Culture is the essence, it defines any civilised society or individualPhoto Peter Stepan

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Prince Claus Fund Library

photo by Omar al-Moutem

Image for the publication “The secret Life of Syrian lingerie: Intimacy and Design” This book will be published together with Scalo Publishers by the end of 2006. Photo by Omar al-Moutem

Modelling lingerie, image destined for the hand-assembled lingerie catalogues distributed in the souks by Syrian lingerie companies. Photo by Omar al-Moutem

Culture is not a luxury?

Culture is the essence, it defines any society or individual. Culture is the expression of our self: in words and body language, sounds, colour, and motion - the way we walk, the way we talk. Take a valley cultivated by the indigenous people of Peru, for example, or any other human activity that has resulted in a painting, a piece of landscape or music. Books express this inspiration in their beauty and rhythm, besides they have powerful messages and can literally 'change the world'.

The forthcoming publication about Syrian Lingerie

Sexuality is one of the major taboos in Arabic public space "The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie is a book that reveals a previously unknown and unexplored side of Arabic design, fashion and sexuality". The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie is a book that reveals a previously unknown and unexplored side of Arabic design, fashion and sexuality. This book helps to open up the space and to show that Middle East sensuality is not a topic belonging to old oriental literature only but to people's daily experience in the most positive sense. Many women wear black clothes, their faces are veiled, but at the same time - underneath - there is a rich culture of stimulating forms and colors, even music is involved. In Damascus and Aleppo, about 200 lingerie companies vie for a highly competitive market, where styles change from season to season. It makes us rethink our notions about Islam.

Why these publications are important for the Prince Claus Fund

Books have the power to change attitudes, to liberate our thinking by presenting new information, a new vision. They are killers of the commonplace repetition of prejudices. Books force us to see parts of the world with new eyes.

The audience

Those thirsty for new ideas, those who feel that old formulas fail to interpret our life. "Lets do books for people who love this planet" People who know that "the head is round in order to change our thoughts' direction". I like this crowd.

The future of the Library

To continue our line of intellectually and visually challenging publications, books of reference which open up new areas of thinking, which present unseen beauty, variety and ignored problem areas, written by great minds, and illustrated by phantastic artists. Let's do books on peoples which globalisation might force to give up, on individuals who carry such wisdom, knowledge of their cultural heritage that "a library gets lost when they die".
Lets do books for people who love this planet.