Saadawi receives The Stig Dagerman Prize

The recipient of The Stig Dagerman Award 2012 is Nawal El Saadawi, Egyptian writer, doctor and activist.

The prize ceremony will take place at Stora Hallen, Laxön in Älvkarleby, Sweden, Saturday the 19th of May at 1 p m. After the actual prize ceremony, conducted by the prize jury chair Arne Ruth and René Dagerman, the gates of the water reservoir of the water energy plant nearby will be opened, symbolizing the freedom of speech. After this, there will be a programme about Nawal El Saadawi's work in Stora Hallen, where her literature, activism and feminism will be focused.

The Stig Dagerman Prize /Stig Dagermanpriset/ is a Swedish award given since 1996 by The Stig Dagerman Society and the municipality Älvkarleby, situated 160 km north of Stockholm on the east coast. The prize is named in honour of Swedish author Stig Dagerman (1923-1954). The award is given to a person who, or an organization that, in the spirit of Dagerman supports the significance and the availability of the free word, the freedom of speech. The prize is inspired by Dagerman's poem En dag om året that sets forward a vision of piece and humanity by imagining one day each year when the world is free from injustice and violence.


The award ceremony takes place each year at Laxön in Älvkarleby. The prize is 50 000 SEK. Twice, in 2004 and 2008, the price receiver subsequently won the Nobel Prize in Literature (Elfriede Jelinek and Jean-Marie Gustave le Clézio.

Just Once a Year

Why don't we make belive just once a year
that Death has drowned beneath the deep blue sea!
no one's life is undermined by fear,
and no one shoots his neighbor for a fee.

Tempests and floods have taken a vacation,
they're resting in some luxuary hotel.
Hangmen yawn and wait for inspiration,
and every gas tap's firmly closed as well.

No one's throwing bombs in crowded places,
no drunken driver's crashed into a wall.
- 'Course it's not true, don't pull such faces!
It's make believe and dreaming after all.

Stig Dagerman, Feb 23, 1954

Translation by Laurie Thompson



John Hron, young victim of hate crime in Sweden


Yasar Kemal, Turkish writer


The Swedish Public ("People's") Library


Ahmad Shamlou, Iranian poet


Roy Andsersson, Swedish filmmaker


Elise Johansson, Swedish writer


Gitta Sereny, British historian and journalist


Lukas Moodysson, Swedish filmmaker


Elfriede Jelinek, Austrian writer


Göran Palm, Swedish writer


Sigrid Kahle, Swedish journalist


Lasse Berg, Swedish journalist


Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, French writer


Birgitta Wallin, translator, and editor of the intercultural Swedish magazine "Karavan"


Eduardo Galeano, Uruguyan writer, poet, journalist and activist


Judit Benedek/SOS Romer

2012 Nawal El Saadawi, Egyptian writer


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