Thursday, June 20, 2024

Oscar-winning actor Michelle Yeoh to get Crystal Award at WEF’s Davos meet

Michelle Yeoh

Oscar-winning actor Michelle Yeoh of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame will get the 2024 Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum’s Davos annual meeting next week.

Announcing the names of the award recipients for this year, the WEF on Monday said that architect and educator Diebedo Francis Kere and guitarist Nile Rodgers will also get the award along with Yeoh.

Crystal Awards are given at the opening session of the WEF Annual Meeting to celebrate the achievements of leading artists who are bridge-builders and role models for all leaders of society.

The 2024 annual meeting is scheduled to be held on January 15-19 in the Swiss ski resort town Davos.

Previous recipients of the award include singers Bono and Shakira, writers Paulo Coelho and Umberto Eco, musician, as well as actors Richard Gere, Matt Damon, Leonardo Dicaprio, Michael Douglas, Jet Li, Charlize Theron and Emma Thomson.

Indians to have received the award in the past include legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan, musician AR Rahman, sarod player Amjad Ali Khan, sitarist Ravi Shankar, artist Mallika Sarabhai and actresses Shabana Azmi and Deepika Padukone.

The WEF said the cultural leaders receiving the 2024 Crystal Award are chosen for their ability to connect us to each other, help us reflect on the human condition and provide visions of the world that can cut through the limitations of short-term or linear thinking.

Kere will get the award for his exemplary leadership in providing the Gando community with the means to create a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable future through projects that focus on education, health and the environment.

He is a native of Burkina Faso and studied at the Technical University of Berlin.

In the case of Yeoh, she has built an iconic career for over 4 decades that has made her one of the most prominent Asian actors in Hollywood.

In 2023, she made history by becoming the first actor of Asian descent to win the Academy Award for Best Actress.

She has starred in over 60 films, including the James Bond Tomorrow Never Dies; Oscar-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Memoirs of a Geisha; Sunshine; The Lady; Crazy Rich Asians; Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings; and sci-fi franchise TV series Star Trek: Discovery.

In 2016, she was appointed as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Our true identity as human beings lies not in our differences but in our collective ability to embrace and include every individual, regardless of their background or beliefs”, she said.

Rodgers has been selected for the award for his extraordinary efforts to make the world a more peaceful, equal and inclusive place through his music, his exemplary commitment to fighting systemic racism, inequality and injustice, and by championing innovative youth voices to decision-making tables, the WEF said.

Rodgers is a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, and also a Grammy Lifetime Achievement winner.

Rodgers pioneered a musical language with hits like LeFreak and sparked hip-hop with Good Times and Rapper’s Delight.

His activism began as a teen Black Panther in New York. He participated in Live Aid in 1985 and the Concert for Ukraine in 2023. After 9/11, he co-founded the We Are Family Foundation, promoting cultural diversity while empowering young people to change the world.

“My parents socialised me to care about people and give to others, though we were ourselves financially poor.

“When music gave me the opportunity to reach hearts the world over, I realised I had been given a priceless gift. When I give that gift to others, I get back more than the wealthiest person on earth”, he said.