Last Friday, Venezuela’s culture minister awarded the 2008 ALBA Prize to two of the biggest stars of Latin American arts scene.
And the winners are…
The esteemed Uruguayan writer Mario Benedetti, who is one of South America’s most famous living authors, and the legendary modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer of Brazil (pictured here).
Niemeyer is best known for planning the capital city of Brasília. His comment upon receiving the ALBA Prize was equally as inspiring as his designs: “I will keep collaborating in the struggle for human solidarity, against misery, against violence, against the capitalist regime that generates the inequalities that we will someday overcome.”
This is the first year that the ALBA Prize has been given out, and the standards set by these first two recipients is very high indeed.
In case you forgot, ALBA is short for the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (or Alternativa Bolivariana para los Pueblos). It is a plan for regional integration championed by Venezuela that combines economic goals with social ones. The cultural fund oversees the ALBA Prize, and was created by Cuba and Venezuela in 2006 to help promote creative expression and preserve cultural diversity in the Americas.