The $25,000 prize was awarded on October 4 as part of the inaugural Vera List Center Forum 2018, an international, annual convening of key participants in the field of art and politics. The theme of this year's forum was If Art Was Politics.
The jury selected Chimurenga, a pan-African writing, art, and politics platform, as the winner of the prize. Founded in 2002 by Ntone Edjabe, Chimurenga produces several publications on culture, art and politics, including Chimurenga magazine; the Pan African Space Station, an online radio station; and the Chimurenga Library, an online collection of independent pan-African publications.
I was deeply honoured to be invited to adjudicate this important award. The jury was chosen to reflect a variety of very different experiences and geographic locations and we had to quickly find a way to trust and learn from one another in order to make a very difficult decision. Although every candidate we discussed was worthy of the award, we were able to arrive at a strong consensus of support for Chimurenga's remarkable work. I was especially impressed by how radically Chimurenga challenges the disciplinary boundaries between the arts, pursuing diverse practices that often look back to overlooked histories and archives in order to activate the current political situation and move it forward in many positive directions.
Richard was one of six jurors, who comprised an international group of scholars, curators and artists. He also participated in If Art is Politics, a public event held on October 4 as part of the Forum programming. Learn more about the event at the Vera List Center's website.