Suzi Ersahin, photo Kerstin Lager

Suzi Ersahin becomes new director at ALMA

The Swedish Arts Council has named Suzi Ersahin as the new director for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA). She will assume the post on 16 September 2019, replacing Helen Sigeland, who retires in October.

Suzi Ersahin has served for the past five and a half years as counsellor for cultural affairs at the Swedish Consulate-General in Istanbul, Turkey. She has a background as an artist and many years’ experience in the arts and arts promotion, including as an administrator for IASPIS, the Swedish Art Grants Committee’s international program for visual and applied artists. She is passionate about culture for children, has worked on children's arts projects and has herself led art courses for Children.

"It is with enormous joy that I look forward to leading the work of the world’s most important children’s literature prize. Children’s and YA literature can not only entertain and excite, but also challenge us and bring us to face to face with our deepest fears. ALMA’s values, which support democracy, openness, and the rights of children to culture and the arts, are of urgent importance in this time of global turbulence. The chance to work in Sweden and internationally with Astrid Lindgren’s legacy is a great honor as well as a formidable assignment,” says Ersahin.

As counsellor for cultural affairs in Istanbul, Ersahin initiated some hundred projects across the cultural sphere aimed at forging links, finding commonalities and promoting dialogue between Sweden and Turkey. For example, she created the Young Voices project, based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, aimed at making children’s creative voices heard. Implemented in partnership with local organizations and institutions, the project included exhibitions, workshops, residencies, study tours and events featuring everything from children’s literature and maker culture to street dance and children’s rights issues.

"I am proud of and confident in this recruitment. Suzi Ersahin possesses both great dedication and great expertise in cultural issues that concern children,” says Swedish Arts Council director Staffan Forssell.

Further information:
Mariella Kucer, Communications Officer, ALMA
076-540 10 17, mariella.kucer@alma.se