New Bell prison, is the 2009 winner of the 'Freedom to Create'
Imprisoned Artists Prize. The prize includes 25.000 US dollars that is
a circa FCFA 12 million.
for the defense of artists, FreeMuse, Lapiro De Mbanga was selected in
recognition of his courage and outstanding artwork. According to
release FreeMuse issued last Wednesday, a distinguished panel including
the world's famous conductor, Daniel Barenboim and Geoffrey Robertson, one of the world's human rights lawyers, declared the imprisoned artist winner in London.
took place at London's Victoria and Albert Museum in the evening.
International luminaries such as the celebrated Iranian film maker, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Time-out founder, Tony Elliot and ,
attended the occasion. According to the NGO release, FreeMuse Programme
Manager, Ole Reitov, who is coordinating the campaign for the release
of Lapiro, said the artist was extremely elated when the news was
broken to him. 'Lapiro is absolutely overwhelmed about the prize.
something very different. Lapiro says, apart from the very strong
support to his case and family, the prize belongs to all artists
fighting for the freedom of expression,"
Ole Reitov is quoted to have said. Marie Korpe, FreeMuse Executive
Director, received the prize on behalf of the laureate. The ,
The Post learnt, will be used to campaign for the release of Lapiro and
the sustenance of his family that has suffered immensely since his
arrest last year.
maker, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, who has dedicated his craft to highlight social injustices in Iran
and neighbouring countries. The Freedom to Create prize celebrates the
courage and creativity of artists around the world, who use their
talents to build the foundations of open societies, promote social justice and inspire human spirit. Lapiro stood among more than 1.000 artists from more than 100 countries nominated in 2009.
unrest in Mbanga, observers said authorities used the trial as a
subterfuge to settle scores with the critical artist. For one thing,
Lapiro used his satire-loaded songs as a tool against social injustice,
corruption, abuse of power and other nation-killing prevailing vices.
He has become a symbol of peaceful resistance to the mutilation of
democracy in Cameroon.