Prince Claus Awards 2016 Beirut Ceremony: speech Henk Proepper

Speech by Henk Proepper, Chair of the Board of the Prince Claus Fund, on the occasion of the presentation of the 2016 Prince Claus Award to Kamal Mouzawak in Beirut on 13 February 2017.

Chargé d’Affaires Mr. Han-Maurits Schaapveld, guests, friends.  It‘s an honour and a pleasure to be here with you all in Beirut.  In these unsettled days full of political turmoil in many parts of the world, it’s important to celebrate the positive, to hold on to the good, to cherish connections. It’s an honour to be so warmly received in this beautiful city and a great pleasure to honour one of your own.

I’m also pleased to be accompanying a group of the Fund’s faithful supporters here to see first-hand the cultural richness of Lebanon.  It’s been a unique opportunity to meet many of the Fund’s partners, to see their work and to better understand its context.

This is my first time in Lebanon, but the Prince Claus Fund has had connections here for a long time.

For those who don’t know The Prince Claus Fund, it was established in 1996 in recognition of the dedication of His Royal Highness Prince Claus, father of our current King, to culture and development. The annual Prince Claus Awards were created in 1997 to honour excellence in the fields of culture and development. The first Prince Claus Laureate from Lebanon came a year later. It was Nazek Saba Yared, an academic, literary critic and human rights activist. She was honoured for her tireless work reviving the Baalbek Festival. Restoring that public celebration of culture was an important step in the country’s healing after so many years of civil war.

The following year, the Fund initiated an international conference in Beirut on the Role of the Intellectual in the Public Sphere with topics that continue to be very relevant today – the creation of ethical standards for public expression and debate, defining the ‘breathing space’ necessary for intellectuals to play a fruitful role in society, and how that space can be defended.

Christine Tohmé, a woman who has worked to enlarge that space, was awarded a Prince Claus Prize in 2006, in recognition of her achievement setting up Ashkal Alwan, the Lebanese Association for the Plastic Arts. Many of you will know how much Ashkal Alwan has done to promote excellent and innovative artistic production, also in bringing Lebanese art to the rest of the world.

In 2011, the visual  and performance artist Rabih Mroué received a Prince Claus Award for, among other things, his ‘radical interrogation of memory,’ and for ‘stimulating critical social engagement’.

There have been more collaborations between the Fund and Lebanese partners and we trust there will be many more, but we are here today to honour our latest Lebanese Laureate, Kamal Mouzawak. His excellent work has introduced us to another crucial aspect of Lebanese culture and cultural dialogue – food. But for a fuller introduction, let me hand the podium over to the Prince Claus Fund’s Director, Joumana El Zein Khoury.

 

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Prince Claus Awards 2016 Beirut Ceremony: speech Henk Proepper

"Kamal introduced us to a crucial aspect of Lebanese culture- food"

Henk Proepper

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Speech by Henk Proepper at Prince Claus Awards 2016 in Tawlet, Beirut word - 0.03 MB

Speech by Henk Proepper, Chair of the Board of the Prince Claus Fund, on the occasion of the presentation of the 2016 Prince Claus Award to Kamal Mouzawak in Beirut on 13 February 2017

Prince Claus Awards 2016 Beirut Ceremony: speech Henk Proepper

Speech by Henk Proepper, Chair of the Board of the Prince Claus Fund, on the occasion of the presentation of the 2016 Prince Claus Award to Kamal Mouzawak in Beirut on 13 February 2017. Chargé d’Affaires Mr. Han-Maurits Schaapveld, guests, friends.  It‘s an honour and a pleasure to be here with you all in Beirut.  In these unsettled days full of political turmoil in many...

 
 
 
 

Prince Claus Awards 2016 Beirut Ceremony: speech Henk Proepper

Speech by Henk Proepper, Chair of the Board of the Prince Claus Fund, on the occasion of the presentation of the 2016 Prince Claus Award to Kamal Mouzawak in Beirut on 13 February 2017. Chargé d’Affaires Mr. Han-Maurits Schaapveld, guests, friends.  It‘s an honour and a pleasure to be here with you all in Beirut.  In these unsettled days full of political turmoil in many...