Tomorrow, on the 9th of May, the Day of Europe, the Princess Margriet Award For Culture Ceremony will be held in Amsterdam. Among four award-winning artists, there is Asli Erdoğan, who lived and worked in Krakow for some time as a holder of the City of Krakow ICORN scholarship.
All four laureates are exceptional artists and thinkers” we can read in the justification of the award. They have shown great courage in imagining and reshaping society in the 21st century, and that has shown us how culture can counteract polarized forces and to give use guidelines so as we can imagine a future, more inclusive Europe.” Apart from Asli Erdoğan whom we already know from her Krakow residency, this year’s award winners are: Navid Kermani – a Cologne-based writer and academic; Luc Mishalle – a musician from Brussels. and Marina Naprushkina – a visual artist who works in Berlin.
Asli Erdoğan was a writer in ICORN residency in Krakow (2015). After returning to her home country, Turkey, in August 2016, she was arrested for writing columns and editing ”Özgür Gündem”. She was released in January but with a ban on travelling outside Turkey. With her science background (physics and computer engineering) and despite great success in this field (work at CERN), Asli decided to devote herself to writing, and is a many-time award winner in this area. She is also widely appreciated as a journalist (over 200 articles). For her advocacy of social and political causes some consider her controversial. Her literary work is multifaceted, including novels (her first novel, The Sea Shell Man, was published in 1994), poetry, short stories, poetic prose, as well as political and travel essays. Her works, virtually ignored in her own country, have been translated into many languages, including French, Danish, English, Swedish, Bosnian, German and Bulgarian. The fact the ”Lire” magazine placed her on the list of “50 writers of the future”, considering her work already a contemporary classic, is the best proof of her class as a writer.
The European Cultural Foundation grants the Princess Margriet Award For Culture to artists whose creative effort influences the changes in Europe and its diversified communities. It expresses the organisers’ belief art and culture should be involved in bringing about social and political change. The patron of the Award, Her Royal Highness Princess Margariet, always stressed the importance of culture and highlighted its role in the democratic processes, not only in Europe. She was the Chair of the Foundation from 1984 to 2007.