Freedom of Expression Tribute to Else Michelet

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

Support for journals

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 (in Norwegian).

Who is your hero?

The Fritt Ord Foundation Competition for Pupils in Upper Secondary School will continue with a new topic in the upcoming school year: "Freedom of expression's heroes and anti-heroes".

To help the participants get started, we would like a contribution from you. Send in a short film clip in which you answer the question about who is your hero or anti-hero, and state your reason why in one sentence. Send the film to or as ‪#‎frittordhelt‬ on Twitter.

Manuscript support for new books

The Fritt Ord Foundation's round of major allocations in June 2014 included grants for 20 Norwegian writers to support the creation of new factual prose. For example, Sidsel Wold received NOK 150 000 for a book project with the working title "How to understand Syria?", while Sølvi Wærhaug received NOK 100 000 for a book on the history of the school of home economics that takes its point of departure in its founder Minna Wetlesen. NOK 150 000 were awarded to Ola Henmo for his documentary book about Karen Friele. Håvard Rem was awarded NOK 125 000 for the book ”Norwegian lyrics”, an historical literary review of Norwegian-language lyrics from 1945 to 2015, and Kjetil Jakobsen was granted NOK 150 000 to work on the second and third volume of the work "The World Citizenry's History of Ideas".

See the entire list of the major grants made by the Fritt Ord Foundation in June 2014.

Contributions to blog projects

The minor grants in May 2014 include two journalistic projects based on blogs as a means of communicating information. Through a blog and a newspaper column in the newspaper Dagsavisen, musician and journalist Aslak Borgersrud will report from the corridors of Stortinget, the Norwegian parliament, under the title "A Lout in Parliament". In their project "The Identity of Ukraine", the young journalists Eskil Wie and Frode Nagel Dahl will communicate news items from Ukraine through blogs, websites, exhibitions and books.

A list of the minor grants awarded in May 2014 has been posted.

Festival support

When processing applications for major grants in April 2014, support was given to seven festivals. The Bollywood Festival Norway 2014 and the project "Nobel-Myanmar Literary Festival: Literature: for Peace" were among the recipients, along with the Non-fiction Festival in Oslo and the Festival University at the Oslo Book Festival. Grants were also awarded to the Oslo International Poetry Festival, the Trondheim Documentary Festival and the Literary Festival Words in the Borderland in Fredrikstad. Most of the festivals are scheduled for autumn 2014.

See the list of the major grants awarded by the Fritt Ord Foundation's in April 2014.