Newsha Tavakolian Wins the 2015 Prins Claus Award

We are excited to learn that Iranian photographer and photojournalist Newsha Tavakolian wins the 2015 Prins Claus Award! Tavakolian will be presented with the prize by Prince Constantijn of The Netherlands at a ceremony held in the Amsterdam Royal Palace on December 2nd. As part of the award, Tavakolian will receive a prize of 100 thousand euros and exhibition of her work will be held in Amsterdam by the Prince Claus Fund Gallery from November 27th and March 4th.

Tavakolian, who is quite active on social media, posted a statement on her Facebook page, which you can read here:

Dear all,

I am extremely humbled and overwhelmed to have been chosen as the winner of the 2015 principal Prince Claus award. I will never forget this day in my life.

Unfortunately it is hard for me to enjoy this prize as much as I would like to, seeing the region where I work and live in flames and tens of thousands seeking refuge in faraway lands.

I had already decided to donate 13.000 euro’s to the Sheed award, a fully independent photography prize in Iran. They will use it for an annual grant for two young photographers, as well as for a 5 year long educational project for young Iranian documentary photographers.

The Mahak charity helps children with cancer. They treated my cousin Ali Reza who suffered from leukemia. Despite the fantastic and free care he did not make it and died age 10. I had long ago decided to support them, the Prince Claus award helps me to donate 10.000 euro’s for their charity.

Animals are the love of my life and there are several good organizations in Iran supporting animals in my country. I salute the often young volunteers who work day in day out in shelters. I will divide 7000 euro’s over some of these organizations
Today I have also decided to donate another 15.000 euro’s to an organization supporting Syrian and Iraqi refugees. I have worked in both their countries and want to give back to all the kindness Iraqi’s and Syrians always welcomed me with, despite the dire circumstances they live in.

Please help me find an organization that helps people in a good and transparent way. All suggestions are welcome. I will report on my Facebook when I made the donations.

I want to dedicate this Award to all colleagues who risk their lives telling stories of others that no one listens too.
Finally, my congratulations to the other winners and deepest gratitude to the Prince Claus Fund and the jury.

Newsha Tavakolian

You can view more of Tavakolian’s work on her website.

Congratulations to Tavakolian on her achievements!

[ Image via Prins Claus Fund ]