Today, on 8 February 2018, the Estonian government approved the recipients of the National Lifetime Achievement Award for Culture nominated by the relevant committee. Awards for long-term distinguished activity go to author Aino Pervik, theatrical director Merle Karusoo, and textile artist Anu Raud (photo attached).
According to one of the nominators, the Estonian Centre for Children’s Literature, author Aino Pervik (Raud) is the favourite childhood author of many Estonians. She has given her readers unforgettable moments in the company of Kaari, Kunksmoor, Arabella and many other characters. She is also well able to enchant today’s children, be it by reading stories about Paula, Klabautermann, Bluefant or the King of the Valley of Woes. Aino Pervik’s message is borne by a sense of mission and love of humanity for readers of all ages, and she expresses deep life truths in a way that makes them understandable to young readers. In its nomination letter, the Tänapäev Publishing House says that Aino Pervik’s work is not just limited to children’s literature. She is still actively writing today and publishing new works. Another nominator, the Estonian Writers Union adds that “stories love Aino Pervik and she probably also loves them.”
According to the nominator, the Vanemuine Theatre, the work of textile artist, academician and Professor Emeritus Anu Raud is closely linked to Estonians sense of nationhood and their roots. She has also done a great service by training and educating several generations of Estonian textile artists, and Raud is still a faculty member and professor emeritus at the University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy as well as in the Estonian Academy of Arts. Anu Raud’s work is comprised primarily of rugs – nature, the home, and folk art provide the core for her inspiration. Anu Raud is the curator of the Heimtali Museum of Domestic Life and designer of its permanent exhibition.
Theatrical director Merle Karusoo’s lifework is memory theatre, in which the life stories of Estonians collide with complicated memory barriers. These theatrical texts were born by interviewing original sources and collecting material in other ways, for example from archives. In its statement the Association of Estonian Directors notes that Karusoo’s documentary performances explore many important topics, such as relations between Estonians and Russians, becoming an adult, risk groups, and also war and deportations. Merle Karusoo is still very active as a director, theatrical teacher, and as a supporter and instructor of amateur theatrical activities.
The National Lifetime Achievement Award for Culture is presented for outstanding long-term creative activity and the amount of the award is €64,000. Three lifetime achievement awards are presented each year.
This year, the annual National Culture Awards will be presented to
· composer Märt-Matis Lill for the opera Into the Fire;
· Jüri Okas for the exhibition, Jüri Okas, as well as in recognition of his continued excellent form;
· artist Kris Lemsalu for performances at the Performa17 art biennial in New York, the David Roberts Art Foundation’s 10th anniversary events in London, and her exhibition activities in 2017;
· actor Guido Kangur for his roles in the productions, Three Winters, Ivanov and After the Rehearsal;
· poet, philosopher and translator Mart Kangur for his poetry collection Liivini lahti and translation of Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, by French philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari.
The amount of each annual award is €9,600 and five awards are presented each year.
The lifetime achievement awards and annual awards for culture will be formally presented just prior to the centenary of the Republic of Estonia, on February 20th at 14:00, in the Läänemaa Secondary School in Haapsalu, together with the presentation of the national sports awards, science awards and the Ferdinand Johann Wiedemann Language Prize.