Seven stories from seven countries...


The Prince Claus Fund believes that culture builds bridges and promotes dialogue - between people, between cultures, between the present and the past.

In every country, every community, every generation there are artists, thinkers, writers, creative people, whose voices should be welcomed.

Why is culture so important? Here we share our partners' stories from seven countries... 

Seven stories from seven countries...

"Here we share 7 of our partners’ stories from 7 countries"

Syria - Omar Imam

Syria - Omar Imam

Syrian photographer and filmmaker, Omar Imam, fled his hometown, Damascus, in 2012. Now based in the Netherlands, Omar feels mainstream depictions of refugees do not do justice to their humanity. His project ‘Live, Love, Refugee’ captures refugee realities and aspirations in surprising, sometime humorous, thought-provoking ways. ‘Live Love Refugee’ was supported by the 2015 Arab Documentary Photography Programme (ADPP) a collaboration between the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, the Prince Claus Fund and Magnum Foundation.

Yemen -  Cinema Club

Yemen - Cinema Club

In Yemen, civil conflict and conservative religious groups had closed down nearly all the cinema houses. Samah Nasr Alshagdari, a poet who loves movies, got together with friends and set up a temporary space in the capital Sana’a. With Prince Claus Fund support, they organized weekly screening of Arabic and international films followed by lively discussions of relevant themes that were raised in the films. The Cinema Club was one of the rare places where young men and women could come together and talk openly about the subjects that matter to them.

Iran - Newsha Tavakolian

Iran - Newsha Tavakolian

Newsha Tavakolian is an extraordinary Iranian photographer and photojournalist who challenges western stereotypes and oversimplifications of life in Iran. Her work captures the complexities and ambiguities of Iranian society and extends beyond to other countries in the Middle East and Africa.  She mentors young photographers and is a founding member of the EVE international collective of women photojournalists. Newsha was the Principal Prince Claus Laureate for 2015. 

Iraq - Impossible Theatre

Iraq - Impossible Theatre

Years of bitter sectarian conflict in Iraq make it difficult for people from different groups to speak to each other. The Impossible Theatre established a form of wordless performance that allowed people of various ethnicities, regions and religions to perform together. With Prince Claus Fund support, they trained amateur actors and toured remote areas of the country, performing in five cities. Their workshops trained people to set up their own ‘impossible theatre’ groups and initiate an ongoing dialogue. 

Somalia-Somaliland - Hargeysa International Book Fair

Somalia-Somaliland - Hargeysa International Book Fair

Somaliland is tucked away in the northeast corner of the horn of Africa. Its efforts at getting international recognition as an independent, peaceful nation separate from Somalia have been in vain, but that setback has not hindered a yearly celebration of their literature and culture. It was started in 2008 by Director Jama Musse Jama and since that initial fair, which drew 200 participants, the Hargeysa International Book Fair has grown into an annual event that draws international speakers and has over 70,000 followers online The Prince Claus Fund first supported the Fair in 2011. Since 2014 the Fair has been a Prince Claus Fund Network Partner.

Sudan - Ibrahim el-Salahi

Sudan - Ibrahim el-Salahi

The seeds of Ibrahim el-Salahi’s career as an artist were planted when he was a schoolboy, practicing Arabic calligraphy in his father’s Qur’anic school. After studying art in Sudan, scholarships to study in the United States broadened his artistic horizons. He began incorporating modernist expression with elements from his Islamic culture. Back in Sudan, he served as a diplomat and Undersecretary of Culture until 1975, when he was imprisoned for six months without charge. Salahi received a Prince Claus Award in 2001. Considered a pioneer in Sudanese art, in 2013, Salahi was the first African artist to have a retrospective at the Tate Modern in London. 

Libya - Haua Fteah

Libya - Haua Fteah

With Prince Claus Fund support, archeologists in Libya have been able to protect a cave that holds artefacts dating back 140,000 years. Experts believe that Haua Fteah, one of the largest caves in the world, was occupied by an exceptionally inventive and advanced group of Paleolithic hunters. The cave also contains rich evidence of how subsequent cultures moved from hunting-gathering to agriculture and adapted to successive episodes of profound climatic change. Working with local experts and the Libyan Department of Antiquities, the Fund has secured an irreplaceable record of the history of humankind.

Seven stories from seven countries...

The Prince Claus Fund believes that culture builds bridges and promotes dialogue - between people, between cultures, between the present and the past. In every country, every community, every generation there are artists, thinkers, writers, creative people, whose voices should be welcomed. Why is culture so important? Here we share our partners' stories from seven countries... 

 
 
 
 

Seven stories from seven countries...

The Prince Claus Fund believes that culture builds bridges and promotes dialogue - between people, between cultures, between the present and the past. In every country, every community, every generation there are artists, thinkers, writers, creative people, whose voices should be welcomed. Why is culture so important? Here we share our partners' stories from seven countries...