- If we cannot name every victim, the least we can do is count them, said Dr. Megan Price, Executive Director of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group in her acceptance speech. Sunday evening, Dr. Price, together with her team of dedicated statisticians, were presented the Rafto Prizeat Den Nationale Scene in Bergen.
Photos: Ingvild Festervoll Melien/the Rafto Foundation
Bergen 14 November: The US-based organisation, represented by Patrick Ball, Tarak Shah, Suzanne Nathans, Maria Gargiulo and Megan Price, received the Rafto Prize 2021 for its work to uncover large-scale human rights violations. By using statistics and data science, HRDAG document human rights violations that might otherwise go undetected. Their approach has enabled courts to bring perpetrators to justice and given closure to affected victims and their families.
"It is often the already marginalized and vulnerable members of our communities whose stories are further silenced in the data we are able to collect about human rights violation. This is where statistics can be a powerful tool; it can fill in silences in data, it can build from what we are able to observe and record to estimate what we do not know.
If we cannot tell every story, if we cannot name every victim, the least we can do is count them", Executive Director Megan Price, said in her acceptance speech at the Award Ceremony in Bergen.
Head of the Rafto Prize Commitee Line Ytrehus stressed the importance of credible information and quoted the German-American philosopher Hannah Arendt in her speech to the 2021 Rafto Laureates:
"Facing violent brutality, people tend to look the other way. We do not want to believe what we see. As Arendt puts it: "The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists (...) Today we celebrate HRDAG and acknowledge their contribution. Their intellectual courage and the impact of their work incite hope and inspiration", Ytrehus sad before she called the five HRDAG representatives to the podium to receive the 2021 Rafto Prize for Human Rights.
Other performances tonight were: ESC youth company, Lykke Kristine Moen, Tor Jaran Apold, Fredrik Saroea and BIT20 Ensemble, Ole Paus, CAJA and Michael Opara /Dorians Grave. The evening's host was journalist Guro Halleraker.
The Award Ceremony was followed by a torchlight procession, where HRDAG representatives walked together with the Bergen City Mayor Rune Bakervik.
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All photos must be credited Ingvild Festervoll Melien