Ukrainian writer Yuriy Andrukhovych and the Pussy Riot activists will receive the German Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought this year.
The Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought, awarded by the city of Bremen and the Heinrich Böll Foundation, will be shared this year by Yuriy Andrukhovych and Russian performance artists and activists Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina (formerly of the punk band Pussy Riot). The announcement was made on the official website of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, July 24.
The prize is awarded to individuals “who in their thought and deeds openly and courageously accept the challenge of public intervention,” the foundation’s website states. The award ceremony will take place in December 2014 in Bremen.
“The prize winners live and work in the post-imperial space of the dissolved Soviet Union. They have turned against the attempt to re-establish old power relations and abolish political freedoms in Ukraine and Russia. Evidently, conditions are different in the independent country of Ukraine than they are in Russia, which under Putin is following in the footsteps of the former tsarist and Soviet violent regimes,” the foundation’s statement explains.
Award recognizes civic activism
Among other reasons, Yuriy Andrukhovych was awarded the prize for his participation in the protests that took place in Ukraine from November 2013, the foundation states. In particular, the Ukrainian writer published a collection of works about Ukraine’s Euromaidan, which was published by a German publishing house this year. By awarding the Hannah Arendt Prize to Andrukhovych, the members of the jury also wanted to “express their respect for the activists seeking a free and democratic Ukraine. The Prize shall encourage them, as their fight for freedom is not yet over,” the foundation states.
The prize is named after Hannah Arendt, the German philosopher and journalist of Jewish origin and author of the thesis on the “banality of evil.” It is awarded by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the municipal authorities of the city of Bremen for significant contributions to public debate on controversial topics with global significance.
Compiled and translated by Anna Mostovych