Ghanian born and Nigerian based artist,El Anatsui is among the ten receivers ofÂ the 2009 Prince Claus 25,000 euro award. El Anatusi, an internationally renowned artist is a sculptor of outstanding energy and has taught and nurtured many other distinguished Nigerian artists including American based Nnenna Okorie and Lagos based artist, Ndidi Dike among others. He has taught for many years as a professor of sculpture at the University of Nigeria , Nsukka Art School.
However, Colombian architect SimÃ³n VÃ©lezÂ won theÂ Prince Claus Principal Award ofÂ Â 100,000. The Awards Ceremony will take place on 16th December 2009 at the Muziekgebouw aan â€˜t IJ in Amsterdam.
In addition, ten other laureates will receive awards ofÂ Â 25.000 each at ceremonies to be held during the first months of 2010 in the Dutch Embassies in the countries where they live in the first months of 2010.
The Prince Claus Awards have been given every year since 1997 to artists, intellectuals and cultural organisations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
SimÃ³n VÃ©lez was born in Manizales, Columbia in 1949. His aesthetic and technical innovations in bamboo have enhanced its construction potential and challenged mainstream architectural trends.
After completing his studies at Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, VÃ©lez moved away from the predominant international stream to focus on indigenous architectural practices. He invented a new method to build foundations and roofs, which transformed one of the worldâ€™s oldest building materials, namely bamboo, into a modern resource that meets the strictest international construction regulations and can even outperform steel.
SimÃ³n VÃ©lez is honoured for his aesthetic use of natural materials for contemporary design, for transforming local traditional indigenous knowledge through innovation that renews and extends its relevance as a source of solutions for global problems, and most importantly he is honoured for highlighting the essential rapport between sustainable design practices and social development, and between culture and nature
The nine winners ,Doualâ€™art (founded 1991, Douala, Cameroon), Liang Shaoji (b. 1945, Shanghai, China), Jivya Soma Mashe (b. 1934, Dhamangaon, Maharashtra, India) for those working in the field of Visual Arts. Sammy Baloji (b. 1978, Lubumbashi, DR Congo) and Santu Mofokeng (b. 1956, Johannesburg, South Africa).
Those working in the field of Collective Memories & Journalism are Kanak Mani Dixit (b. 1956, Lalitpur, Nepal) , Instituto de Historia de Nicaraguay CentroamÃ©rica (founded 1987, Managua, Nicaragua), Desiderio Navarro (b. 1948, CamagÃ¼ey, Cuba) and Gaston Acurio (b.1967, Lima, Peru). The Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development was established on 6 September 1996 to mark the 70th birthday of H.R.H. Prince Claus of the Netherlands. The objectives of the Fund are to enhance and expand insight into cultures and to promote interaction between culture and development.
The relationship of Culture and Nature is a subject of powerful contemporary relevance and of special interest to the Prince Claus Fund.
Through its 2009 Awards Programme, the Fund seeks to highlight and celebrate artists, cultural groups and organisations that demonstrate significant interactions between Culture and Nature, introduce new ideas and approaches to environmental issues, work with natural resources to stimulate sustainable forms of development, and reveal the impact of culture on the environment in innovative ways that help to build societies that nurture positive relations between Culture and Nature.