CF Prize Overview

The Prize for Cultural Freedom was established to recognize people whose extraordinary and courageous work celebrates the human right to freedom of imagination, inquiry, and expression. As defined by the foundation, cultural freedom is the right of individuals and communities to define and protect valued and diverse ways of life currently threatened by globalization. The foundation established the Prize for Cultural Freedom in 1999.

We invite you to learn more about each of the extraordinary individuals who have been awarded the Prize for Cultural Freedom.

Applications and nominations for the cultural freedom prize will not be accepted.

1999 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize awarded to Eduardo Galeano

Eduardo Galeano, born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1940 is an essayist, journalist, historian, and activist, as well as one of Latin America‚Äôs most beloved literary figures. Galeano’s books include the trilogy Memory of Fire; The Book of Embraces; We Say No; Walking Words; and Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone. His…
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2000 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize awarded to Claudia Andujar

Claudia Andujar was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland in 1931, and spent her childhood in Romania and Hungary. In 1956 she immigrated to Brazil. A photography project documenting the way of life of the Carajá Indians in Central Brazil led Ms. Andujar to a career in photojournalism. Her work has been…
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2001 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize awarded to Mahmoud Darwish

Mahmoud Darwish is one of the most acclaimed poets in the Arab world. His twenty books of poetry include The Adam of Two Edens, Mural, A Bed of Stranger, Why Have You Left the Horse Alone, Diwan, and Eleven Planets.

Born in upper Galilee, Palestine, in 1942, he and his…
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2002 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize awarded to Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy was born in 1959 in Shillong, India, and studied architecture in New Delhi, where she now lives.

She is the author of the novel The God of Small Things, the story of young twins Rahel and Estha and their family, set in Kerala, India, during the late…
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2003 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize awarded to Dr. Helen Caldicott

Widely regarded as one of the most articulate and passionate advocates of citizen action to remedy the nuclear and environmental crises, Dr. Helen Caldicott has devoted the last 30 years to an international campaign to educate the public about the medical hazards of the nuclear age, and the necessary changes…
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2005 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize awarded to Dr. Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West has been described as one of America’s most vital and eloquent public intellectuals. Dr. West was recently appointed Class of 1943 University Professor of Religion at Princeton University.

In ground-breaking books such as Race Matters, Restoring Hope, The American Evasion of Philosophy, Jews and Blacks: Let the…
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2006 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize awarded to Robert Fisk

Robert Fisk is a British Journalist, based in Beirut, who currently serves as a Middle East correspondent for The Independent newspaper in London. 

His recent articles bear titles such as “The US forces, like the Crusaders before them, are prisoners in their own fortresses”; and “In Middle Eastern elections,…
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