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2012 ECF Princess Margriet Award Back

2012 ECF Princess Margriet Award

19 Mar 2012

The 2012 ECF Princess Margriet Award for Culture laureates were film-maker and cultural activist John Akomfrah and museum director and curator Charles Esche. They received their awards at a ceremony in Brussels on 19 March 2012.

Selection Process

The 2012 ECF Princess Margriet Award laureates were selected from a list of 90 nominations, including internationally renowned cultural thinkers and practitioners, nominated by a network of pre-eminent cultural actors from all over Europe. The jury reviewed dozens of submissions and made their final selection in autumn 2011.

2012 Award Jury


The annual public award ceremony was hosted by the European Cultural Foundation’s Director Katherine Watson and was attended by HRH Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium and the European Cultural Foundation’s President HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands.

The award ceremony included the premiere screening of Peripeteia, a short film by John Akomfrah and Smoking Dogs Films especially commissioned by the European Cultural Foundation and Carroll/Fletcher Gallery for the event. It also featured a speech celebrating Esche’s work, given by the Italian activist Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, called Art in the Age of Barbarisation.

Before the Award ceremony on the 19 March, the European Cultural Foundation and the Flemish-Dutch House deBuren hosted a public debate ‘Politics, economics and culture, a different balance?’ between laureate Charles Esche, Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi (writer and activist), Judith Marquand (Oxford University) with moderator Frénk van der Linden (writer and journalist). The debate addressed the urgent responsibilities of culture, economics and politics in constructing a new horizon of democracy. Esche, Berardi and Marquand affirmed the need for investment in culture and the arts if we are to safeguard democracy in Europe.

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