The Shared Principle Award 1999
The arts and the media are platforms for debate, analysing and criticising the contexts in which they play their part. Artists and intellectuals express their views on the political, religious, social and cultural circumstances in which they live and work. Their frank comments often meet with social resistance or result in cultural exclusion or state oppression. In response, they seek refuge; they create and inhabit 'spaces of freedom'. They establish alternative platforms in different - but mostly interlinked - places or spaces, each presenting a way of avoiding the restrictions or transcending the repercussions. The three alternatives identified by the Fund can be characterised as exile, margins or defiance. In other words: giving ground, going underground or taking up the challenge above ground. The 1999 Principal Award goes to three persons who have paved the way for free social and cultural comment. They represent the spaces which are characterised as 'exile', 'margins' en 'the large-scale public platform' respectively: Mohamed Fellag (comedian), Vitral (cultural magazine) and Al-Jazeera (television channel).