Claus Award 2006
graphic designer Reza Abedini
On Wednesday 13 December 2006 Reza Abedini (1967, Iran) will be presented with this year’s Principal Prince Claus Award of €100,000 at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam.
Reza Abedini is a graphic designer and a professor of graphic design and visual culture at Tehran University. 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 design 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 design both in the laureate’s own country and across the world.
The other ten Prince Claus Awards 2006 of €25,000
in the area of the visual arts
Christine Tohme (Lebanon) is a cultural organiser, art activist and curator. In 1994 she founded Ashkal Alwan, the Lebanese Association for the Plastic 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. This award honours Christine Tohme’s struggle and achievements in stimulating local multi-disciplinary art production and art criticism.
in the area of writing and publishing
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.
Frankétienne, (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 Frankétienne for his lifetime’s 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
in the area of cultural education and debate
Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) (since 1991, Nigeria) is an innovative, non-profit, activist platform for public experience, engagement and debate on cultural issues in Nigeria. Working through ‘all legitimate means’ including popular book fairs, film festivals, a ‘stampede’ and a newsletter, 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 Kamandjâti Association (since 2002, Palestine) is a non-profit organisation that gives music lessons to Palestinian 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 rather than waste their energy on violence. The award honours Al Kamanjâti for creating spaces of hope for Palestinian children.
Laureate working in
the area of cultural heritage and education
Niek Biegman, Chairman, former senior NATO Civilian Representative in Skopje, Macedonia, photographer, Dalmacija, Croatia
Manthia Diawara, Professor of Comparative Literature, editor-in-chief of Black Renaissance, author, filmmaker, Bamako, Mali/Accra, Ghana/ New York, United States
Amitav Ghosh, Author, Calcutta, India/New York, United States
Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, Photographer, Editor, Mexico City, Mexico
Mick Pearce, Architect, Harare, Zimbabwe/ Melbourne, Australia
Virginia Pérez-Ratton, Artist, Curator, Director of TEOR/éTica, San José, Costa Rica
Selma Al-Radi, Archeologist, American Institute for Yemeni Studies, Baghdad, Iraq/Sana’a, Yemen
Fariba de Bruin-Derakhshani is secretary to the Awards Committee
|Marking the 10-year anniversary of the Prince Claus Fund, the 2006 Prince Claus Awards will be dedicated to a revisiting and celebration of all the themes and sub-themes of previous years.|
The Prince Claus Fund maintains a broadly based view of culture that accommodates
all kinds of artistic and intellectual disciplines, the transmission of
culture, and education and media. In addition, the Fund is interested in
the cultural and intercultural dimensions of fields that are not obviously
a part of ‘culture’ in the conventional sense. Examples include
technology, science and sport. These fields may also entail vocabularies
and vernaculars – such as salsa, rap, combat sports and marathon running
– that travel across the world and develop into universal languages
that span different cultures. Interculturality is prominent on the Fund’s
In its policy, the Prince Claus Fund is guided by four main themes: Zones of Silence (the locating and opening of areas of cultural silence); Creating Spaces of Freedom (the creation of cultural sanctuaries); Beauty in Context (the analysis of beauty in different cultural environments); and Living Together (the art of co-existence). Over the years, the Fund has also worked with a series of sub-themes, such as The Survival and Innovation of Crafts (as part of Beauty in Context), The Positive Results of Asylum and Migration (as part of Living Together) and Humour and Satire (as part of Creating Spaces of Freedom)