| Koiné Award
Tahar Ben Jelloun
Tahar Ben Jelloun was born in Fès (Morocco)
in 1944. He is a Moroccan poet and writer.
After first having attended the local Coranic
school, he switched to the bilingual (French-
Moroccan) primary school the age of 6. In
1955 he moved to Tangier where, together
with his brother, he attended the strait’s primary
school and passed his courses. In 1956
he entered the Ibn Al Khatib High School,
then switched to the French Regnault High
School where he obtained the baccalaureate
He studied Philosophy in Rabat. In 1965, during
the student demonstrations in larger Moroccan
cities, Jelloun was sent to a disciplinary camp
run by the army together with 94 other students
suspected of having organized the March 65
demonstrations. In 1968 he was liberated and
returned to university.
In 1968 he published his first poem “L’aube
des dalles” in the magazine “Souffles”. In 1970
the publishing house Atalantes published his
first volume of poetry, “Hommes sous linceul
In 1971, a statement of the Interior Ministry
announced that philosophy teaching was to
be arabized as of the new school year. Not
being trained for it, he decided to leave for
Paris and prepare a PhD in psychology. He
started publishing articles for “Le Monde”.
“La plus haute des solitudes” (1975) was met
with an unexpected success; “Hospitalité française” (1984) was an essay
on racism in France. Between 1975 and 2009 he published several novels
as “L’enfant de sable” (1984), “La nuit sacrée” (1987), “La remontée des
cendres” (1991) and “Le racisme expliqué à ma fille” (1998).
Jelloun has strongly supported the fight against racism and discrimination through
his smooth writing style; he has promoted the search for African Maghreb
roots, related tales, legends, myths and rituals; he has analyzed multiple levels
of ideas about the African post-colonial condition and Islamic fundamentalism.
After having written for “Il Corriere della Sera” and “Panorama”, he wrote for
Italian newspapers as “La Repubblica” and “L’Espresso” about Arab and
Muslim topics, writing on immigration and various other subjects.
| New Talents Award
Sanaa Alaoui is a very talented Moroccan actress that
has stared in Moroccan, French, Mexican and Spanish
She has starred in television series as Les Rimaquois
(2006), Famille d’accueil (2008) and Duval et Moretti
She worked with directors as Rachid Benhadj (El
khoubz el hafi, 2005), Abdelkader Lagtaâ (Yasmine
et les Hommes, 2007), Irene Cardona (A Fiancé for
Yasmina - Un novio para Yasmina, 2008, Audience
Award at Festival du Cinéma Méditerranéen de Montpellier
and Best Movie at Nantes Film Festival), Silvia
Munt (Under the Same Sky - Bajo el mismo cielo,
2008) and Lahcen Zinoun (Oud l’Ward - La beauté
éparpillée, 2008), for which she won the Best Actress
Award at Tangier Film Festival.
| Creativity and Innovation Award
Francesco Cuomo, a young artist
born in Eboli in 1973, but currently
living in Florence. His career commenced
in 1996, when he began
to “write and paint just for the love
of it.” His art knows no boundaries;
his paintings are accompanied
by verses and fabrics.
His art is both global and tactile,
so that one may enjoy it spiritually
and physically. His personal exhibitions,
like the one in the World’s
Artists in Rome, are a fun and
irreverent parody of modern life.
Cuomo is one of the few Italian
artists to exhibit permanently at
the Galleria del Palazzo Enrico Coveri in Florence. The collaboration
with the Maison Coveri led to the creation of a collection inspired by
the work “Narcissus”.
With a vein of irony and mockery, Cuomo’s canvases explode with
joy and imagination, in a blaze of positivity that catches one off
guard, because it is effective and provocative.
Francesco Cuomo has exhibited in the most important art fairs
in Italy and abroad, including Verona, Genoa, Bergamo, Padova,
Shanghai and Stockholm.
Among his latest efforts, the “Mirabilia - Art of Living”, for which he
creates bright totems and bizarre leather bags.