The Prince Claus Fund was established on September 6, 1996, as a homage to HRH Prince Claus’s commitment to culture and conviction in its importance in the development of all societies. The goal is to support, honour and connect artists and cultural practitioners in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe, especially where cultural expression is under pressure.
With the global climate catastrophe being felt everywhere, artists and cultural practitioners are responding to the crisis by engaging their communities, proposing innovative solutions, and imagining alternate futures.
The Mentorship Awards for Cultural & Artistic Responses to Environmental Change bring together 12 emerging artists and cultural practitioners from around the world in a year-long interdisciplinary programme. They are supported by four mentors as well as their peers and work at accelerating their engaged community-based practices addressing environmental issues.
In a year-long interdisciplinary program, the Mentorship Awards for Cultural & Artistic Responses to Environmental Change brings together 12 rising artists and cultural practitioners from across the world to collaborate with their peers in addressing environmental challenges.
The group will be guided by four mentors, including scientist and gender diversity advocate Brigitte Baptiste; Etcétera Collective formed by Federico Zukerfeld & Loreto Garín Guzman and artist and academic Serkan Taycan, to accelerate their engaged community-based activities.
This year’s awardees work in a variety of disciplines, from architecture, photography and visual arts to biotech, sound art and research, with most working in multiple disciplines. They come from 11 different countries, including Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Uganda, South Africa, Kyrgyzstan, India, China and the Philippines. There are two Africans on this list.
Meet the African artists and cultural practitioners on the list:
Koloto Siraji (Ghana)
Koloto Siraji is a Ugandan multidisciplinary artist, teacher and researcher based in Jinja. Mainly focused on dance, Siraji explores the bagisu philosophies of dance and art, his practice embraces and celebrates the bagisu cultures through the lens of modernity. He explores the body as a medium to bring his ancestry to the present day and creates new perspectives around colonialism, religion, environment and humanity. Siraji founded the Ensibuko Arts Foundation in 2010, a non-profit organisation that provides free dance lessons and promotes events that address social issues through arts.
Tamzyn Botha (South Africa)
Tamzyn Botha, also known by her creative moniker “limb”, is an interdisciplinary artist whose work indulges play and improvisation through the mediums of video, sculpture, performance and costume all in the realms of DIY. Limb explores the world of discarded objects and waste materials by weaving society’s seemingly superfluous trinkets into reimagined worlds of reflection. Her habitual hoarding of thrown-aways and the forgotten lay visible across all the realms she explores, from art-making to community engagements. Sculptural collaging and object mutilation forms the foundation of her work, with the history of an item’s former existence being equally as important to the work that it becomes. She re-assembles organic and synthetic relinquished materials into one space/face; a recollection of geographies mirroring the migration of people across physical and psychological landscapes and boundaries. Make do and make of are etched upon her expression and interests. An on-the-ground and get-it-done sort of mantra embodies her approach to the world(s) around her.