The New School’s Vera List Center for Art and Politics announced that the South African collective Chimurenga is the winner of its 2018–20 Jane Lombard Prize for Art and Social Justice. The award will grant Chimurenga $25,000 and a short-term residency in New York, as well as the integration of its programs into New School classes, a conference, and a publication.
Chimurenga was founded in 2002 by Cameroonian writer and journalist Ntone Edjabe as a platform for writing, art, and politics about African by Africans. The collective’s name means “liberation struggle” in Shona. With an eponymous magazine, Chimurenga aims to start conversations about African culture and has addressed such topics as the rewriting of the continent’s history, the role technology plays in its future, and its music scene. In addition to that publication, Chimurenga also produces the journal Chronic and oversees a roving curatorial platform, the Pan African Space Station (PASS), which stages exhibitions, puts on radio shows, and facilitates research.
The prize’s jury was chaired by by Koyo Kouoh, artistic director of the Dakar-based RAW Material Company, with Richard William Hill, Canada Research Chair at Emily Carr University of Art & Design; Carin Kuoni, Vera List Center director and chief curator; Nontobeko Ntombela, curator; UZma Z. Rizvi, associate professor in the Pratt Institute’s Anthropology and Urban Studies department; and Maya Wiley, senior vice president for social justice at the New School.
Chimurenga will also be invited to mount an exhibition and host an international conference at the Parsons School of Design in the fall of next year. Previous winners of the award include Theaster Gates, the anonymous Syrian film collective Abounaddara, and the Brazilian artist Maria Thereza Alves.