Algiers ~ Algeria
Principal Prince Claus Laureate 2010 Barzakh Editions is a remarkable independent publishing house that has created a platform for a new generation of Algerian writers ¬and opened a door for the flow of ideas between Algeria and the world. Founded in 2000, in the aftermath of crisis and a context of cultural isolation, economic crises and political violence, its name refers to an intermediate zone where souls are in transit, where personal realities are confronted and assessed against other realities. Driven by a passion for books and a conviction that freedom of thought and expression are essential for development, co-founding editors Sofiane Hadjadj and Selma Hellal began to make the work of local and exiled authors accessible and affordable, to encourage creativity and experimentation, and to provide publishing opportunities for local authors, both the established and new voices. Barzakh Editions has published more than 110 books of consistently high quality in both content and presentation. Novels and poetry are primary fields, alongside a range of genres and subjects such as philosophy, urbanism, photography, theatre, social history, biography, political essays and artists’ catalogues. The Principal Prince Claus Award honours Barzakh Editions for giving concrete form to Algeria’s voices, for opening up a much needed space for critical reflection on Algerian realities, for building a bridge connecting different languages and cultures, and for creatively breaking through the threatening cultural isolation of the country.