Friday, 23 December 2011


Prince Claus 2011 laureates and directors with Queen Beatrix and Argentinean princess Maxima

the Royal Palace in Amsterdam

royal guards outside the palace

inside the Royal Palace

carrying the weight of the world in its shoulders

Press Release:

The Prince Claus Awards

The Prince Claus Awards honour outstanding achievements in the field of culture and development. The awards are presented annually to individuals, groups, organisations or institutions whose cultural actions have a wide and positive impact on the development of their societies.

In keeping with the Prince Claus Fund’s guiding principle that culture is a basic need, the awards highlight significant contributions in regions where the human need for culture is not met or is restricted, in spaces where avenues and resources for cultural expression, creative production and the rescue and animation of cultural heritage are lacking or limited. The Awards Programme aims to bring remarkable role models in the field of culture and development to wider public attention, to provide opportunities for these role models to expand their activities and enhance their impact, and to highlight the immense importance of cultural actions on development.

Through the Prince Claus Awards, each year the Fund honours eleven cultural pioneers, whose work is located on the frontline of free cultural expression.Time and again these are courageous people working under difficult circumstances; people who are an inspiration for all those around them. The awards’ presentation will take place on 14 December 2011 during an official ceremony at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. The laureates are selected by an independent, international committee. 

Prince Claus Fund’s 2011 Principal Award:
Chimurenga (“Struggle for Freedom”) is a Pan-African publication on culture, art and politics. It is an innovative platform for free ideas and political reflection by Africans about Africa. Its founder, the writer and DJ Ntone Edjabe, grew up in Cameroon, studied in Nigeria and is now based in South Africa. Chimurenga is published each month online and is distributed two to three times a year both in Africa and elsewhere.The Chimurenga Library, a unique collection of independent African cultural magazines, is available online and also in the form of a travelling exhibition. Chimurenga frequently collaborates with other media such as the Pan-African Space Station, which comprises a series of performances and radio broadcasts that focus on new African music.

Ten Prince Claus Awards:

Said Atabekov, Kazakhstan
Atabekov (Bez Terek, 1965) is a shrewd artist, who plays a leading role in the contemporary culture of Central Asia. He shifts boundaries and opens up new horizons in a difficult transcultural environment.

The Book Café, Zimbabwe
The Book Café (launched in Harare in 1997) is a lively platform for free cultural expression in a country that for many years has endured violent censorship and an inadequate cultural infrastructure.

Nidia Bustos, Nicaragua
For more than 30 years, the work of Nidia Bustos (Nicaragua, 1952) has inspired the campesinos (small-scale farmers), who develop their communities through cultural activities. In 1980 she launched MECATE (the Campesino Movement for Artistic and Dramatic Expression), which concentrates on performances in villages and now consists of more than 80 theatre and music groups.

Rena Effendi,Azerbaijan
The work of photographer Rena Effendi (Baku, 1977) upholds human dignity and resilience. Her portraits reveal her awareness of individual experience and her ability to look beyond surface impressions.

Regina Galindo, Guatemala
Regina Galindo (Guatemala City, 1974) is an enthralling and radical performance artist, whose work opposes violence, oppression and injustice.

Ilkhom Theatre, Uzbekistan
The IlkhomTheatre (founded inTashkent in 1976) combines contemporary forms and techniques with elements of Tashkent’s rich performance tradition, local street theatre, improvisation and circus traditions.

Kettly Mars, Haiti
Kettly Mars (Port-au-Prince, 1958) is a moving and energetic writer, who maintains an incisive view of reality and creates a fascinating portrait of Haitian society.

Rabih Mroué, Lebanon
The work of performance artist Rabih Mroué (Beirut, 1967) examines the social implications of revealing “truth” as based on his experience of the Lebanese Civil War.

RIWAQ, Palestinian Territories
The Riwaq Centre for Architectural Conservation (founded in Ramallah in 1991) plays an essential role in Palestinian society because it protects and reinforces endangered heritage.

Tsering Woeser (Lhasa, 1966) is an audacious writer/blogger from Tibet, whose work provides a unique outlook on the complexity of present-day Tibet. 

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