The PCF announces the 2016 Prince Claus Laureates: Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Kamal Mouzawak, PeaceNiche | The Second Floor, Bahia Shehab, La Silla Vacía and Vo Trong Nghia

11.09.16 | tag: Amsterdam

The Amsterdam based Prince Claus Fund has announced the 2016 Prince Claus Laureates. The Prince Claus Awards honour outstanding achievements in the field of culture and development. The awards are presented annually to individuals, groups and organisations whose cultural actions have a positive impact on the development of their societies. The Awards highlight significant contributions in regions where resources or opportunities for cultural expression, creative production and preservation of cultural heritage are limited.

Principal Prince Claus Laureate: Apichatpong Weerasethakul (1970, Thailand)

Apichatpong Weerasethakul is an artist and a leader of Thailand’s independent cinema movement. His works subtly address complex social issues and personal politics through mesmerising aesthetics and innovative, non-linear narrative forms. He is also committed to promoting experimental and independent filmmaking in Thailand through his company Kick the Machine Films. Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s work will be exhibited at EYE Film Museum in Amsterdam in September 2017. 

2016 Prince Claus Laureates: 

Kamal Mouzawak (1969, Lebanon)

Kamal Mouzawak is a chef and food activist passionate about sustainable food production and traditions and identity through cuisine and agriculture. Founder of Beirut’s first organic market and the cooperative restaurant, Tawlet (Table), Mouzawak draws on rural communities’ culinary knowledge while raising awareness of the importance of sustainable food through cooking classes, health education and environmental campaigns. 

PeaceNiche | The Second Floor (T2F) (2007, Pakistan)

PeaceNiche, a not-for-profit organisation founded by Sabeen Mahmud (1974-2015), is an interdisciplinary space that promotes democratic discourse and conflict resolution through intellectual and cultural engagement. Its flagship project T2F is one of the few community spaces for open dialogue; it features a café and bookshop and hosts a packed agenda ranging from writer meet-ups to performing arts to open mic nights.  

 Bahia Shehab (1977, Egypt & Lebanon)

Bahia Shehab combines Islamic art history with contemporary Arab politics and feminist discourse in her art, activism and academic work. By tagging Cairo with calligraphy graffiti during the Arab Spring, creating artworks from reproduced ancient letters, and compiling the first Arabic script encyclopaedia, Shehab uses the past to shed new light on the present and inspires the next generation of academics and graphic designers.

 La Silla Vacía [The Empty Chair] (LSV) (2009, Colombia)

La Silla Vacía is an interactive online portal for news and stories that examine the way power is exercised in Colombia. LSV does investigative reporting on subjects others will not touch, setting high standards for Latin American journalism. Its innovative digital approach stimulates civic engagement and generates informed debate around social issues.

Vo Trong Nghia (1976, Vietnam)

Vo Trong Nghia is an architect who is putting sustainable architecture on the map by combining local materials and traditional skills with 21st century design.  With a focus on green spaces, his designs range from major urban structures to durable but inexpensive housing for remote communities. His approach to urban design is shaping the future of architecture and transforming Vietnam’s urban landscape. However, at the core of his practice, he uses the physical environment to reconnect humans back to Mother Nature.

2016 Prince Claus Awards Committee

Emile Fallaux (Chair), Filmmaker and Journalist, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, Curator and Visual Artist, Sharjah, Emirate of Sharjah

Dinh Q Lê, Visual Artist, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Neo Muyanga, Composer and Musician, Cape Town, South Africa

Manuel de Rivero, Architect and Urbanist, Lima, Peru

Suely Rolnik, Cultural Critic and Psychoanalyst, São Paulo, Brazil

Fariba Derakhshani is Coordinator of the Awards Programme and Secretary to the Awards Committee


Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development

Herengracht 603

1017 CE Amsterdam