Georgian authors, illustrators, Nikozi Art School revealed among Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award nominees

  • The six nominees from Georgia are among 282 selected names from 71 countries. Photo via Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award., 22 Oct 2021 - 18:27, Tbilisi,Georgia

Six Georgian nominees have been unveiled for the 2022 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, with authors, illustrators and the Nikozi School of Art in central Georgia selected by organisers of the internationally renowned prize.

Authors Tea Topuria and Mariam Tsiklauri, authors and illustrators Zaza Abzianidze and Irma Malatsidze, as well as illustrator Varlam Jmukhadze are in the longlist of the selection for the Swedish event, joining the Nikozi school teaching young students in one of Georgia's oldest villages.

National nominations for Malatsidze and the school - located on the administrative boundary separating the Georgian-controlled territory from the Russian-occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region - had been first announced last year, while Tsiklauri was named in 2019.

Malatsidze has published works in children's literature since 2004 and was unveiled as a winner of Georgia's 2018 Pen Marathon contest at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

The Nikozi school is known for having been founded in 2009 in a locality affected by the Russian-Georgian war the year before, and is now helping the youth in the village learn animation, visual arts, foreign languages and more.

On the nominee list, these names join Topuria, recipient of Georgian literary prizes including the 2008 Saba Prize and a 2011 Gala Award for her published collections of prose and poetry.

The list also features Abzianidze, a literary critic and author who received the 2011 Gala Award for Publishing Project of the Year, along with other prizes.

Also included among the nominees, Mariam Tsiklauri is a co-founder of the 'Libo' Foundation for the Development of Children's Literature, and is also known for her poetry collections, with her poems selected for the World Poetry Almanac 2011.

Rounding off the selection, Varlam Jmukhadze has created illustrations for publications of Georgian mythology, designed book covers and featured in exhibitions in Georgia.

Established in 2003, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is used to highlight authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and projects working to promote literature for children and young people. It is now the world's biggest award for the literary genre.