Courageous Citizens: an interview series

We launched our grant call ‘Courageous Citizens’ in 2018. We received more than 500 applications from all corners of Europe and beyond. As a result, we welcomed 31 new grantees and their projects into our network! Their bold and daring projects range from raising eco-consciousness in the city, being decolonial detectives, empowering people with physical disabilities, to re-inventing one's heritage in the context of migration and displacement.

This year, 2019, most of their projects are coming to a close, or have been progressing so much that we decided to start a series of interviews with these courageous grantees.

Sana Murrani applied with her project Creative Recovery: Mapping refugees’ memories of home as heritage.

Sarah Story represents Refugee Info Bus, an organisation whose mission is to assist refugees in having access to the rights that people with European passports take for granted.


Simeon Vasilev represents the Bulgarian GLAS foundation which works for a positive change to the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Bulgaria.

Geraldine Lavelle’s project focused on raising awareness about the challenges of inclusivity for those living with disabilities and participation in sporting activities.

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Framer Framed proposed The City is Ours: an exchange project in which young women in Amsterdam and Tunis investigate how they relate to public space and, through art, can increase their sense of ownership over public space.

Cherelle Harding initiated the Windrush Strikes Back project to uncover the hidden histories written by British African Caribbean peoples in historic Warwickshire

Thomas Diafas used the grant to create an educational program and cultural activities and cultivate strategic partnerships within the local police, schools and church for the Thessaloniki Queer Arts Festival

Alessio Mazzaro launched Edinost, A journal for European citizens and labour migrants written by social artists, curators, migrants, activists, antifa members and academics.

Courageous Citizens: Alessio Mazzaro

On 11 March 2017, Courageous Citizens grantee artist Alessio Mazzaro reopened Edinost, a Slovenian newspaper printed in Trieste, Italy that gave voice to the first anti-fascist movement in Europe. It was shut down by fascists in 1928. He reopened it as a multicultural space of dialogue and collective writing journal that he directs to investigate borders, fascisms, politics of memory and the role of arts in re-discussing unresolved conflicts.

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On artists, public debate and cultural spaces

Earlier this year we announced that writer and cultural activist Ahdaf Soueif is one of our 2019 Princess Margriet Award for Culture laureates. This met with a lot of support from people who know Soueif’s literary work and societal engagement. But the nomination also angered certain voices in Germany and in the Netherlands. We thus decided to organize two stakeholder meetings to discuss the role of artists in public debate.

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