The European Cultural Foundation (ECF), an organization promoting cultural expression and a shared future in Europe, has presented their 2017 Princess Margriet Award for Culture to four laureates: writer and columnist Aslı Erdoğan, writer and scholar Navid Kermani, musician Luc Mishalle and visual artist Marina Naprushkina.
The award is given annually to cultural change-makers whose work highlights the importance of culture for an inclusive Europe.
This year’s laureates are artists and thinkers who have demonstrated courage in imagining and reshaping society. Further, the four winners come from varying backgrounds and represent different generations, parts of Europe and cultural approaches.
HRH Princess Laurentien, President of ECF, spoke at the awards ceremony about pressing social issues such as climate change, inequality, and the conflicts arising in many European countries.
With democracy currently being questioned throughout Europe and the world, sentiments of fear and despair have prospered, she said. ‘It is too easy to say, of course, that cultural expressions alone can take away these sentiments of hopelessness and disconnect.
But as the work of the four laureates and many other cultural change-makers across Europe show, cultural expressions can visualize and discuss sentiments of fear and despair and differences in opinions and backgrounds in ways that regular public discourses cannot. By using the power of creativity and imagination, we step out of our own sentiments.’
The laureates were chosen by an international jury from a short list assembled by experts and cultural makers from across Europe. The winners were each granted €20,000 to aid them in their future works.
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