Summer Carnival Foundation and Peter Minshall
Chaguaramas ~ Trinidad en Tobago
The Principal Award of EUR 100,000 in 2001 has been awarded to two laureates against the background of the theme ‘Carnival’: Stichting Zomercarnaval (Summer Carnival Foundation) and designer Peter Minshall. Carnival is considered to be important because, firstly it is a significant expression of culture, secondly the European carnival has spread to other parts of the world and has undergone an explosive development, and thirdly carnival creates a bridge between cultures and a bridge between North and South, across which culture is exchanged in both directions. The two recipients of the Principal 2001 Prince Claus Award are being recognised for their achievements in artistic innovation and the building of intercultural bridges through carnival. The Summer Carnival Foundation was initiated by the Antillean community and the summer carnival takes place annually in the centre of Rotterdam. A 1.75 km procession is led by the Carnival Queen who is chosen each year. More than 2500 people take part - Antilleans, Colombians, Cape Verdeans, Brazilians, Surinamese, Dutch, and other communities and nationalities all celebrate this multicultural and international exchange. The carnival attracts 760,000 visitors from all over the country and abroad (in 2001). By awarding the Rotterdam Summer Carnival the Prince Claus Fund is explicitly acknowledging the positive contribution of Antillean culture to Dutch society. Carnivals are natural cradles for new design talents. The artist Peter Minshall personifies this kind of innovation. Born in 1941 in Georgetown, Guyana, he grew up in Trinidad, where as a designer of masquerades, or ‘mases’, he brought renewal to the visual vocabulary of Caribbean carnival throughout the world. He raised the look and theme of carnival to a level of artistic excellence. He shares his creativity with his colleagues in his ‘ideas factory’, the Callaloo Company which, besides the annual mas band, also produces theatre productions and performances.