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En korridor med bokhyllor och glödlampor som hänger från taket

New on the Jury

The Swedish Arts Council Board has named writer and librarian Balsam Karam and researcher Katarina Eriksson Barajas as new jury members. Their terms will begin on July 1, 2021. “Balsam Karam’s wide gaze and Katarina Eriksson Barajas’ fascinating research will complement the jury in a superlative way. We are delighted that they have accepted,” says Suzi Ersahin, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award director.

Kvinna med örhängen och halsband
Photo:: Carla Orrego Veliz

Balsam Karam (b. 1983) is a writer and a children’s librarian at Rinkeby Public Library in Stockholm. She is one of the leaders of the project “Läslust i Rinkeby” (Reading for Pleasure in Rinkeby) which aims to promote reading among children in the age group 8 to 12. She drew widespread attention with her debut novel, Händelsehorisonten (Event Horizon), published in 2018. Her second novel, Singulariteten (The Singularity), appeared in March 2021. In the spring of 2021 she also sat on the jury of the Young Writers for Young Readers writing contest which we arranged in collaboration with Tensta Konsthall.

It is a privilege to join such worthwhile discussions about the shape and state of children’s literature around the world. I hope to contribute with my language skills and perspectives, especially as a working librarian.

Kvinna med axellångt hår och halsduk
Photo:: Linköping University/Anna Nilsen

Katarina Eriksson Barajas (b. 1966) is a professor of education at Linköping University with a special focus on didactics. She has a strong interest in the ways that children and young people experience stories. She has engaged in various research projects looking at the use of fiction as a didactic tool in teaching, and she has investigated the function of book reading in medical, police and teacher education. She has also taught children’s and YA literature to teachers in training.

This is an amazing opportunity to help spotlight and support reading for children and young people! I’m looking forward to the discussions within the jury and to learning about exciting reading promotion projects and reading interesting literature.