THE 2006 PRINCIPAL PRINCE CLAUS AWARD GOES TO IRANIAN GRAPHIC DESIGNER REZA ABEDINI
On Wednesday, 13 December 2006, the Iranian graphic designer Reza Abedini (1967, Iran) will be presented with this year's Principal Prince Claus Award of 100,000 Euros at the Muziekgebouw aan IJ inAmsterdam.
Reza Abedini is a graphic designer and a professor of graphic designs and visual culture at TehranUniversity. He emphasises the relationship between visual tradition and modern form, encourages research in the long and rich history of Persian art and calligraphy, and nurtures talent in the younger generations. Reza Abedini is granted the Principal Prince Claus Award in recognition of his personal creativity in producing superb graphic designs and his individual skill in adapting the knowledge and achievements of Iran's artistic heritage, making it new and compelling today. The award values and draws attention to the diversity of Iranian culture, both historic and contemporary. It recognises the impact of graphic design as a powerful global medium of communication, and highlights the tradition and role of graphic designs both in the laureate's own country and across the world.
THE OTHER TEN PRINCE CLAUS AWARDS 2006 OF 25,000 EUROS
LAUREATES WORKING IN THE AREA OF THE VISUAL ARTS
LIDA ABDUL (1973, AFGHANISTAN) is a visual artist who uses diverse media including video, film, photography, installation and live performance to explore and visualise issues of home and identity. She fights against the senseless destruction of cultural heritage in her country and highlights women's role in society. The outstanding artistic quality of her work is combined with powerful political and social statements, and is recognised both within Afghanistan and internationally. Lida Abdul regularly exhibits and teaches in Kabul.
CHRISTINE TOHME (1964, LEBANON) is a cultural organiser, art activist and curator. In 1994 she founded Ashkal Alwan, the Lebanese Association for thePlastic Arts, a non-profit organisation that initiates and supports contemporary artistic practice. Through her work, she provides a platform for free thought and critical discourse in Lebanon, promotes and develops critical reflection and cultural theory, and fosters regional and international cultural exchange.
LAUREATES WORKING IN THE AREA OF WRITING AND PUBLISHING
ERNA BRODBER (1940, JAMAICA) is a writer, cultural historian and social activist who has carried out pioneering research on oral history in Jamaica and is an important role model in her society. Using fiction as a medium, she has written ground breaking books in terms of individual and community identity formation, foregrounding the role of language in development. Erna Brodber is honoured for her innovative use of the Creole language and for her outstanding contribution to the promotion and establishment of local languages and cultures. This is the first Prince Claus Award in Jamaica.
HENRY CHAKAVA (1946, KENYA) is an innovative, courageous and enterprising publisher. He has published work by important writers and new voices in African literature, encouraged publication in local languages, and produced locally oriented textbooks.The Prince Claus Award honours Henry Chakava for his lifetime's work in developing African publishing, for nurturing and promoting writers in a difficult context,and for defying dictatorship in his own country.
FRANK A. TIENNE,(1936, HAITI) is a poet, writer, dramaturge and teacher. An important figure in the cultural history of Haiti, he is the author of the first novel in Haitian Creole and has written more than 30 titles. This award honours Frank Ã tienne for his lifetime achievements in the arts in a complex political context, for his poetic use of language, his radical stance on local languages, and his important contribution to regional literature and culture.This is the first Prince Claus Award in Haiti.
LAUREATE WORKING IN THE AREA OF THEATRE
MADEEHA GAUHAR-(1956,PAKISTAN) is an outstanding actor, theatre director and women's rights activist. In 1983 she set up the Ajoka Theatre, which produces challenging, socially relevant works and performs in the streets and community spaces. Her aim is to promote a secular, humane, just and egalitarian society. She nurtures a new generation of actors and organises collaborative cross-border performances in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Madeeha Gauhar is honoured for her artistic and social contributions to public theatre in South Asia.
LAUREATES WORKING IN THE AREA OF CULTURAL EDUCATION AND DEBATE
MICHAEL MEL (1959, PAPUA NEW GUINEA) is a performance artist, thinker, communicator, curator and teacher. He lectures in Expressive Arts at Goroka University and his performance/installation work is innovative and culturally significant. Mel plays a key role in the cultural development of Papua New Guinea's highland community and is one of the few bridges between Papua New Guinea and the world, enabling better understanding of the complex cultural concepts and practices of the island. This is the first Prince Claus Award in Papua New Guinea.
COMMITTEE OF RELEVANT ART (CORA) (SINCE1991,NIGERIA) is an innovative, non-profit,activist platform for public expression,engagement and debate on cultural issues in Nigeria. Working through all legitimate means including a quarterly ArtsStampede, monthly Arthouse Forum, monthly music concert, yearly Book and Art festival, yearly film festival, and various publications and establishment of libraries, CORA encourages and creates an environment for the flourishing of contemporary culture. This award celebrates CORA's energetic activities and highlights the contributions of committed citizens in stimulating the arts.
AL KAMANDJTI ASSOCIATION (SINCE 2002, PALESTINE) is a non-profit organisation that gives music lessons toPalestinian children, particularly those living in refugee camps and marginalised villages in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Southern Lebanon. It enables the children to explore their cultural heritage, to open themselves to the outside world and gives them an opportunity to discover their creative potential. The award honours Al Kamandjti for creating spaces of hope for Palestinian children.
LAUREATE WORKING IN THE AREA OF CULTURAL HERITAGE AND EDUCATION
The National Museum of Mali in Bamako (reopened in1981, Mali) is a vibrant and outstanding cultural institution. The Museum plays a major role in the prevention of cultural looting and trafficking in the region, it educates local communities, and preserves and interprets local aesthetic heritage. Alongside its well-designed displays of the historical collection of over 6,000 objects in a building inspired by local Bambara architectural forms, the Museum stimulates contemporary art production and exhibitions. This award celebrates the work of the National Museum of Mali, highlights the role of museums in culture and development,and emphasises the importance of preventing cultural looting and trafficking.