About the Prince Claus Award
See more Info on all awardees below
Yoani Sánchez (Cuba)
Yoani Sánchez (1975, Havana) is a leading figure in the use of social networking technologies to breach imposed frontiers. A graduate in philology, she is now dedicated to computer sciences and their capacity to alter perceptions and generate social change. She works as a webmaster, columnist and editor for Desde Cuba, an online news portal.
Determined to promote freedom of information and to speak out regardless of danger, in 2007, Yoani Sánchez set up a blog, Generation Y.
Her regular posts offer punchy accounts of the day-to-day environment. Avoiding direct criticism and global politics, her blog provides subjective insights into the practical difficulties people face.
Emphasising the vital importance of material autonomy for any form of active citizenship, her subjects include unaffordable food, shortage of proteins and vegetables, the turgid proceedings of parliament and the lack of meaningful reforms.
Sánchez operates in a context of strict control and censorship, working clandestinely, under threat of arrest.
Local access to internet is limited and filters set up by the authorities slow and block connection to Generation Y.
Local supporters circulate her writings in emails and USB memories, and volunteers translate her Spanish reports into 22 languages. Generation Y's growth has been exponential. It is now one of the most-followed blogs in cyberspace, and a compilation has been published as Cuba Libre.
Yoani Sánchez is awarded for raising global awareness of daily Cuban realities through her blog, for her inspiring and courageous example in giving a voice to the silenced, and for demonstrating the immense impact internet communications technologies can have as tools for social change and development.
2010 Prince Claus Awards
This year, on 17 December, the Principal Prince Claus Award of € 100.000 will be presented to the Algerian publisher Barzakh Editions at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
In addition, ten other laureates will be presented with awards of € 25.000 at ceremonies in their respective countries by Ambassadors of the Netherlands.
Since 1997 the Prince Claus Fund has given annual awards to artists, intellectuals and cultural organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
The 2010 Prince Claus Awards are announced today to commemorate the birthday of Prince Claus (6 September 1926 – 6 October 2002).
Frontiers of Reality
The theme of the 2010 Prince Claus Awards is Frontiers of Reality. Within this context, the Prince Claus Fund has considered individuals and organizations whose exceptional performance not only challenges and changes the boundaries of our reality, but who, in doing so, contribute to the development of society.
Eleven 2010 Prince Claus Laureates
The Principal 2010 Prince Claus Award of €100.000 goes to Barzakh Editions (Algeria)
Barzakh Editions is a remarkable independent publisher that has created a platform for a new generation of Algerian writers and opened a door for the flow of ideas between Algeria and the world. Founded in 2000, in the aftermath of crisis and a context of cultural isolation, economic crises and political violence, its name refers to an intermediate zone where souls are in transit, where personal realities are confronted and assessed against other realities.
Barzakh has succeeded in breaking through restrictive frontiers that seemed to close up the country and limit the space for cultural exchange in various ways. Through its collaborations with French publishers, works by Algeria-based authors are translated into French and Italian for wide distribution. Barzakh publishes authors from francophone sub-Saharan Africa and Arabic translations of French literature.
It has developed networks and exchanges with Arab, African and European countries, and fosters the local audience through discussions, poetry readings and art exhibitions.
The Principal Prince Claus Award honours Barzakh Editions for giving concrete form to Algeria's voices, for opening up a much needed space for critical reflection on Algerian realities, for building a bridge connecting different languages and cultures, and for creatively breaking through the threatening cultural isolation of the country.
The other ten Awards of € 25.000
Dinh Q. Lê (1968, Vietnam)
Visual artist Dinh Q. Lê is the co-founder of two transformative institutions that are opening up possibilities for Vietnamese artists.
Gulnara Kasmalieva (1960, Kyrgyzstan) & Muratbek Djumaliev (1965 Kyrgyzstan)
Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev are cultural catalysts in the Central Asian region, which is in many respects a Zone of Silence.
Film / Photography
Maya Goded (1967, Mexico)
Photographer Maya Goded creates subtle images of hidden or shunned communities. Her first project, Tierra Negra (1994), is a collection of moments from her three-year sojourn with Mexicans of African descent, a group whose contribution to Mexican identity is seldom acknowledged.
Jia Zhang-Ke (1970, China)
Filmmaker Jia Zhang-Ke (1970, Fenyang) breaks away from previous generations' historical dramas and political idealisations to convey other kinds of realities.
Mehrdad Oskouei (1969, Iran)
Independent filmmaker Mehrdad Oskouei (Tehran, 1969) penetrates subaltern segments of Iranian society to give voice to unknown perspectives, challenge preconceptions and offer unique readings of people's lives and experiences.
Yoani Sánchez (1975, Cuba)
Yoani Sánchez is a leading figure in the use of social networking technologies to breach imposed frontiers.
Aung Zaw (1968, Myanmar/Thailand)
Aung Zaw is the founder and director of The Irrawaddy, the most reliable source of information on realities in Burma.
Ana Maria Machado (1941, Brazil)
Ana Maria Machado (1941, Rio de Janeiro) creates compelling children's stories that deal with prejudices and human rights.
Kwani Trust (2003, Kenya)
Kwani Trust is revolutionising creative literary production in Kenya and across Anglophone Africa. Starting in 2003, it launched an independent literary journal, Kwani? (Swahili for 'So what?'), to challenge the institutionalised academic control of authorship and entrenched literary conventions of an older generation.
Decolonizing Architecture institute (DAi), (2007, Palestine)
Decolonizing Architecture institute's unique practice is dedicated to the identification of architecture's role as a central tool in spatial power relations and in the making of conflict. It seeks to subvert and propose new ways for the re-use of architecture's dominating potential.