Mezrab winner of Amsterdamprijs 2020 Best Achievement

On 26 October, the winners of this years AFK Amsterdamprijs voor de Kunsten were announced. Cultural platform Mezrab was the winner in the Best Achievement category, fashion designer Duran Lantink won the Incentive Prize and multidisciplinary artist Jennifer Tee won the prize for Proven Quality.

The prizes, consisting of EUR 35,000 and the sculpture ‘Skyline Remix’ by Tim Breukers, were presented by the alderman for art and culture, Touria Meliani, and AFK director Annabelle Birnie. The head of the judging panel, stage director Daria Bukvić, praised the three winners for their special ties with the city and their outstanding craftsmanship.

Mezrab won the prize for Best Prestation. Mezrab is a centre for storytelling. It is a welcoming centre for the community initiated by the Sahebdivani family in 2004. Besides storytelling Mezrab is a platform for a range of art forms including dance and comedy.  The jury wrote about Mezrab: ‘Mezrab has succeeded in creating an international ambiance, in a local context. They organically create inclusivity, solidarity and engagement with their audience and artists.’

This summer Movement Exposed interviewed Sahand Sahebdivani about the nomination. In the interview he illustrated Mezrab’s history: “The storytelling, an art form with a naturally low threshold for participation, happens on ground level and people stand or sit around it as much as possible. This takes away the hierarchy and makes it easier for people to step in. At Mezrab the gezelligheid comes from the interaction; you feel co-responsible for what is happening.”

Each year the AFK Amsterdamprijs voor de Kunst acknowledges three artists for their unique contributions to the arts in Amsterdam.