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

Jivya  Soma Mashe

Jivya Soma Mashe

Jivya Soma Mashe has transformed the ritual art of the Warli people into a relevant contemporary expression that elaborates their original vision on the rapport between nature and culture. The Warli philosophy embodied in Mashe's paintings emphasises the interconnectedness of human beings and nature. Jivya Soma Mashe is honoured for his creative reinvention of an art vocabulary that was disappearing,...

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Santu  Mofokeng

Santu Mofokeng

Santu Mofokeng is a highly perceptive and significant photographer. From a brief stint as a teenage street photographer, jobs as darkroom assistant and newspaper photographer, to work with the Afrapix Collective documenting the anti-apartheid struggle, Mofokeng's trajectory offered vital lessons about the power of representation. Santu Mofokeng is honoured for the outstanding quality and content...

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Sammy Baloji

Sammy Baloji

Sammy Baloji is a prodigiously talented young photographer whose work shines a powerful spotlight on contemporary Congolese reality. Infused with provocative attention to detail and a depth of intellectual content, Baloji's work interrogates abuse of power and its legacy, revealing the devastating impact that exploitative cultures have on both society and the environment. Sammy Baloji is awarded...

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El Anatsui

El Anatsui

El Anatsui was born in Ghana and has had a distinguished career in Nigeria since 1975 as a visual artist and educator. Anatsui experiments with local symbolic vocabularies, forms, artisanal processes and materials. His work is part of the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Centre Pompidou, Paris and the British Museum, London, amongst other public collections. El Anatsui is emeritus...

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Gaston  Acurio

Gaston Acurio

Gastón Acurio is a master chef whose passion and innovation have elevated Peruvian cuisine, making it an exciting expression of the rich local culture. Gastón Acurio is honoured for his significant contribution to culinary arts, for raising the profile of Peruvian cuisine and introducing its unique delights to the world. Reinventing and adapting traditions, he creates delicious food that celebrates...

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