally.

The BA Prize was established in 1994, and in recent years it has been awarded to several well-known people in the field of culture. In 2009, the BA Prize for Literature was awarded to Inga Ābele for her novel Paisums (High Tide). In 2008, the BA Prize for Literature was also awarded to a Latvian – the poet and poetry translator Knuts Skujenieks for his articles published in eight volumes. In 2007, the Latvian theatre critic Silvija Radzobe received the BA Prize for the Arts for her contribution to the book Teātra režija Baltijā (Theatre Production in the Baltics).

The Baltic Assembly is an interparliamentary cooperation organisation of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania which was founded on 8 November 1991. The Baltic Assembly consists of 12 to 20 members from each country’s parliament. The Baltic Assembly is a coordinating and consultative organisation which has a right to express its opinion to national parliaments, governments and the Baltic Council of Ministers in the form of resolutions, decisions, declarations and recommendations; it can also request answers from these institutions on activities regarding cross-border issues that are on the BA agenda.

Pictures from the meeting of the Joint Judging Committee at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/saeima/sets/72157625022735426/
For public use of any material, please give credit to the Saeima

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Sestdien, 6.jūnijā

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