Wednesday May 24, 2017

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Landmark night for Nordic Council awards

For the first time ever, all five Nordic Council prizes were awarded simultaneously at the council’s gala in Oslo last night
Danish author Kim Leine (far right), pictured with the other award recipients, thanked the Nordic Council in Greenlandic for his award last night (Photo: Magnus Froderberg/

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The Nordic Council, the official inter-parliamentary body in the Nordic region, handed out its annual awards last night.

The awards span music, literature, children’s literature, films and the environment.

In all, Danes took home three of the five awards. Author Kim Leine won in the literature category, while the council’s award in the nature and environment category went to Selina Juul from Stop Spild af Mad (Stop Wasting Food), for her organisation’s efforts to stop food waste.

The Danish film ‘the Hunt’ (Jagten) won the film award. ‘The Hunt’, a film about a teacher falsely accused of molesting a child, is Denmark’s nominee in the Academy Awards’ foreign film category.

Leine, who was born in Norway and moved to Denmark as a young man, was awarded the literature prize for his book ‘The Prophets of Evighedsfjorden’ (Profeterne i Evighedsfjorden). Leine’s ambitious book is set in Greenland in the 17 and 18 hundreds and tells the story of a young divinity student, Morten Falck, who undertakes a solitary missionary trip to convert native Greenlanders to Christianity.

The jury described Leine’s book as “a riveting epic about oppression and rebellion, an anti-colonial, sprawling work that fantasises about man as body and mind”.

Leine thanked the council in Greenlandic.

The Finns take two
The evening’s other two awards went to Finnish artists.

Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto won the prize in music and was called “a world class violinist who possesses an equally unique creativity and musicality”.

The Finnish book ‘Karikko’ by Seita Vuorela and Jani Ikonen was the first to receive the Nordic Council's new Children and Youth Literature award.

All of the winners were on hand at the opera house in Oslo to receive their prize statuette ‘Northern Lights’. Nordic Council prizes are worth just over $64,000 and are awarded annually.