Choreographer Faustin Linyekula receives Prince Claus Award

december 2007 -

Thirty three year old Faustin Linyekula has won the €100,000 Prince Claus Award 2007 for his choreographic art in his war-ravaged home city of Kisangani in north-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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video (c) Africanews

The Jury of the Dutch Prince Claus Foundation put Lunyekula on the top on the list of eleven laureates worldwide, among whom four African artists or organisations.

“I will take care of my family and offer them some comfort”, Lunyekula told in Amsterdam, minutes after receiving a cheque from Prince Constantijn in the presence of Dutch Queen Beatrix and the royal family, prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende.

Lunyekula added that “most of the money will be used to set up three art centres in Congo”, where production activities, workshops and training would take place. He said his dream was not only to turn Kisangani from a theatre of war into a theatre of beauty but also to show the world that Ndombolo or Kouskous music were not the only thing Congolese were capable of.

“It’s a matter of saving lives”, Lunyekula told the audience during the Award ceremony held in the centre of Amsterdam. In a 20 minute performance that closed the ceremony, Lunyekula demonstrated his art, in a piece that reflected the war-actuality in northern Congo, where Laurent Nkunda’s insurgents are fighting loyal troops.

“He was a passionate of literature when he was a child”, Lunyekula’s uncle Kolongo told Lunyekula, was accompanied by the members of his family, the governor of the Province Orientale and the DRC Ambassador to the Hague.

Source: Africanews, 13 december 2007