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

231 results

Tania  Bruguera

Tania Bruguera

The Cuban artist Tania Bruguera received a Prince Claus Award for the quality of her art, for representing the body as a political arena, for re-introducing performance art into Caribbean and Latin American culture and for her inspiring role in the Cuban art world. Using the human body in powerfully evocative performance art, Tania Bruguera is concerned with concepts such as restraint, abuse and...

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Carlos Henríquez Consalvi

Carlos Henríquez Consalvi

Carlos Henríquez Consalvi is the founder and director of Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen (Museum for Word and Image), which is devoted to El Salvador’s cultural heritage. He is also a journalist and radio-maker. Consalvi received the Award as a tribute to his merits as a journalist, for creating space and freedom, and for his efforts to sustain collective memory and to emphasise its importance in...

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Dayanita Singh

Dayanita Singh

The Indian photographer Dayanita Singh was honoured for the high quality of her photographs, for her complex but clear view of modern life in India and for introducing a new aesthetic into Indian photography. Dayanita Singh is a master photographer who offers an acute vision of contemporary Indian realities that have been hidden or ignored. Early projects centred on the experience of women in various...

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Ousmane  Sow

Ousmane Sow

Ousmane Sow is a sculptor extraordinaire. He received his Prince Claus Award for his impressive sculptures of the human body, for his fresh perspective on the body that challenges the international world of figurative art, and for his positive influence on the younger generations of African artists. Sculptor extraordinaire of the human body, Ousmane Sow infuses his creations with potent life force...

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Elia  Suleiman

Elia Suleiman

Film-maker Elia Suleiman was honoured for the creative structure, the innovative vocabulary and superb quality of his films along with his use of humour in exploring universal human issues and his commitment to peace and justice in Palestine. Born into a Palestinian family in Israel, a situation that strongly influences his work, Elia Suleiman is one of the most important filmmakers in the Middle...

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