Issue of September 9, 2018
Mt. Province

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Kidlat Tahimik wins 2018 Prince Claus Fund award
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

Artist and filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik brings further honor to the Unesco creative city of Baguio and to the country in the field of culture and development after he was chosen among the six Prince Claus Awards Laureates for 2018.

The Prince Claus Awards honor visionary individuals and organizations for their excellent, groundbreaking work in fields of culture and development. It is presented annually to individuals, groups and organizations whose cultural actions have a positive impact on the development of their societies, highlighting significant contributions in regions where resources or opportunities for cultural expression, creative production and preservation of cultural heritage are limited.

Kidlat Tahimik will be presented the awards during a ceremony at the Royal Palace, Amsterdam on Dec. 6, along with Market Photo Workshop (Principal Prince Claus Laureate), a training institute and cultural platform in South Africa; Adong Judith, a playwright and film and theater maker from Uganda; Marwa al-Sabouni, an architect from Syria; Eka Kurniawan, an author from Indonesia; and O Menelick 2° Ato, an independent journalism and cultural platform in Brazil.

According to Prince Claus’ announcement in its website, Kidlat Tahimik is honored for his holistic, free-spirited and joyfully rebellious approach and lifetime commitment to independent creativity; for his charismatic role as a catalyst and thought leader inspiring people to tap into their own inner spirit; for his innovative works in multiple fields that reject imposed conventions in favor of an ingenious, pragmatic and environmentally aware DIY ethos and aesthetic; and for his vital and compelling filmmaking showing how to condemn and fight injustice while living joyfully.

He is also distinguished for his commitment to Philippine culture and pro-indigenous activism, creatively resisting cultural imperialism and showing that local ways and knowledge are a rich resource; and for his deep social engagement and generosity in doing whatever he can to change things for the better, building infrastructure, sharing his gifts and creating spaces of freedom.

Called the Godfather of the Filipino New Wave, Kidlat’s work ranges from film and photography to weaving, free-style architecture, and carved installations.

While working as an economic researcher for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, Kidlat’s imagination was ignited by film. He tore up his Masters in Business Administration degree, quit his job, and poured his heart into his first film, “Perfumed Nightmare” (1977), a fictionalized version of his own dream trip to the West and subsequent disenchantment, which won the International Critics Award in Berlin.

He is described as an enthusiastic advocate of indigenous culture. He organizes conferences of indigenous peoples from around the world.

His unconventional artworks raise awareness about environmental issues. He has designed and built two imaginative art centers using local craftsmen and found materials where local artists and craftspeople can exhibit their works. He generously gives his time mentoring young creatives and promoting independent creativity in workshops.

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