Bodil Ouédraogo, Echobox Radio and Rainbow Soulclub win the Amsterdam Prize for the Arts 2022

AMSTERDAM – Visual artist Bodil Ouédraogo, the online radio station Echobox Radio and the producer collective Rainbow Soulclub are the winners of the Amsterdam Prize for Art. The Amsterdam Fund for the Arts announced today from the International Theater Amsterdam. The most important art prize in Amsterdam is awarded annually to artists or organizations that make a special contribution to the cultural life of the capital.

The Amsterdam award was presented in the presence of Alderman for Art and Culture Touria Meliani and AFK director Laurien Saraber.

New connections in art

In the report, the jury states that it strikes them – both in the applications and among the nominees – that art is increasingly made in collaboration. Jury chairman Micha Hamel: “We see collectives that challenge each other, question each other or make each other stronger. Artists seek direct dialogue with others. With their audience, with residents, the city or with colleagues to search together for new connections and forms. . decision makers focus so strongly outward, there is a growing commitment. There is a growing realization that in this world full of systemic crises, we especially need to rely on each other.”

Contagious cheerfulness with a sharp edge

In her opening speech, Laurien Saraber, director of the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, said that the Amsterdam Prize literally gives creators and organizations a stage. “All these creators understand the art of bringing people together. They do it by honestly reflecting on themselves and our society. By infectious cheerfulness with a sharp edge, by literally creating space or by giving new meaning to places in the world. city . In this way, they know how to connect neighborhood and the world. I see it as a vital necessity that people can go somewhere with their talent, not just once, but always. That is the foundation of our creative city: to embrace all kinds of talent and the total diversity they have to tell us.”

Laurien Saraber about this year’s winners: “The winners of the Amsterdam Prize 2022 clearly reflect the development of contemporary types of art and culture in our city. At the same time, they show new ways of sharing art with the public. That the audience is more than just a spectator. It experiences , participates and becomes part of the work. It is impossible to look at the work of these winners casually, the attraction is too strong to resist!”

Bodil Ouedraogo | winner of the incentive prize

The jury emphasizes that Bodil Ouédraogo’s work is at the crossroads between different disciplines and cultures. “She is a fashion designer and visual artist in one, and she operates not so much between the genres as above them. Performance, video and design receive equal attention, and Ouédraogo’s work is contemporary. She brilliantly gathers typical elements from different cultures. and forges it to a new whole. Aspects from cultures seemingly miles apart suddenly seem aligned in Ouédraogo’s work.” The jury therefore sense great ambition and energy in her to deepen and further develop her work in the coming years.

Echo Box Radio | winner of the work of the year

“In the summer of 2021 – the night culture had come to a complete standstill due to the pandemic – a group of established names from the night culture decided to create the new online radio station called Echobox Radio and thus shed some light in the darkness. corona time. And it worked. Unlike many other radio stations operate Echobox with an open pitch. Everyone, experienced creators or beginners, fills out the same form and thus gets the chance to convince the promoters – the ‘editors’ – of their program idea.” According to the jury, this radical, generous approach is very valuable in light of the larger theme of inclusivity. “The hyper-democratic approach has led to an eclectic and appealing mix of programs filled with surprising music streams and podcasts from new producers. Echobox is locally rooted but has a cosmopolitan look. We, the jury of the Amsterdam Prize, see, recognize and value the initiators and the work of all their collaborators, and see Echobox as a collective work that is constantly evolving.”

Rainbow Soul Club | winner Proven quality

Rainbow Soulclub breaks the boundaries between the artistic and social domains, which in the eyes of the jury is a call for a lively city. In 2005, artists Saskia Janssen and George Korsmit approached the Amsterdam Regenboog Groep, the foundation that cares for the homeless and hard drug users. The duo noticed that their art students were finding it difficult to step outside the relatively safe walls of the academy, and put them in touch with the customers of Regenboog Groep. They started meeting weekly in the walk-in house and user space Blaka Watra to paint, draw, write, clay, film or cook together: in short, to make things.” The jury praises the hierarchical structure of the collective. “Equality, solidarity and mutual curiosity are paramount for this seventeen-year-old collective. Regenboog Groep’s customers work on an equal footing with the professional artists, so they often take the initiative.”

The Amsterdam Prize for Art

Each year, the AFK Amsterdam Award for Art is awarded to three artists, organizations or art projects that make a special and stimulating contribution to art in the capital. The most important art prize in Amsterdam is awarded in three categories. There is a prize that stimulates innovative artists and initiatives, a prize for the best cultural work of the year and finally a prize for documented quality. This year’s jury consists of Micha Hamel, Nigel van Ommeren, Fiep van Bodegom, Jan Rothuizen and Judith Leysner. The winners will receive a cash prize of €35,000 and the unique sculpture ‘Skyline remix’, designed by artist Tim Breukers. In addition, all co-nominees will receive a cash prize of €3750, as a gesture from the city to the talent in the city. AFK thanks councilor Meliani, who makes these prizes available.

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