On 8 October, the digital meeting of the Joint Jury of the Baltic Assembly took place. During the meeting, members of the Joint Jury decided that the winners of the Baltic Assembly Prize in 2021 are Vahur Afanasjev (Laanoja) (1979-2021) (Estonia) in Literature, Ginta Gerharde-Upeniece (Latvia) in the Arts and Virginijus Šikšnys (Lithuania) in Science.
Vahur Afanasjev (Laanoja) was nominated for his novel “Serafima ja Bogdan” (“Serafima and Bogdan”, published in 2017), Ginta Gerharde-Upeniece - for the direction of the international exhibition project “Wild Souls. Symbolism in the Art of the Baltic States” and Virginijus Šikšnys - for exceptional achievements in biomedical sciences – pioneering research in CRISPR-Cas9 Genome editing.
Among the Jury members there are highly acknowledged artists and experts from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia - Valdemaras Razumas, Erika Drungytė, Petras Skirmantas, Rimantas Jankauskas, Bārbala Simsone, Diāna Lagūna, Guna Zeltiņa, Triin Soone, Piret Tibbo-Hudgins and Marika Mänd.
The aim of the Prize is to support outstanding achievements in literature, the arts and science; demonstrate the common interests of the countries in this region in upholding of their national identity and self-esteem; create an opportunity to learn about the achievements of the neighbouring countries; maintain a continuous interest among the people in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia about developments in the Baltic states; strengthen cooperation among the Baltic states in the fields of literature, the arts and science; encourage more and more people to become interested in the intellectual values and languages of the Baltic nations; and raise the level of literature, the arts and science in the Baltic states.
The Prize consists of a monetary prize, a certificate and a statuette, which are awarded annually during the Session of the Baltic Assembly.
Other candidates for the Baltic Assembly Prizes
Antanas A. Jonynas (Lithuania), translator and poet, is nominated for the collection of sonnets “Naujieji sonetai”.
Andris Akmentiņš (Latvia), writer, is nominated for his great contribution in Latvian literature over past few years – two excellent prose works – novel “Teachers” (Skolotāji, published in 2018 as a part of historical novel series “We. Latvia, XX century”) and novel “In search of Ezeriņš” (Meklējot Ezeriņu, published in 2021 in prose and literature history series “I am…”).
In the Arts
State Choir “Vilnius” (Lithuania) is nominated for the synthesis of creativity and professionalism, implementation of non-traditional events and projects and innovative artistic solutions and for one of the most significant and important projects – the International St James Festival.
Kaido Ole (Estonia) , artist, is nominated for his work as one of the most distinguished and internationally recognized artists in Estonia with high regard to the Baltic cultural space.
Edīte Tišheizere (Leščinska), Ieva Rodiņa, Dita Jonīte, and Lauma Mellēna-Bartkeviča (Latvia) are nominated for their collective monography “Theater of Independence. Phenomena and Personalities at the Turn of the Century and in the 21st Century” (Rīga: LU LFMI, 2020).
Professor Emerita Anne Luik (Estonia), Life Sciences, is nominated for educational and promotional work in the development of organic farming, environment-friendly plant protection and sustainable agriculture not only in Estonia but the whole Baltic region in cooperation with her Latvian and Lithuanian colleagues.
© Photo by the Administration of Parliament of the Republic of Latvia (Author: Ieva Ābele)