The annual award honours inspiring examples of people and organizations who, with courage and creative power, imagine new paths for Europe.

2019: Democracy Needs Imagination

The laureates of the 2019 ECF Princess Margriet Award for Culture are Ahdaf Soueif (Cairo/London) & City of Women (Ljubljana).

The 2019 Award theme is Democracy Needs Imagination. The two laureates represent distinct cultural approaches, but both also offer a hopeful vision of democracy by redefining our understanding of culture and its capacity to improve a common European social reality.

The jury convened in early 2019 and the two laureates were announced on 9 May 2019, Europe Day. The Award will be presented on 2 October 2019 in Amsterdam and includes a sum of € 25.000 per laureate. 

History of the Award

The award was initiated in 2008 in honour of the foundation’s former President, HRH Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, who has shown enormous dedication to the important role of culture in invigorating democracy in Europe. The Award was established in partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

For the last ten years, the ECF Princess Margriet Award for Culture has honoured laureates as diverse as the cultural fields in which they work. They come from the performing and visual arts, literature, music, film, cultural activism, critical thinking, architecture, digital and media culture. Brilliant, innovative, daring, compassionate – these individuals and collectives have shone out in their resolve to find a better way, even in the face of global upheaval, and to shape a future that is more fair and respectful of both people and the planet that we share.

Award News

We host a growing news cache specifically dedicated to the ECF Princess Margriet Awards for Culture in our Library, including yearly publications, interviews with past laureates, speeches, videos, audio recordings, press releases and media coverage. 

All awards

Ahdaf Soueif | City of Women

Borderland | Forensic Architecture

Aslı Erdoğan | Navid Kermani | Luc Mishalle | Marina Naprushkina

Krétakör | Medialab-Prado

Athens Biennale | Visual Culture Research Center

Teodor Celakoski | Teatro Valle Occupato  

Yoel Gamzou | Lia & Dan Perjovschi

Charles Esche | John Akomfrah

Kutluğ Ataman | Šejla Kamerić

Borka Pavićević | Stefan Kaegi

Stuart Hall | Jerôme Bel & Pichet Klunchun