At its biennial forum tonight in New York, 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. Recently renamed following a gift from the New York dealer Jane Lombard, the prize comes with $25,000 and recognizes one social justice–minded artist or art collective every other year.
Chimurenga was founded by the Nigerian journalist Ntone Edjabe in 2002. (Its 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 Koyo Kouoh, the artistic director of RAW Material Company in Dakar, Senegal, and also included Richard William Hill, the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Studies at the Emily Carr University of Art & Design in Vancouver; Carin Kuoni, the director and chief curator of the List Center; curator Nontobeko Ntombela; Uzma Z. Rizvi, an associate professor in Pratt University’s Anthropology and Urban Studies department; and Maya Wiley, the senior vice president for social justice at the New School.
In a statement, the jury said Chimurenga’s work “reflects on the collective political histories and memories in the pan-African community that is world-making.” Finalists for the prize also included Tiffany Chung, Naine Terena de Jesus, Emily and Annemarie Jacir, and Liz Johnson Artur.