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06 Oct 2017

2017 Prince Claus Laureates announced



The Prince Claus Fund has announced the 2017 Prince Claus Laureates.  One of the two winners of he Principal Prince Claus Award is new media designer and environmentalist Ma Jun (China). Five additional Prince Claus Awards will be presented, including to visual artist Amar Kanwar (India).

Ma Jun (1968, Beijing, China) is a new media designer and environmentalist who is empowering citizens to take action against industrial pollution. In 2006, he set up the non-profit Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) which collects and analyses official data on pollution, making it understandable and available to the general public. Ma Jun and IPE have developed an innovative app that, among other things, allow people to see air quality in 300 Chinese cities and report evidence of pollution in their neighbourhoods. Ma Jun highlights best practices and presses for transparency. He co-founded a network of environmental NGOs. He reaches a broad audience of consumers, corporations and government with information about environmental issues through social media, lectures, workshops and publications.

Amar Kanwar (1964, New Delhi, India) is a visual artist and social activist committed to developing art as a vehicle for social justice. He documents such difficult topics as oppression, sexual violence, poverty and the appropriation of land and resources. He draws on poetic imagery, archival material and the voices of those affected to create a multilayered narrative at the interface between art, documentation and activism. Although his work focuses on South Asia, it has global relevance. Kanwar adapts his installations and innovative hybrid art forms to connect with diverse audiences, from local film clubs and associations where the topics are most urgent, to art exhibitions and film festivals around the world.

The full list of winners is:

  • Documentary filmmaker Vincent Carelli (Brazil) and new media designer and environmentalist Ma Jun (China) will jointly receive the Principal Prince Claus Award from HRH Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands on 6 December.

  • Five additional Prince Claus Awards will be presented to: Khadija Al-Salami (documentary filmmaker, Yemen), L’Art Rue (public art collective, Tunisia), Brigitte Baptiste (scientist & environmentalist, Colombia), Amar Kanwar (visual artist, India), and Diébédo Francis Kéré (architect, Burkina Faso).


For the past 21 years, the Prince Claus Fund has honoured visionary individuals and organisations for their excellent, ground-breaking work in fields of culture and development.

Image: Apichatpong Weerasethakul - the Prince Claus 2016 Principal Laureate receives the Prince Claus Award in Bangkok