Bill Kouélany uit Congo-Brazzaville onderscheiden met Prins Claus Prijs 2019

Op 4 december worden in Amsterdam de prijzen van het Prins Claus Fonds uitgereikt. De avond ervoor zullen alle laureaten 2019 hun verhaal vertellen tijdens ‘Louder than words’, een openbare avond in het Compagnietheater in Amsterdam. Onder de laureaten Bill Kouélany uit Congo-Brazzaville.

Bill Kouélany

The Prince Claus Fund announces the 2019 Prince Claus Awards. This year’s laureates are:

Principal Prince Claus Laureate
Kamala Ibrahim Ishag (visual artist, Sudan)

Prince Claus Laureates
Ambulante (documentary film organisation, Mexico)
Mariam Kamara (architect, Niger)
Bill Kouélany (visual artist, writer, Congo-Brazzaville)
Djamila Ribeiro (philosopher, Brazil)
Anocha Suwichakornpong (filmmaker, Thailand)

Next Generation Prince Claus Laureate
Mónica Ojeda Franco (writer, Ecuador)

HRH Prince Constantijn, Honorary Chair of the Prince Claus Fund Board, will present the Awards during the ceremony at the Royal Palace, Amsterdam on 4 December 2019. On 3 December, the 2019 Laureates will tell their stories during Louder than Words, a public talk show at the Compagnietheater in Amsterdam.

The Prince Claus Awards honour visionary individuals and organisations for their excellent, ground-breaking work in fields of culture and development.

This year all the Prince Claus Laureates are women or women-run organisations. Although the Fund did not emphasise gender in its requests for nominations, the nominations received reflected a trend of exemplary women making strides in their fields.

‘The Laureates this year put exceptional women front and centre. The nominations received and the Awards Committee’s final selection of 2019 Laureates just reinforce the fact that women are increasingly at the forefront of innovation, ground-breaking thought and creative initiatives. These Awards are a recognition that their achievements are outstanding, and have an impact not only on the lives of women and girls but benefit their societies as a whole.’— Joumana El Zein Khoury, Director of the Prince Claus Fund

About Bill Kouélany (Brazzaville, Congo-Brazzaville, 1965)

Bill Kouélany is a leading figure in the arts in Congo-Brazzaville and was the first sub-Saharan woman invited to participate in documenta. She brings together multiple art forms, from writing and collage to painting and stage design, in imaginative ways that respond to a wide range of issues. In 2012 Kouélany founded Les Ateliers Sahm, a contemporary art centre that is unique in Congo-Brazzaville. It not only brings artists together to experiment and exchange ideas, it also provides space and materials for them to work in a wide variety of disciplines. Kouélany is committed to fostering young artists and to gender equality, creating opportunities for women through scholarships for art materials. Kouélany initiated RIAC, an annual month of performances, workshops and seminars by international experts as well as a residency programme that invites African and international artists to work with Congolese artists on specific themes. Ateliers Sahm also runs weekly workshops that support vulnerable children. In addition, she organises the participation of young artists in Dakar Biennale’s fringe programme, advancing their careers.

Note on selection

The Prince Claus Awards Committee is comprised of independent international professionals in fields of culture and development. They select the Prince Claus Laureates from among nominees put forward by the Fund’s global networks on the basis of criteria such as quality, innovation and impact of their work. The selection process includes extensive research and the sourcing of second opinions by the Fund’s bureau.

Award amounts
Principal Prince Claus Award:  € 100,000
Prince Claus Awards:  € 25,000
Next Generation Award:  € 20,000

2019 Prince Claus Awards Committee
Manuel de Rivero (Chair), Architect and Urbanist, Lima, Peru
Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, Curator and Visual Artist, Sharjah, Emirate of Sharjah
Sandra den Hamer, Director of the EYE Film Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amar Kanwar, Visual Artist and Filmmaker, Delhi, India
Tejumola Olaniyan, Professor of African and English Languages and Literature, Madison, US

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