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Once every two years, the Prince Claus Fund recognises six trailblazing artists and cultural practitioners with Prince Claus Impact Awards.

TOP: Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara (Cuba), May al-Ibrashy (Egypt), Ailton Krenak (Brazil) BOTTOM: Hassan Darsi (Morocco), María Medrano (Argentina), Alain Gomis (Senegal)

Representing a variety of fields, from architecture, poetry and philosophy to visual and performance art, these individuals dedicate their work to addressing political and environmental issues, the nature of identity and human rights in forms that engage and empower their own communities. 

Meet these remarkable cultural practitioners who exemplify the transformative power of art!

This year’s Awardees are:
  • Ailton Krenak (Brazil)
  • María Medrano (Argentina)
  • Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara (Cuba)
  • May al-Ibrashy (Egypt)
  • Hassan Darsi (Morocco)
  • Alain Gomis (Senegal)

For this year’s Awards, 94 nominations were initially received. Nominations are thoroughly researched and a final selection is decided by an independent jury. The Prince Claus Impact Awards Jury is an International and independent body of five cultural professionals. 

This year’s jury is comprised of the chair, curator Pablo Leon de la Barra; architect and 2019 Prince Claus Laureate Mariam Kamara; dancer, choreographer, storyteller and 2007 Prince Claus Laureate Faustin Linyekula; multimedia artist and 2010 Prince Claus Laureate Dinh Q. Lê; curator Maya El Khalil.

Ailton Krenak is an indigenous leader, environmentalist, philosopher, poet and writer from Brazil. Considered one of the great leaders of the Brazilian indigenous movement, Krenak is currently an honorary professor at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF). More on Ailton Krenak here.

May al-Ibrashy is an Egyptian architect whose work centres on community engagement through heritage conservation, rehabilitation, preservation, and re-signification. She is the founder of the Megawra – Built Environment Collective (BEC), a twinship between an architectural firm and an NGO that engages with the built environment with a focus on theory, praxis, arts, and linking cultural heritage to sustainability and social responsibility. More on May al-Ibrashy here.

María Medrano is an Argentinian writer, poet and editor. In addition to their artistic and poetic practice, Medrano is a prison abolition activist and co-founder of YoNoFui, a non-profit trans-feminist organisation that works with formerly incarcerated women and individuals from the LGTBQIA+ community in arts and crafts projects. More on María Medrano here.

Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara is a Cuban artist and human rights defender whose performances are critical of the conditions many Cubans face. Alcántara leads the San Isidro Collective – an artists’ collective that promotes freedom of expression and cultural rights. He is a co-founder of The Museum of Dissidence, a website and public art project reclaiming and celebrating dissent. More on Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara here.

Hassan Darsi is a visual artist from Casablanca whose work promotes critical thinking about public spaces and citizenship in a city that is rife with economic inequality, and in a country with limited freedoms of expression. Darsi developed a practice centered on gilding and public spaces. More on Hassan Darsi here.

Alain Gomis is a Senegalese-French film director and screenwriter whose work explores identity, the differences and bonds that define the relationship between francophone Africa and its diaspora. Founder of the Yennenga Center dedicated to cinema, Gomis plays an important role in the promotion of film and fostering of local talents in Senegal and Africa, and through his work he addresses the complexities of identity, foreignness, and agency, drawn from his personal experiences dealing with dual nationality and the search for belonging.  More on Alain Gomis here.

For more information, please visit Prince Claus Impact Awards.

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