Hawad is a Tuareg poet and visual artist from Niger's Aïr Massif. Ostana Prize organizers award him for his "commitment and determination in promoting the use of the Tamajeq language and its [Tifinagh] alphabet." His "original artistic production," which includes a creation of his own —the so-called furigraphy— "has made his culture resonate beyond its borders", especially in Occitania, where he lives.
Basque writer Bernardo Atxaga will also be honoured this time by receiving the 2023 International Prize. He has written in that language for more than 50 years.
The other six award categories honour women. The Youth Award is presented to Blanca Fernández Quintana, one of the emerging writers of Asturian literature, while the Film Award will be given to Julie Perreard, a filmmaker who incorporates Corsican language in her productions. In the music category, the award will go to Fiona Mackenzie, author and performer of Gaelic songs.
In an award based in the Alps and Occitania, the prize could not be without winners from these origins. The Translation Prize will award Monica Longobardi, for her "great contribution to the dissemination of knowledge of contemporary Occitan literature in Italy", explained the Ostana organizers. The prize reserved for Occitan belongs to Sarah Laurenç Zurawczak, a young poet and author of short stories in that language. To end with, the award devoted to Italy's historical linguistic minorities will be given to Liliana Bertolo Boniface, "for her commitment and constant work to promote, protect, and disseminate Franco-Provençal," or Arpitan, the language traditionally spoken in the Aosta Valley, Savoy, western Switzerland, and other neighbouring territories.
The prize, which claims to be "a festival of linguistic biodiversity," is organised annually in the village of Ostana, in the Alpine valleys where Occitania and Piedmont meet. This year's edition is set to take place from 23 to 25 June. The full programme can be found on the award's website.