Lawrence Abu Hamdan shares Turner Prize with other nominees in historical first

Among the winners was the Beirut-based artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan. (Getty)
Updated 04 December 2019

Lawrence Abu Hamdan shares Turner Prize with other nominees in historical first

  • Abu Hamdan’s vast works are politically focused, incorporating sounds in an interplay of noise and silence in conflict
  • All four artists shortlisted for the 2019 Turner Prize have been named winners

DUBAI: For the first time in history, all four artists shortlisted for the 2019 Turner Prize — a contemporary British art award — have been named winners.

Among the winners was the Beirut-based artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan. 

Abu Hamdan’s vast works are politically focused, incorporating sounds in an interplay of noise and silence in conflict.

Abu Hamdan was shortlisted for his solo exhibition “Earwitness Theatre” and for the video installation “Walled Unwalled.” His work investigates crimes that have been heard and not seen, exploring the processes of reconstruction, the complexity of memory and language as well as the urgency of human rights and advocacy.

Alongside Abu Hamdan were the artists Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani. 

“The politics we deal with differ greatly, and for us it would feel problematic if they were pitted against each other, with the implication that one was more important, significant or more worthy of attention than the others,” the artists wrote in a letter to the judges beforehand.

“At this time of political crisis in Britain and much of the world, when there is already so much that divides and isolates people and communities, we feel strongly motivated to use the occasion of the prize to make a collective statement in the name of commonality, multiplicity and solidarity – in art as in society,” they said.

The artists won around $52,000, of which each will get a quarter share.

Cammock’s work explores social histories through film, photography, print, text and performance. Creating layered narratives that allow for the cyclical nature of history to be revealed, her work “The Long Note” looks at the history and the role of women in the civil rights movement in Londonderry, Ireland.


What We Are Reading Today: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Updated 11 December 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist.

It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother— his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life, according to review published on goodreads.com.

The 18 personal essays collected in this book are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Noah illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty.

His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time.