The 2017 presentation of the IPA Prix Voltaire will return to the Göteborg Book Fair, Sweden, 11 years after the first ‘IPA Freedom Prize’ was awarded to Iranian publisher Shalah Lahiji, in September 2006.
The decision to take the IPA prize back to its origins followed a proposal from the Göteborg Book Fair organizers, who were keen to involve the IPA in the fair’s renowned freedom of expression agenda.
Consequently, the 2017 IPA Prix Voltaire prize-giving will take place at a gala dinner on the evening of 29 September, following an IPA freedom to publish seminar the same day.
Kristenn Einarsson, Chair of the IPA Freedom to Publish Committee said with the shared history and freedom of expression credentials, Göteborg Book Fair was a natural fit.
‘Göteborg Book Fair has always given high focus to freedom of expression, so when the offer arrived to revive the relationship with the IPA, we felt it would be an ideal place to present this year’s Prix Voltaire.’
Göteborg Book Fair Director Maria Källsson said: ‘The struggle for free speech is perpetual, and we strongly believe in the importance of the IPA’s work. We are proud to take up this collaboration; in 2006 Shalah Lahiji was awarded the Freedom to Publish Prize during the Göteborg Book Fair opening ceremony. The work of last year’s Prix Voltaire winner, the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, was given special attention at our fair in 2016, and we persistently highlight freedom of expression and its precarious situation throughout the world. We look forward to this continued cooperation with the IPA.’