2006 Prince Claus Award to Committee of Relevant Art (CORA)
On Thursday, 14 December 2006, the Nigerian organisation CORA (Commitee of Relevant Art) will bepresented with one of this year’s Prince Claus Awards of € 25.000 by The Netherlands’ Ambassador to Nigeria,H.E. Mr. Arie van der Wiel.
According to the Jury of the Prince Claus Awards, the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) is a unique Nigerian organisation that creates spaces to engage the publicin debate on cultural issues. Started in 1991 as anon-profit, non-governmental activist organisation, CORA’s aim is to explore all legitimate means to create an environment for the flourishing of contemporary culture in Nigeria, in particular to make the arts a lively, social and enjoyable experience for all people especially the young generations and to create a culture-friendly society.
CORA organises the quarterly Art Stampede, known as the ‘parliament of artists’, a lively, open-air, informal, discursive platform on burning issues in the arts where leading figures and invited international artists engage in public discussion and workshop-like sessions. Central issues have included the quality of recent Nigerian literature, special editions on Wole Soyinka and Okwui Enwezor, and artists as arbiters in political crisis. CORA organises an annual Cinema Carnival showcasing outdoor screenings of high quality African films. It also organises the annual Lagos Book and Art Festival, an open-air popular market featuring live music, drama and dance, activity workshops for kids, poetry and literature readings, book parties and seminars. CORA publishes ‘Lagos: The City Arts Guide’, a quarterly calendar of cultural events, listings, previews and reviews.
CORA has worked in the complex environment of Lagos, with neither government nor foreign donor support, for 15 years. It is building audiences for all branches of the arts and provides support for the work of artists and intellectuals. It is a democratic organisation run by a collective of involved citizens with current officers, Toyin Akinoso and Jahman Anikulapo. This award highlights the contributions of committed citizens, the role of local energy and initiatives in stimulating the arts and the importance of creating spaces of freedom, debate and cultural exchange.
The Prince Claus Fund is a platform for inter cultural exchange. The Fund is named after H.R.H Prince Claus, the late spouse of H.R.H. Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands. The Prince Claus Awards are presented to artists and intellectuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of culture and development. The awards are given to individuals, groups and organisations around the globe, but primarily in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. The Prince Claus Awards recognise artistic and intellectual qualities that are relevant in the contemporary context. They aim to support experimentation, to appreciate audacity and tenacity, to legitimise, to increase impact and to provide others with inspiration.
This year’s Principal Prince Claus Award (EUR 100,000) was presented on Wednesday 13 December in Amsterdam to Iranian graphic designer Reza Abedini. The other ten Prince Claus Awards 2006 of EUR 25,000 will be presented to visual artist Lida Abdul (Afghanistan), cultural organizer Christine Tohme (Lebanon), writer Erna Brodber (Jamaica), publisher Henry Chakava (Kenya), poet Frankétienne (Haiti), actor Madeeha Gauhar (Pakistan), performance artist Michael Mel (Papua New Guinea), the Committee for Relevant Art (Nigeria), Al Kamandjati Association for music lessons(Palestine), and the National Museum of Mali in Bamako (Mali).
Royal Netherlands Embassy Abuja
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