The Ingeborg Bachmann Prize was initially canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now the award is given. The Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) will develop the concept of a digital Bachmann Prize in the coming days, the public broadcaster said. The "Days of German-language Literature" would be relocated to the Internet. Circuits and digital readings in the usual price categories would be used for this, so that the basic idea of the event would be preserved, said ORF director Alexander Wrabetz.
"In this challenging time, we will join forces to unite authors, jurors and readers in the digital space and realize a Bachmann Prize 2.0," says a message from the broadcaster. Karin Bernhard, ORF State Director of Carinthia, said she was pleased "that Klagenfurt will also be the center of the literary world this year – even if we don't meet each other physically, but on the web." The ORF announced that the content and technical details of the award would still be developed and will be announced shortly.
The organizers' decision to cancel the award had previously been criticized by the majority of the judges. Five of the seven jurors wrote in an open letter that "it is extremely important, especially in the current situation" to let the competition take place. "It would be a sign of solidarity with the
Culture creators, but also with the culture consumers who
all are equally affected by this crisis. "The jurors criticized that there had not been sufficient discussion about an alternative awarding method. Results of an internal debate, which was conducted by the jury, were not heard.
The Ingeborg Bachmann Prize has been in memory of the in Klagenfurt born writer Ingeborg Bachmann (1926-1973) and is considered one of the most renowned literary awards in German-speaking countries. Authors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland take part in the Literature Days. This time they should start on June 17th.