Lebanese artist Tania El Khoury announced winner of ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art

Media release 23.9.2017

Tania El Khoury is the winner of the 2017 ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art, announced at the ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival in Kuopio, Finland (Saturday 23rd September 2017).

The Prize – now in its 4th year – is the world’s only International Prize for Live Art, and at €30,000 it is also one of the richest in the arts, underlining the importance of live art.

The Lebanese artist beat three other outstanding contemporary artists from across the globe who were all competing for the top prize – Sethembile Msezane (South Africa), The vacuum cleaner (UK) and Alexandra Pirici (Romania).

Tania was picked as the winner by a jury consisting of international art professionals. In the Chair is Fiona Winning, formerly the Head of Programming at the Sydney Opera House, alongside Lois Keidan (co-founder of the Live Art Development Agency, previously Director of Live Arts at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London) and Paris-based Taiwanese artist and curator, River Lin.

Jury Chair Fiona Winning explains why they picked Tania as the winner:

“The sensitivity of this artist’s work in orchestrating audience experience is extraordinary. It stays with us, is sometimes literally written onto us. She has foregrounded some of the burning questions of our time by creating resonant experiences that generate conversation and exchange. Tania’s work is urgently needed and we thank her for it.”

Tania El Khoury receives a cash prize of €15,000 and the same amount in the form of a production grant for bringing a new work to the ANTI Festival in 2018.

Tania El Khoury (LB)

Tania El Khoury is a feminist Arab live artist based in London and Beirut, whose work aims at engaging with the politics of space, the ethics of the encounter with audience, and the writing of history from below.

Her work has been shown across five continents, in spaces ranging from museums to cable cars. Previous performances include Jarideh, an intervention in a public space which asked audience members to identify the most suspicious person present, according to criteria listed in a Metropolitan Police awareness report and Maybe If You Choreograph Me, You Will Feel Better, which won both the Total Theatre award for innovation and the Arches Brick award when it was presented in Edinburgh in 2011.

Tania is currently working on a practice-based PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London, focusing on interactive Live Art after the Arab uprisings

Tania El Khoury - Photo: Ibrahim Fakhri
Tania El Khoury – Photo: Ibrahim Fakhri

Commenting on her win, Tania said in Kuopio:

“I am very excited and deeply honoured to receive this award. It means a lot to be recognised by such an inspiring and accomplished group of jury members. I’m very much looking forward to making work with ANTI Festival; I know I will feel at home in such a space that encourages the intertwining of art and politics.”

More information

on our website and Elisa Itkonen, elisa@antifestival, +358 50 305 2005.

Press photos: antifestival.com/media


River Lin & Tania El Khoury – Photo: Pekka Mäkinen
Tania El Khoury – Photo: Ibrahim Fakhri

ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art funded by: