Press Release Louder than Words 2018

How can urban planning reduce tensions in Homs, Syria? How can a novel challenge Indonesia’s colonial history? On 5 December at Louder than Words, seven extraordinary individuals from around the globe share their stories and discuss how their work in culture has an impact on their societies. From independent film in the Philippines to South Africa’s legendary Market Photo Workshop that broke barriers during Apartheid, the seven participants are laureates of this year’s Prince Claus Awards. Louder than Words will be moderated by ‘Our Man in Tehran’ Thomas Erdbrink, with acoustic performances throughout the programme by Jeangu Macrooy.  LEES MEER IN HET NEDERLANDS HIER

Louder than Words Participants

Market Photo Workshop’s Legetho Makola (South Africa) training institute & cultural platform

Adong Judith (Uganda) playwright, film & theatre-maker

Marwa al-Sabouni (Syria) architect & urbanist   

Eka Kurniawan (Indonesia) author

Kidlat Tahimik (Philippines) artist & filmmaker

O Menelick 2º Ato’s Luciane Da Silva (Brazil) independent journalism & cultural platform

Dada Masilo (South Africa) dancer & choreographer

Louder than Words

Date: Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Time: 20:30 – 22:00 (doors open at 20:00)

Location: Compagnietheatre, Grote Zaal Kloveniersburgwal 50, Amsterdam

Tickets: €12.50 Standard, €7.50 CJP/students/City Pass /Act Pass

Louder than Words is made possible through a collaboration with Amerpodia and with the support of the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts.

Moderator Thomas Erdbrink is Iran Bureau Chief for The New York Times, former correspondent for the NRC and The Washington Post, and host and documentary maker on VPRO. Jeangu Macrooy is a rising star in the pop music scene. He is a frequent performer on De Wereld Draait Door and festivals like North Sea Jazz and Lowlands. He was also twice nominated for Edison Pop Awards in the ‘Best New Artist’ and ‘Best Album’ categories.

Participant Biographies

2018 Principal Prince Claus Laureate Market Photo Workshop (Johannesburg, South Africa, 1989) was established in the final years of apartheid to make visual literacy and the craft of photography available to all races. At a time when the movement of black people was severely restricted, renowned South African photographer David Goldblatt (1930-2018) set up the Market Photo Workshop to provide photographic training and equipment to black South Africans so they could give visual expression to their experiences.  In the three decades since, it has sustained its radical spirit and ideals of social justice while growing and adapting to the post-apartheid era. This is in no small part due to the leadership of former director John Fleetwood, who took on the role of director from 2001-2015. Now under the leadership of Lekgetho Makola, Market Photo Workshop is a multi-faceted training institution and cultural platform with an international reputation, drawing students from all across Africa. It mentors and supports artists in their career development and continues to instill ideals of socially committed photography. Among its many achievements are the creation of a strong local-regional network and a vast image archive of unique historical and social importance.

Prince Claus Laureate Adong Judith (Gulu, Uganda, 1977) is a playwright, film and theatre-maker whose work raises public debate on contentious issues to provoke positive change. Her first play, Silent Voices reveals the terrors of the 20-year conflict with the Lord’s Resistance Army and challenges the peace-building process, asking difficult questions about amnesty and forgiveness and confronting people with their passivity and complicity. She brings the stories of vulnerable and disadvantaged people to the wider public of Uganda and the world. Adong Judith’s works tackle such controversial subjects as the struggle for LGBTIQ rights in Uganda, the hypocrisy of religious and gender politics, local child sacrifice practices, social media deception and the horrors of colonialism. Adong Judith has an MFA in Filmmaking and Media Arts and has also studied music dance, languages, literature and drama. She is the artistic director of Silent Voices Uganda (2016), a non-profit organisation for the development and production of performing arts. Silent Voices Uganda is revitalising Ugandan theatre and is having an impact across the continent with its apprenticeship programme that matches aspiring theatre-makers with experienced mentors. She is the first Ugandan to receive the Prince Claus Award.

Prince Claus Laureate Marwa al-Sabouni (Homs, Syria, 1981) is an architect and urban thinker who believes that architects have a duty to stimulate social cohesion. When war enveloped her city, Homs, she refused to leave and remained a virtual prisoner in her home for two years. In her autobiography, The Battle for Home: The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria (2016), al-Sabouni analyses how architecture and city planning have played a role in fuelling violence and civil conflict by distorting community relationships and fragmenting societies. She has designed proposals for rebuilding the Baba Amr district of Homs that was destroyed in the war, drawing on older Syrian spatial arrangements where there was constant contact among diverse classes and ethnic groups. In articles and public lectures, al-Sabouni argues for architecture that has human connection at its heart. She and her husband run the Arabic Gate for Architectural news, the only online media outlet dedicated to architectural news in Arabic.

Prince Claus Laureate Kidlat Tahimik (Baguio City, Philippines, 1942) Kidlat Tahimik (whose name means ‘silent lightning’ in Tagalog), is an artist in many disciplines and a creative force in his community. Called the Godfather of the Filipino New Wave, Kidlat’s work ranges from film and photography to weaving, free-style architecture and carved installations. While working as an economic researcher for the OECD in Paris, Kidlat’s imagination was ignited by film. He tore up his MBA degree, quit his job, and poured his heart into his first film, Perfumed Nightmare (1977), a fictionalised version of his own dream trip to the West and subsequent disenchantment, which won the International Critics Award in Berlin. Kidlat is an enthusiastic advocate of indigenous culture. He organises conferences of indigenous peoples from around the world. His unconventional artworks raise awareness about environmental issues. He has designed and built two imaginative art centres using local craftsmen and found materials where local artists and craftspeople can exhibit their works. He generously gives his time mentoring young creatives and promoting independent creativity in workshops.

Prince Claus Laureate Eka Kurniawan (Tasikmalaya, West Java Indonesia, 1975) is a writer who explores Indonesia’s complex recent history through fiction. Kurniawan studied the great Indonesian writer Pramoedya Ananta Toer, but turned away from social realism and developed his own innovative style. His work has been compared with Gabriel Garcia Marquéz and Haruki Murakami. His first major novel, Beauty Is a Wound (2002), is both a hilarious satire and a family tragedy of epic scope that deals with rarely discussed topics: the physical and sexual violence of Indonesia’s Dutch colonial history, Japanese occupation and dictatorship and genocide under Suharto. His writing combines elements of local folklore traditions, oral histories, magical realism, Indonesian martial arts and horror comics to portray people’s multi-layered experiences. His novels, short stories, essays, movie scripts and graphic novels, break through social barriers, reaching diverse audiences in an entertaining way with local stories that reveal terrible historical truths.

Prince Claus Laureate O Menelick 2º Ato – O Menelick Act 2 (Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2010) is an independent platform that makes Afro-Brazilian culture visible. Founded and directed by journalist and photographer Nabor Jr, it is the rebirth of the short-lived, first-ever black journal in Brazil, titled Menelick, launched by a poet in 1915. Although less than half of the population self-identify as white and most Brazilians are of mixed ancestry, people of colour have almost no presence in Brazilian media. The only journal for black culture in Brazil, O Menelick 2º Ato gives Afro-Brazilian thinkers and artists a space to share their perspectives and project the concerns and creativity of the contemporary black community in Brazil. It is an avant-garde, non-profit, quarterly magazine published online and in print, distributed free through libraries and cultural events as well as in conflict areas of São Paulo. With its coverage of music, theatre, cinema, dance, fine arts, photography, fashion, literature, poetry and popular urban forms such as clowning and hip-hop, it introduces many individuals and collectives to a wider public.

Prince Claus Next Generation Laureate Dada Masilo (Soweto, South Africa, 1985) is a dancer and choreographer who takes great aesthetic risks, reinventing classic stories so they speak to black identity and feminism, through an innovative dance language that intertwines African movement and rhythms with traditional ballet and contemporary dance genres. Her works deal with contemporary topics, such as the stigma and social rejection around HIV/AIDS, domestic violence and arranged marriages and are performed to a mix of African and Western music & sound. Masilo grew up in Soweto, studied classical and contemporary dance at the Dance Factory in South Africa followed by two years at PARTS - Performing Arts Research and Training Studios - in Brussels.  She is Artist-in-Residence at The Dance Factory which employs her dancers. She has created and performed eleven original works, including own versions of Romeo & Juliet, Carmen, Swan Lake and Giselle (voted Best Performance 2017 for Danza&Danza).  She collaborates with other choreographers & artists (e.g. William Kentridge).



For members of the media who wish to be present, please RSVP via Martine Willekens, Prince Claus PR Manager. Also, for interview requests, additional information or visual materials, please contact:

Martine Willekens, Prince Claus Fund PR Manager | [email protected] |

+31.20.3449.169 | +

What are the Prince Claus Awards? All over the world there are extraordinary people active in the cultural field, many are working in areas where cultural expression faces challenges. Each year the Prince Claus Fund honours a select group of these individuals and organisations whose excellent work is having a positive impact on their societies.

The accreditation process for the Prince Claus Awards ceremony on 6 December will be announced in the coming weeks. More information: