The Prince Claus Fund is connected to an expansive global network of artists, cultural organisations and critical thinkers.


When asked what the Fund's motto 'Culture is a Basic Need' means to them, we received the following responses from various project partners:

"Culture is intricately linked to social and political questions; like food, shelter, health and education, we have an absolutely essential need to make our individual cultural expressions seen and heard; culture thus is a question of our survival. Hence, it is our right to be able to make our own cultural expressions, without having to succumb to the powers of cultural hegemonies." – Bhowmik, Bangladesh and India

"It means that Culture makes people look at each other like humans and not like numbers, not like consumers, not like machine components."  – Shahnoza Karimbabaeva, Uzbekistan

"Culture is the only factor that is universal to all societies and it connects us as a universal language. It’s the secret element that connects us to great collective unconscious. I also believe that it is as essential to us as the other well-established basic physical needs."                – Shehzad Chowdhury, Bangladesh

"To me, culture is human. A strong, free, real human will create a strong, free, real culture."    – Nguyen Phuong Linh, Vietnam

"The human need to express is the root of creativity." – Karen Ocampo Flores, Philippines

"Culture is a basic need because as a shared experience a group of people, nation or civilization, it mirrors the memory, spirit, struggles and the aspirations of humanity."       – Liza Maza, the Philippines

"No society can function without culture. Hence, culture is a basic need, and practicing it should be a basic right."  – Yuki Poudyal, Nepal


people in the network

223 results

Apichatpong  Weerasethakul

Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Apichatpong Weerasethakul (1970, Thailand), filmmaker and artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul is an artist and a leader of Thailand’s independent cinema movement. His works subtly address complex social issues and personal politics through mesmerising aesthetics and innovative, non-linear narrative forms. He is also committed to promoting experimental and independent...

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Rakhshan  Bani-Etemad

Rakhshan Bani-Etemad

Rakhshan Bani-Etemad (1954, Tehran, Iran) was one of the first women to make films after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. She is now the foremost woman director in her country, enjoying both national and international renown. Bani-Etemad extends the boundaries of officially permitted imagination. Her work appeals to women in her own country and beyond, subtly researching and presenting womanhood and...

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Jyotindra Jain

Jyotindra Jain

Jyotindra Jain (1943, Indore, India) is a brilliant scholar and an innovater in the field of museology. Since taking over the directorship of the Crafts Museum in Delhi in 1984, he has used it as the vehicle for an extraordinary task: reviving traditional arts and handicrafts of India, including those from the tribal areas. He has instituted a programme of fellowships at the Museum, inviting to Delhi...

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Newsha Tavakolian

Newsha Tavakolian

Newsha Tavakolian (1981, Iran), photojournalist and artist Newsha Tavakolian is a self-taught photographer who combines photojournalism and art to offer new insights into the lived experience of people in Iran and the wider Middle East region. One of the first professional female photojournalists in Iran, her work ranges from bold reportage of political events to sensitive portraits...

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Jelili  Atiku

Jelili Atiku

Jelili Atiku (1968, Nigeria), performance artist A pioneer of contemporary performance art in Nigeria, Jelili Atiku has developed an innovative fusion of Yoruba and international performance practices. Taking to the streets of Lagos or taking over specific sites with his striking costumes and dynamic presentations, he provokes community dialogue and debate on local, national and global...

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