During the International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT) in February 2019, the Student Peace Prize will be turning 20 years.
The Student Peace Prize started out as an idea that came to some students after a late night at Studentersamfundet. The students were volunteers at the International Student Festival in Trondheim, also known as ISFiT. ISFiT is the largest volunteer international student festival in the world, and has been organized biannualy since 1990. In this time the festival has gathered 6047 participants in Trondheim from 115 different nations, and engaged more than 4552 volunteers.
The prize was awarded for the first time in 1999 to Antero De Silva and the East Timor Student Solidarity Council (ETSSC), for their nonviolent struggle for independence from the brutal Indonesian occupation. Since then the prize has become a global symbol of peace, democracy, human rights and the importance of student activism all around the world. The prize has been given to ten different activists or organizations from different parts of the world, who all have showed an extraordinary effort in promoting these values.
The Student Peace Prize ceremony is one of the highlights of the International Student Festival in Trondheim, and during ISFiT’19 the Peace Prize will celebrate its 20th birthday. That is quite a celebration! The anniversary will be celebrated by a number of fun and exciting projects between the 7th and the 17th of February in 2019. Art installations, a documentary and a Jubilee Day, to mention some. Trondheim will be turned into a city filled with jubilee glitter.
It is a celebration, but also a time for reflection. The goal of the Jubilee is to reflect uponwhat the Student Peace Prize has achieved in these 20 years. Students all over the world face both oppression and imprisonment for their efforts in making education accessible to all. This is a fight we must not forget, and continue to work for. Education is a human right, and must be available for everyone.
For students who still struggle, and for future students, the prize is highly relevant. In the time since 1999 the Student Peace Prizehas shed light upon many situations around the world where students are in danger and under unworthy circumstances. It continues to be an important tool to generate attention around these problems, and to engage students to work together across borders and help each other.
This Jubilee is not only a celebration of The Student Peace Prize, but a celebration for the entire ISFiT, our partner organisations NSO and SAIH, and all of the volunteers and the students all over the world who work for a better future. 20 years of norwegian students working in solidarity with activists, promoting peace, democracy and human rights is definitely something to celebrate. We hope the whole city of Trondheim will join us in this Jubilee!