The European Cultural Foundation
(ECF) annually honors artists, activists and thinkers who help to understand and appreciate Europe's cultural diversity in new and compelling ways with the Routes Princess Margriet Award.
This year's laureates are the artists Kutluğ Ataman and ejla Kamerić.
On 8 February the Routes Award will be presented to the laureates at the Royal Flemish Theatre in Brussels. Both laureates, chosen by the independent international jury will receive EUR 25.000.
In addition to the Award ceremony a conversation with the artists and screening of their work will be shown as part of a public programme in Brussels on February 9th and in Rotterdam on February 10 & 11th.
ejla Kamerić (1976)
The Routes jury praised Sarajevo-born ejla Kamerić's originality and independence of mind. Kamerić has received widespread acclaim for her work that combines poignant intimacy and social commentary. The iconic work, Bosnian Girl (2003), for instance, shows Kamerić herself staring out at the viewer above a piece of racist, misogynist graffiti left behind by a supposedly peacekeeping UN soldier from the unit that failed to save 7000 Muslim men and boys in the so-called 'safe haven' of Srebrenica. In recent years, Kamerić has focused on filmmaking. Her 4-channel film installation What Do I Know (2007) is set in her grandfather's house in Sarajevo and movingly reveals how memories are actively constructed rather than passively recalled. Her art has been lauded for 'exposing the fracture within the broader construction of European identity'. Kamerić's short film Glück (2009) will be shown during the Routes public programme in Brussels and Rotterdam.
Kutluğ Ataman (1961)
The Routes jury chose Istanbul-born filmmaker and artist Kutluğ Ataman for his ability to link very personal stories with very broad political questions. A work singled out for praise is Küba (2004), an installation showing interviews conducted in a deeply impoverished shantytown outside Istanbul. But his work is not only about amplifying voices off the radar but seeks to explore people's experiences across society. A new, evolving cycle of works, Mesopotamian Dramaturgies, reveals the artist's interest in the relations between tradition and globalisation. A key work in the series, Journey to the Moon (2009), will be shown as part of the Routes public programme in Brussels and Rotterdam. Here is an artist whose work defies conventional subject categories, demonstrating that a new aesthetic and understanding can emerge from the transformative power of storytelling.