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Who was Alva Myrdal?
It is not worthy of a human being to give up.
On "Travelogue", the bonus-CD from the limited edition of the Covenant album "United States of Mind" you will find, among other things, an instrumental noise track titled "Alva Myrdal". A very strange name for a piece of music, is it not?
Alva Myrdal (nee Reimer) was a Swedish sociologist, politician, and Nobel Peace Prize winner. She was born on January 31st, 1902 in Uppsala and came from a family with strong sympathies for social democratic political ideologies.
Alva Myrdal (photo) wanted to achieve three life goals: "To build a wonderful partnership with a beloved husband, to have children and family close by and together with others, be allowed to bring about change." After taking the university entrance exams she studied Philosophy, Psychology, and Social Sciences and in 1924 married the Economic- and Social-scientist Gunnar Myrdal with whom she had one son and two daughters.
At the beginning of the 1930s Alva Myrdal was engaged in politics and a few of her ideas were put into practice by the Swedish workers-party, which she joined in 1932. At the end of the 1940s she was already known outside Sweden as a social-reformer. After the end of World War II, Mrs. Myrdal was one of the driving forces in the formation of the Swedish welfare state and represented her country in important international conferences.
After serving as an officer in UNESCO as well as the Swedish ambassador to India and Ceylon she was elected to the Swedish parliament and later appointed to a cabinet minister position. Mrs. Myrdal received many awards for her works, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1982 for her work promoting nuclear disarmament.
Alva Myrdal died in Stockholm on February 1st, 1986 at the age of 84 years old. She wrote her legacy a few years prior to her death: "There are only two things of which I am completely certain. One is that we have nothing to win by tiptoeing around the difficulties and living on wishful thinking. The other is that there is always something one can do oneself. To put it as simply as possible, one can study, one can try to draft proposals and weigh the truth of different solutions in the balance, even if they are only partial solutions. If I did not believe that, there would be nothing for it but to give up. And it is not worthy of a human being to give up."
So how did the Covenant track get its name? Joakim said: "The name was taken from the Swedish politician and social architect Alva Myrdal, who initiated some pretty horrible projects but also some very good ones. An enigmatic woman, both relentless and sweet, a bit like noise music."
Image source: nobelpreis.org; unesco.org
Information source: maraba.de;
wikipedia.de; Joakim Montelius
Translation: Anne Smith