Yaşar Kemal: First Duty of Art is Uprising

BIANET 14-11-2013 – Author Yaşar Kemal has been awarded with Bjørnson Prize by Norway’s Literature and Freedom of Expression Academy.

Dedicated to the memory of Norwegian poet Bjornstjerne Bjørnson, the selection of this year’s recipient has been announced last month.  On November 9, an award ceremony has been organized in Molde with the participantion of Yaşar Kemal who received the prize from Bjørnson Academy President Knut Ødegård.

Following the award ceremony, Norway’s Capellen Publishing House Editor-in-Chief Aase Gjerdrum made a presentation on Yaşar Kemal’s literary works. Also, a panel has been organized with the title “War and Global Memory” on the disappearance of collective memory due to the demolition of written / visual evidences. The panel speakers included Yaşar Kemal, Norwegian author Thorvald Steen, diplomat author Alida Boye and professor Axel Cristophersen.  Speakers focused on the cases in Afghanistan, Iraq, Mali and Syria.

Kemal: Art is the grand song of joy

Some of the highlights from Yaşar Kemal’s speech included:

“Nobody should forget that every war is a death order. Nobody can get away from this destruction regardless of being the winner, loser or bystander. Art is the song of people’s attachment to the world, it is the song of joy.  “Real art is always against lies, consumption greediness, cruelty, violence, never-ending wars and all evil in the world. It has always waged a war against all sort of disorders. Because, no matter what genre, the first duty of art is uprising. We know that this uprising is not easy at all. The degenerating lifestyle will attack and target art. “Artistic confrontations are effective and healthy as long as they receive strength from civil societies. There is always a need for independent and principe-following civil organizations. As long as there are organizations like Norwegian Academy that contains literature and freedom of expression in its title, as long humanity will strive against single color, single smell, single language, nobody will find the strength to destroy human values,” he said.  Along with Orhan Pamuk, Yaşar Kemal is one of the most popular author from Turkey. In 2007, he has also been invited to Bjørnson Festival.