The Jakarta Post
Eka has been named among this year’s Prince Claus laureates. The awards honor outstanding culture and development achievements. (The Jakarta Post/Wienda Parwitasari)
Indonesian author Eka Kurniawan was among winners of the 2018 Prince Claus Awards announced by The Prince Claus Fund on Thursday.
According to a statement, Eka has been named among this year’s Prince Claus laureates and will receive €25,000 (US$29,000) for "his profoundly imaginative storytelling, the remarkable beauty of his prose and the universal relevance of his subject matter; and for confronting violent political acts that are absent from official discourse and examining controversial issues in a way that people can really relate to, helping them to reclaim stories of their past and construct a better understanding of their country”.
He was also recognized for "projecting the distinctiveness of Indonesian culture and giving status to local stories and myths; for highlighting the power of language and literature in the way we perceive and process information on difficult topics, particularly at a time when language is hijacked by those in authority; and for bringing attention for alternative readings of Indonesian history, stimulating long-overdue awareness and greater understanding of his homeland".
The awards honor outstanding culture and development achievements. Held annually, it recognizes individuals, groups and organizations that have significantly contributed to regions "where resources or opportunities for cultural expression, creative production and preservation of cultural heritage are limited", namely Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Eka has been named a Prince Claus laureate alongside Ugandan playwright, film and theater-maker Adong Judith, Syrian architect Marwa al-Sabouni, Filipino artist and filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik and Brazilian independent journalism and cultural platform O Menelick 2º Ato.
Other winners of the awards were South African training institute and cultural platform Market Photo Workshop, which was named a Principal Prince Claus laureate; and South African dancer and choreographer Dada Masilo, who was recognized with the Next Generation Award.
For this year, the committee had received 85 nominations after formally inviting 213 cultural experts to nominate candidates for the awards.
The Prince Claus Awards will be given to the laureates in a ceremony at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam in December, which will be attended by the Dutch royal family. (kes)