The first annual Amateo Award has been announced at a ceremony held in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The inaugural winners are EdvanHoornFucktheSystem from the Netherlands!

In 2017 the Dutch theatre group Op Roet decided to make the performance, EdVanHoornFuckTheSystem, about a very special guy from the city of Hoorn, his name is Ed. It’s based on a true story about a guy – a loner – who works at a refugee camp in Syria. He finds himself fighting the systems at NGOs, the United Nations… because the money does not always reach the people/refugees who really need it. They made this play with 40 actors, musicians and singers. By matching 20 refugees from Syria, Iraq and Eritrea with a Dutch buddy, the creative process became an inclusive and social process as well, with a beautiful and inspiring result. The refugees played an integral part of the performance and this performance gave them a natural way to learn the language and, most importantly, to make new friends.

The jury selected this project for their outstanding social impact, their innovative way of making a non-professional theatre performance and the beautiful artistic result that was the result of this performance.

“We were very, very proud and honoured. It means a lot to us because now we are sure that we made a project & a performance with a lot of participation from the community and universal meaning, so it means a lot to us.

I think there are a lot of prejudices surrounding refugees and you can only really get away from that if you can really meet, really listen to the refugees’ stories and think ‘there’s a person’. We want to give the refugees a voice and a face.

Every refugee buddied up with a member of the cast, learning about each other and making friends. And the play and the performance of Ed van Hoorn became a very special moment where cultures were shared. Every performance, it was so very special to see that the audience was very touched when the story of the individual refugee was told by them.”

– Lyda Tijsen, Op Roet

“All of the projects on the Amateo Award shortlist were incredibly inspiring in different ways. It was a very difficult decision for the judging panel to select just one winner. Op Roet’s EdvanHoornFucktheSystem project really stood out as an example that embodies the power of participatory culture to have real, positive impact in our communities. The creativity and dedication evident in this project makes it a thoroughly deserving winner of the first ever Amateo Award!”

– Klemen Janežič, Slovenian actor and guest judge for the Amateo Award 2018

See more about the five Amateo Award nominated projects here.

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