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Freedom of Expression Tribute to Else Michelet

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Else Michelet.
Fotograf: Annar Bjørgli

Press Release, 18 June 2009

The Freedom of Expression Tribute is being awarded to Else Michelet for her wide-ranging accomplishments in radio journalism and especially for having developed the original, outspoken humorous radio series ”Hallo i uken” for NRK P2.

The tribute will be awarded on Thursday, 25 June 2009, at 11 a.m. at the Fritt Ord's premises at Uranienborgveien 2, Oslo. The Freedom of Expression Tribute acknowledges remarkable efforts to promote free speech, often in connection with current events. Deputy Chairman George Fr. Rieber-Mohn will deliver the award speech on behalf of the Fritt Ord Foundation's Board.

The tribute will be accompanied by NOK 50 000.

The ”Hallo i uken” series was Else Michelet's idea. It started out with Nils Rykken at the helm in 1989, and then Else Michelet and Kai Sibbern took over as hosts in autumn 1990. Since 1993, Else Michelet has been the sole producer of the weekly series. Else Michelet has now resigned from ”Hallo i uken” to address other tasks that await her at NRK Radio.

As a broadcaster at NRK since the late 1960s, Else Michelet has been involved with a wide variety of humour and satire programmes (”Natt-ta-ta”, ”Nattmat” and ”Nattergalen”). She has worked on ”Nitimen” (talk show) and ”Reiseradioen” (radio travelogue). Michelet has also had several of her own satire series (”Dus med Dem”, ”With Rot i Virkeligheten” and ”Bare barnemat”).

Else Michelet made her debut as a cabaret artist on Den Nationale Scene in Bergen in 1976 with ”Skapningens herre og andre eventyr” (The master of creation and other fairytales). The show ”Hadde vi vinger” (If we had wings) at Vertshusteatret at Torshov is another of her many personal performances. She co-authored the cabaret ”En gutts lykke” (A boy's happiness) along with Tor Arne Johnsen for Oslo Nye Teater in 1979. In connection with 100th anniversary of the Norwegian Association for Women's Rights, she staged the cabaret ”At home, away, draw” at the State Touring Theatre.

Michelet has written several books with a feminist approach. The book Sin egen herre (His own man). Eventyr og annet ugress (Fairytales and other weeds) was published in 1979. En annen historie (Another story) from 1981 was a bestseller, and was adapted for TV. In 1988, she published the novel Ariadnes tråd. Et reiseliv (Ariadne's thread. A travelling life), and 2000 marked the publication of og det som verre var. Eventyr på avveie (and even worse. Fractured fairytales) was published.

Else Michelet has translated several works, including Whose life is it anyway? and The Signature by Brian Clarke. She also translated Female Parts by Dario Fo and Francs Rame and Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo.

Else Michelet was born in 1942 in Trondheim, and she earned a graduate degree in English, French and literary science at the University of Oslo.

Fritt Ord is a public-utility private foundation that aspires to promote freedom of expression and public debate.


See the list of earlier recipients of The Freedom of Expression Tribute



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Supported projects – examples

Photo exhibition - Pushwagner
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Petter Mejlænder's photo exhibition "Pushwagner" will be on display at Gallery Fineart at Tjuvholmen in Oslo from 28 August to 14 September 2014. The photo exhibition is being shown in tandem with Pushwagner's sales exhibition "Movement". The exhibitions will be opened by Mayor Fabian Stang at 6 p.m. on Thursday, 28 August.

In working with the photographs and on Pushwagner's biography, Petter Mejlænder followed the artist's activities closely for seven years. In connection with the exhibition, Mejlænder's photo book about Pushwagner will also be launched. The Fritt Ord Foundation has provided NOK 50 000 in support for the photo exhibition and NOK 75 000 for the biography (a work in progress).

Book launch: From the Youth
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The reportage agency Paragon Features will be launching its book From the Youth at 7 p.m. on Friday, 12 September 2014, at Cappelen Damm Publishing House in Akersgata 47-49, Oslo. The event is part of the Oslo Book Festival. The project was initiated in autumn 2011 in the aftermath of the terrorist massacres that took place in Norway on 22 July 2011; the project is described as a multimedia portrait of a generation of young people. For two years, the young photojournalists Aleksander Andersen, Martin Slottemo Lyngstad and Lars Øverli travelled all over Norway in an ancient camper, documenting Norwegian youth in their natural habitats.

In addition to From the youth now being published in hard copy and as a digital book, in autumn 2014, Paragon Features will host a large-scale travelling exhibition all over the country. The Fritt Ord Foundation has provided NOK 710 000 in support to the project.

Amanda Prize to Light Fly, Fly High
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On 16 August 2014, the Amanda Prize for the best documentary film was awarded to Fri Film for the documentary "Light Fly, Fly High". The film is about the young Indian boxing talent Thulasi and her struggle against discrimination, corruption and sexual oppression. Beathe Hofseth and Susann Østigaard have directed and produced the film. Warm congratulations to Fri Film!

The Fritt Ord Foundation provided NOK 295 000 for the development and production of "Light Fly, Fly High".

Danish distinction to the NJP #1

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The first edition of the Norwegian Journal of Photography has received yet another distinction, this time from a Danish jury. Under the title "Best Book Works of 2013", the Danish Book Crafts Association named last year's best books. The winning books are being exhibited at the Royal Library in Copenhagen before being sent on a book tour around Denmark.

NJP #1 earned distinction in the category “periodica”, and the jury writes, among other things: “Using a subtle, modern layout, 10 Norwegian photographers are presented objectively and clearly. Single navy blue dividing sheets mark the introduction and the transition to/between the individual players whose series of photos are vastly different, but are kept in precisely the same tight rein within a set framework.”

Read more >

Support for journals
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Five journals figure on the list of recipients of the Fritt Ord Foundation's minor grants in June 2014. The journal Manifest Tidsskrift received support for a series of articles "Piketty to the People", and the philosophical journal Agora for a themed issue on racism. Seismopolite received a grant for its publication about freedom of expression in photography, film, theatre and performance art, while the Association of 2007 for the Promotion of Artistic Reflection and Debate received a grant for next year's issue of the art journal Second-Class Mail. Support was also granted for magazine Fanfare's #4 on the concept of "bullshit".

A list has been published of the minor grants awarded by the Freedom of Expression Foundation in June 2014.