Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

2006 Right Livelihood Awards

The Right Livelihood Award is an alternative to the Nobel. Warm congratulations to the winners who lead by example. This is from OneWorld here


The 2006 Right Livelihood Honorary Award goes to Chico Whitaker Ferreira (Brazil), “for a lifetime’s dedicated work for social justice that has strengthened democracy in Brazil and helped give birth to the World Social Forum, showing that ‘another world is possible'”.

The 2006 Right Livelihood Award of SEK 2 million is shared between three recipients:

Daniel Ellsberg (USA), whose ‘whistleblowing’ helped end the Vietnam War, is awarded “for putting peace and truth first, at considerable personal risk, and dedicating his life to inspiring others to follow his example.”

Ruth Manorama (India) is the sub-continent’s most effective organiser of and advocate for Dalit women, belonging to the ‘scheduled castes’ sometimes also called ‘untouchables’. The Jury honours Manorama, a Dalit herself, “for her commitment over decades to achieving equality for Dalit women, building effective and committed women’s organisations and working for their rights at national and international levels.”

The Festival Internacional de Poesia de Medellin (Colombia) is a unique poetry festival, which has helped build peace in one of the most violent cities in the world. The jury recognises the Festival “for showing how creativity, beauty, free expression and community can flourish amongst and overcome even deeply entrenched fear and violence.”

Jakob von Uexkull: “The 2006 Right Livelihood Awards call on us all to speak up and act now for truth, non-violence and justice. The recipients demonstrate how individual courage, even in the face of powerful interests and repression, can bring about remarkable changes.”

Founded in 1980 the Right Livelihood Awards are presented annually in the Swedish Parliament and are often referred to as ‘Alternative Nobel Prizes’. They were introduced “to honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today”.

Jakob von Uexkull, a Swedish-German professional philatelist, sold his business to provide the original funding. Since then, the Award has been supported by individual donors. The prize money is currently SEK 2 million (USD 275,000/EUR 220,000).

A press conference with the Recipients will be held in Stockholm on Wednesday, December 6th at 9:30 am. The award presentation ceremony in the Swedish Parliament will be held on December 8th.

Attention German press: Fernando Rendon of the International Poetry Festival of Medellin will speak at a concert for the Right Livelihood Award in the Berlin Philharmonic Hall on November 19 at 15.00. Interviews during his stay in Berlin can be booked in advance.

The following TV footage is available at ITN Source (

  • archive footage about the World Social Forum
  • archive footage of Daniel Ellsberg
  • archive footage about the Indian caste system
  • archive footage about Medellin and the violence in Colombia

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Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All others are subsumed by it."
-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"