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Prince Claus Awards
The Prince Claus Awards honour outstanding achievements in the field of culture and development. The awards are presented annually to 11 individuals or organisations whose cultural actions have a positive impact on the development of their societies.
In keeping with the Prince Claus Fund’s guiding principle that culture is a basic need, the awards highlight significant achievements in areas where resources and opportunities for cultural expression, creative production and research are limited and cultural heritage is threatened.
Eloísa Cartonera (established in 2003, Buenos Aires) is a graphic arts and publishing co-operative of handmade books made of recycled materials. The materials are collected by cartoneros, or ‘cardboard people’, unemployed who tried to survive after Argentina’s political and economic collapse in 2001. Drawn to Eloísa’s social solidarity, both established and emerging Latin American writers, donate short stories, novels, and other forms of literature. The collective, small-scale method produces books that are much cheaper than conventional paperbacks. It provides income and cultural benefit to many at all levels of Argentinean society: readers, rubbish collectors, authors and artists. Eloísa Cartonera transformed ‘the book’ from an unattainable object into a widely accessible source of pleasure, knowledge and self development. The relevance and impact of the cartonera model even transcends borders. More than 60 independent cartonera publishers are currently operating in countries across Latin America and one has started in Mozambique. Also, now that the current economic crisis has hit Argentina again, their message is even more urgent.
Writer and filmmaker
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