28 maj Konserthuset, Stockholm 29 maj 2012
Tal vid utdelningen av ALMA-priset 2012
Det talade ordet gäller.
Your Royal Highness, Excellences, Dear Guus Kuijer, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Astrid Lindgren once said: "Everything great that ever occurred in the world - initially occurred in someone's imagination."
That's where it all begins - in our minds.
Children move seamlessly between reality and imagination. Thoughts have no boundaries and everything is possible.
In the process of growing up we have a tendency to limit our scope. We learn to categorize our impressions and see the world from fixed perspectives.
It won't be long before the child knows how to speak, how to behave and how to think in order to be accepted and understood.
But in this process we run the risk of losing our inner voice and confining our thoughts and power of imagination.
Guus Kuijer offers us a view through the eyes of a child. He gives the reader an opportunity to rethink and open up again. His stories are told without compromising.
Just like Astrid Lindgren he shows no fear of depicting the harsh and difficult sides of life. And - as Astrid Lindgren - he creates new boundless worlds, born out of a child's loneliness and sadness. In their writing they both very clearly state that children are competent individuals with their own rights to be respected.
Literature can set our minds free. It can be joyful. It can give us strength to carry on in times of sorrow. It can open our hearts to others.
The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award becomes more and more recognised every year. In addition to strengthening the position of children's and young people's literature, the prize also consolidates the freedom of speech and the freedom of expression globally.
We are not afraid!