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Freedom of Expression Prize for 2013 awarded to Per Fugelli

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Press Release - 20 February 2013

The decision of the Board of Trustees of the Fritt Ord Foundation is based on the following grounds:

"Per Fugelli is awarded the Freedom of Expression Foundation Prize for 2013 for having given a voice to cancer patients and those who stand face to face with death."

The Freedom of Expression Prize is the institution's highest distinction. The amount of the prize is NOK 400 000. The prize is accompanied by the Fritt Ord Foundation statuette made by Nils Aas. The award ceremony will take place at 7.00 p.m. on Tuesday, 14 May 2013, at the Norwegian Opera & Ballet, Stage 2, in Oslo.

Based on his own experiences and illness after being diagnosed with cancer in 2009, Per Fugelli has helped open up a discussion about what it means to be seriously ill. With wisdom and generosity, he has drawn attention to our fears of talking about death and how we repress such thoughts. As Fugelli puts it: "Today's society needs to 'release death from the prison of banned words". Among other works, he has written the following book on this topic: Death, shall we dance? (2010), which has proved a welcome contribution to candour about death in life.

As a general practitioner, Per Fugelli has been an independent critic of his own profession for many years. He has opposed the bureaucratisation of Norwegian health care institutions. Fugelli takes a humanistic approach to health and social policy, focussing on the entire individual. He has shown that the best "social medicine" is to build up and share dignity with vulnerable groups such as ethnic minorities, the poor and those who are physically challenged. Through countless lectures and fearless participation in a large number of important debates, he has been a prominent contributor to Norway's public space fora for a long time.

Born in Stavanger in 1943, Per Fugelli is currently a professor of Social Medicine at the University of Oslo. Before moving to Oslo in 1992, he was a professor of General Practice at the University of Bergen. Fugelli has also worked as a medical officer in Lofoten and in Finnmark County in the far north of Norway. In addition to Death, shall we dance? (2010), he has published the book The Enough Point. Essays on health and dignity (2008), The 0 Vision. Essays on health and freedom (2003), Red prescription. Essays on perfection, performance and health (1999) and The patient Norway. Studies in political pathology (1994). Per Fugelli had a seat on the steering group of Norway's National Value Commission.

The Fritt Ord Foundation's Board is comprised of Georg Fr. Rieber-Mohn (Chair), Grethe Brochmann (Deputy Chair), Christian Bjelland, Liv Bliksrud, Guri Hjeltnes, Frank Rossavik and Sigrun Slapgard.

The Fritt Ord Foundation is a private non-profit foundation that aspires to promote freedom of expression and public debate.

For information about the previous prize laureates.


Photo: Charlotte Holst Fugelli



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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.”

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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.