Home A M Qattan Foundation Media News AMQF announces winners of the 10th edition of the Young Artist of the Year Award 2018

AMQF announces winners of the 10th edition of the Young Artist of the Year Award 2018


First award for Safa’ Khatib; second shared by Firas Shihadeh and Dima Srouji; and third for Ula Zaitoun


Ramallah – (A. M. Qattan Foundation – 10 November 2018)

The jury of the Young Artist of the Year Award (YAYA) 2018, a competition organised by the Culture and Arts Programme of the A. M. Qattan Foundation (AMQF), announced that the first award of the 10th edition of YAYA was presented to Safaa Khateeb for her art work The Braids Rebellion. The second award was shared by Firas Shehadeh for his Never Here Cool Memories and Dima Srouji for her Rule of Superposition. Ola Zaitoun won the third award for her Necrosis.


The announcement ceremony was held at the AMQF New Cultural Centre in Ramallah in the evening of Friday, 9 November 2018. In a statement read out by Sandi Hilal, the YAYA 2018 jury said: “When the winner of the first award was selected for YAYA 2018, an extensive and informed discussion took place. However, we opted for an art work that impressed all members of the jury in different ways. The winner of this year’s competition (Award of Hasan Hourani) is Safaa Khateeb for her The Braids Rebellion.”


Hilal added: “Members of the jury commended the work in terms of technical and conceptual complications. It is an exceptionally unwavering work. It extraordinarily employs scan photography in a manner that is both vital and challenging. Essentially, Safaa’s deep and touching achievement emerges by creating an extraordinary art form out of aesthetic and political representations, which won the admiration of the jury.”


Hilal explained that following a lengthy discussion, the jury decided to present the second award on two artists, who responded to different aspects of the Palestinian reality in various ways and from distinctive positions. The second award was shared by Firas Shehadeh and Dima Srouji.


According to Hilal, Shehadeh’s work is based on the artist’s personal experience as a refugee who lives in Jordan and Palestine. In his obsessive video Never Here Cool Memories, Firas comes up with a strong art form of audiovisual expression, by which he traces the experience of displacement. He reflects on the burdensome question of the right of return, exploring the imagined memory and cross-generational shock through both the text and the images.


Photo by: Ra'ouf Haj Yihya


Hilal indicated that artist Srouji also produced “a work that is preoccupied with representing politics of the landscape. Although she is mainly an architect, the artist adopts an experimental style that largely befits the nature of the exhibition. Her work Rule of Superposition focuses simultaneously on surveying the city of Jerusalem and archaeological excavations to explore the role of the map in asserting colonial hegemony.”


About the work of Ola Zaitoun, winner of the YAYA 2018 third award, the jury stated: “We have been touched by the artist’s courage to present intimate moments in the life of her family and her personal weakness. We have been moved by her ability to produce a balanced reconciliation between intricate achievement, using an uneasy medium such as a rollerball pen and relying on a destructive motive to distort and efface the personal features of portrayed characters.”


Winners of the first, second and third places receive monetary awards, with a total amount of $12,000: $6,000 for the first; $4,000 for the second; and $2,000 for third.


A number of artists, who participated in the YAYA 2018 Exhibition and managed to visit Palestine, attended the ceremony. The event also brought together many artists and a large audience.




On 6 November 2018, the AMQF launched the YAYA 2018 Exhibition, We Shall Be Monsters, at the AMQF Cultural Centre in Al-Tira neighbourhood, Ramallah.


Artists shortlisted for the YAYA 2018 final phase included: Alaa Abu Asad – Rotterdam for his single channel video The Untranslatable Words of Love; Dima Srouji – Sharjah for her installation Rule of Superposition; Dina Mimi – Jerusalem for her single channel video In Order to Talk with the Dead; Firas Shehadeh – Vienna for his single channel video/2 channel sound Never Here Cool Memories; Haitham Haddad – Haifa for his mixed media installation The New Mode; Leila Abdelrazaq – Detroit for her single channel digital animation Still Born; Ola Zaitoun – Cana, Galilee for her mixed media on paper Necrosis; Safaa Khateeb – Kafr Kanna, Galilee, for her scan photography The Braids Rebellion; Walid Al Wawi – London for his canvas parachute and mixed media installation Embassy of Unofficial Palestine (EOUP); and Yusef Audeh – New York for his painting installation Bitcoin Hustler.


The independent jury included artists Ahlam Shibli (Palestine), Declan Long (Ireland), Eva Scharrer (Germany), Jorge Tacla (Chile), and Sandi Hilal (Palestine).


The AMQF commissioned ten artists who had participated in previous YAYA editions to select and shortlist artists for YAYA 2018. The Foundation facilitated networking between all these 20 artists with a view to creating additional opportunities for learning, research and dialogue. This edition of YAYA 2018 is observed in collaboration with the AMQF Public Programme, which takes part in organising the YAYA 2018 Exhibition.


Artist Emily Jacir led the YAYA 2018 competition and curated the YAYA 2018 final exhibition. Jacir worked in close collaboration with the artists over a period of ten months. In June 2018, a workshop brought together all ten artists to further develop their art projects in Biella, Italy, at the University of Ideas at Cittadellarte. The workshop featured individual and group encounters. Artists also benefited from the experiences of world artists, whom they met with over the course of developing their art projects.


In a statement, Jacir said: “What comes to the fore in the projects in We Shall Be Monsters are explorations of stitched, broken, ruptured, wounded, dismembered and buried bodies and their parts. Many of the works focus on the position of the eye and collapsing and shifting perspectives and points of view. Power, history and the question of who is seeing is examined through narrative experiments into rupture, glitches, and locating the broken body in a multitude of identities and topographies that are reflected throughout the exhibition. The works oscillate between excavations and burials, reacting to the part and into the future simultaneously.”


Over the past nine edition, YAYA has introduced a large number of gifted young artists to the cultural and art scene in Palestine and abroad. These artists have produced dozens of new and different art projects and practices. The AMQF has continued to work with these artists in different ways and forms. The Foundation furnishes opportunities for artists to participate in artist residency programmes, provides support to produce new art works, or allows opportunities to support showcasing art works both locally and internationally.


To read the 2018 YAYA jury statement, click here 

To see the YAYA Exhibition and Award Brochure, click here.

To watch the YAYA Exhibition Promo, click here