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Nobel Prize committee procedures: The politics of prestige

When: Tuesday, 03 September 2019 - Tuesday, 03 September 2019
Where: Braamfontein Campus East
Seminar Room, Humanities Graduate Centre, South West Engineering Building
Start time:12:30

Writer, human rights activist and member of the Swedish Academy, Per Wästberg will present the 2019 Nadine Gordimer Lecture.

Wästberg is also the Chairperson of the Nobel Prize Literature Committee. His association with South Africa began in 1959 when he visited (then) Rhodesia on a fellowship. When he was expelled from the country for his anti-colonial stance, he fled to South Africa, to the home of Nadine Gordimer, and so began a long friendship. He was banned by the South African government in 1960, but visited the region frequently, establishing lasting friendships with writers and activists, including Es’kia Mphahlele, Mongane Wally Serote, Oliver Tambo, Jack Mapanje and Yvonne Vera. Wästberg has written novels, poetry and works of non-fiction. He was a President of PEN International and established the Swedish branch of Amnesty International. Through his work with the International Aid and Defence Fund he came into contact with key anti-apartheid activists, helping to channel funds in support of lawyers defending political prisoners. In 2008 was awarded the Order of the Companions of Oliver Tambo in Silver.

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