A Mongolian to receive 2019 Goethe Medals

2019-06-24 16:30:00

Ulaanbaatar/MONTSAME/. The 2019 Goethe Medals go to Mongolian publisher, bookseller and political journalist Enkhbat Roozon, alongside the German-Turkish writer Doğan Akhanlı and the US-based, Iranian-born artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat.


Every year, the Goethe-Institut confers the official decoration of the Federal Republic of Germany to honour figures who have performed outstanding service for international cultural dialogue. Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, president of the Goethe-Institut, will present the medals in Weimar on 28 August 2019, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s birthday. The theme of this year’s awarding is ‘Truth and Fiction’.


On the announcement of this year’s awardees of the Goethe Medal, KlausDieter Lehmann, the president of the Goethe-Institut, said, “Awarded to Doğan Akhanlı, Shirin Neshat and Enkhbat Roozon, the medal recognizes three internationally active individuals whose artistic work is characterised by their intense engagement with social reality and the relationship between ‘Truth and Fiction’. This year’s main topic is seen as a foil to simplification and as a plea for more accuracy, more intensive research and more precise thinking. The winners of the 2019 Goethe Medal are extraordinary examples of conscientious cultural understanding. Across international borders, they take a stand against discrimination and violence and for the power of education, art and culture.”


Enkhbat Roozon is a Mongolian publisher, bookseller and political journalist. After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Leipzig, he worked for several years as a photographer and head of the state-owned photo agency MONTSAME. In 1996, he became self-employed with the Admon printing house and in 2000, he founded the Monsudar publishing house, which is now a leader in international fiction, dictionaries and children’s books as well as modern teaching materials. In 2005, he set up the Internom chain of bookshops, one of the largest in the country. Through articles and interviews, as well as public events, Roozon campaigns in particular for the modernization of the Mongolian education system and the strengthening of freedom of expression towards the political parties. As of today, neither an independent, diverse press landscape nor a critical public has been able to establish itself in Mongolia. Consolidating these standards is Roozon’s central goal. His commitment is based on the conviction that social progress in Mongolia can only succeed on the basis of the values of the Enlightenment, recognizing the autonomy and responsibility of each individual citizen. He considers promoting this the primary task of educational policy, for which he has been involved personally and journalistically for many years. In 2009, Enkhbat Roozon founded the NGO Davalgaa (“wave of education”) and since 2017, he has been a member of the Educational Council of the Mongolian Presidential Office.