Varberg Theatre was more than full on April 18th when Mikael Wiehe received the Lenin Award and the Sara Beischer the Robespierre Prize. The framework for the popular award ceremony was the same as before, with Lasse Diding as master of ceremonies and with speeches by Jan Myrdal and Cecilia Cervin, chairman of the Jan Myrdal Society.
Myrdal spoke “About the battle in society’s superstructure” in his characteristic way and with his special choice of words. You cannot call this year’s award-winners or the winners of previous years any kind of Myrdal-faction, said Myrdal. “If the award-winners are in agreement with me and my work is unimportant, some have directly polemised against me”, the writer said in his speech. Cecilia Cervin, PhD in literature and expert on psalms spoke directly to the award-winners. About Wiehe, who she thought was well-known in this auditorium, she could reveal that he has also written two hymns in the latest supplement to the Swedish Church’s psalm book.
The former Lenin Award recipients Roy Andersson, Maj Wechselmann and Maj Sjöwall participated in the award ceremony at Varberg Theatre and on stage stood, as usual, Lenin’s portrait bust, this year reinforced with a handbag. As usual, there was also top-quality music entertainment during the award ceremony, this year by Jonsereds Proggorkester.
Both award winners gave speeches. Mikael Wiehe “About the grave-diggers of free speech”. Oddly enough, written in advance, he said and read it out. The grave-diggers were those in DN, Göteborgs-Posten, Expressen and politicians who want to silence critics of neoliberalism. Sara Beischer revealed in her speech that she grew up in Varberg and read an excerpt from her first novel “I’m not really supposed to work here”. In her speech, Sara thanked her parents for “giving me the literature and the belief in change”.
And it was not only a successful award ceremony. The festivities continued with the annual general meeting of the Jan Myrdal Society, tour of the Jan Myrdal Library, bathing in the Lenin Spa for some and a party at Hotell Gästis in the evening. Jonsereds Proggorkester entertained in the evening as well and there was both a sing-along and dancing after dinner.