Spade of Year Award goes to statement on pursuit of happiness

Maribor, 2 April - Anthropologist Dan Podjed has won the Spade of the Year Award for his view about there being "scores of happiness gurus trying to convince us that we're not happy enough and we must try harder. But I think we'll be the happiest when we stop trying to be happy and when we start focusing on each other".

Anthropologist Dan Podjed received the Spade of the Year Award.
Photo: Večer archive

Večer editor-in-chief Matija Stepišnik handing the Spade of the Year Award to anthropologist Dan Podjed.
Photo: Večer archive

The Spade of the Year Award is given out by the newspaper publisher Večer for the most-on-point statement about the situation in society.

Addressing the ceremony last night, Večer editor Matija Stepišnik said that this was a time of aggressive populism in which the public space is overflowing with noise and a multitude of voices, including vulgar and lying ones, whose ambition it is to override the truth.

"The use of reason in public life is what the media, intellectuals ... politicians and others participants in public discourse should be using to fight this wave which is pushing us into the lower levels of civility," Stepišnik said.

The winner was selected by Večer readers from a shortlist of ten finalists. In addition to Podjed, the list included diplomat Matjaž Gruden, philosopher Boštjan Narat, sociologist Jana Javornik, former Vitanje Mayor Slavko Vetrih, philosopher and sociologist Spomenka Hribar, Syrian refugee Ahmad Shamieh, playwright Simona Hamer, fottball player Rok Kronaveter and writer Andrej Blatnik.

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