The recipient of the Linguapax Prize for 2008 is Dr. Neville Alexander of South Africa. The prize is awarded annually (since 2000) in recognition of contributions to linguistic diversity and multilingual education.
Although the Linguapax site does not at this writing have updated information, the website of the UNESCO Centre of Catalonia (which is connected with Linguapax) has this press release dated 22.02.2008:
The South African linguist Neville Alexander will receive the Linguapax Award today in Barcelona, on the occasion of the Mother Language Day. The ceremony is framed in the Intercultural Week organised by the Ramon Llull University. Alexander, who coordinates the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa has devoted more than twenty years of his professional life to defend and preserve multilingualism in the post-apartheid South Africa and has become one of the major advocates of linguistic diversity.
There is various material online about Dr. Alexander including:
- A brief bio on the South African LitNet site
- An interview for PBS show “Frontline” about his imprisonment on Robben Island at about the same time as Nelson Mandela.
- An article about a talk he gave at the University of Minnesota in 2007
- A page with a list of some of his writing (with links)
I don’t want to be negative about the Linguapax Institute‘s efforts, but publicity about this really has been lacking. An email request to Linguapax for more information received no reply. I hope to have more information about Linguapax and its important work in a future posting.