A prize for young Palestinian painters
The “Ismail Shammout” award ceremony at the Dar Al-Kalima was held at the university center Bethlehem in a very special atmosphere, bringing together art and culture.
Archaeology, Culture, and other Religions
Visual art that shows emotions, feelings, inconvenience. The prize named after the painter Ismail Shammout—promoted on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the Ecumenical Lutheran Diyar Consortium—has involved young artists for all over Palestine and Arab Israelis.
GEORGE AL AMA
Researcher and art collector
“The competitors are of different levels. There are some works that truly deserve great attention from the institutions specialized in this field; but there are other works that need some improvement. I think we have a generation of young artists in Palestine that will play an important role in the future and bring an artistic quality to our country in the near future.”
The prize was a great source of satisfaction for the two winners, Benji Boyadjian and Bashar al-Khalaf, who shared the $5,000 prize.
First prize winner “Ismail Shammout” Competition
“In my opinion, there’s a story in this landscape that is disappearing, in the nature that is disappearing. This tree is surreal for me. Inside of it, we can see so many things; skulls; we can see the map of Palestine; death; there is a surrealist world within the drawing and in this world I see our homeland. Everything is surreal, even in regards to personal relationships, with the earth, due to the occupation and modernism. These are the elements that I wanted my drawing to reflect.”
Vincitore Primo premio Concorso “Ismail Shammout”
“My work is based on the idea of “scarcity” because during the period in which Ismail Shamout lived, he had tried to express the Palestinian cause using elements that reflect it. Personally, I am trying to express the land that is not there, because there is no space.”
The Diyar Consortium is a Lutheran ecumenical center serving the whole Palestinian community. It promotes projects focused mainly on children and women. The institut—that in 2015 celebrates its twentieth year of operation—is able to provide support to more than 60,000 people a year.
Rev. Dr. MITRI RAHEB
President Diyar Ecumenical Consortium
“We received dozens of drawings there is an official jury committee that chose the 11 finalist drawings that we see here. These drawings reflect the suffering and hopes of our people.”
Ismail Shammout—the artist after which this award is named—died in 2006, and he is considered to be the greatest Palestinian painter. Born in Lydda (currently called Lod), he studied in Cairo and lived in Lebanon, Kuwait, Germany and Jordan; he was always on the run from the wars that shed blood upon the countries in which he lived.
FATEN FAWZI NUSTAS METWASI
Director of the Visual Arts Department—Dar Al-Kalima College University
“This competition was organized in honor of the great Palestinian artist and painter Ismail Shammout. He is a founder of the modern school of fine arts. He died in 2006, but he began his career in the 50s. We have half a century of creative and productive life. He is a very important person for our artistic and Palestinian history, because through his art, Ismail Shammout told the Palestinian story, expressed the suffering of the Palestinian people and supported the Palestinian cause.”
Ismail Shammout’s son
“This is a great honor for us. We are very proud of this event, and we are also proud to create an award named after a Palestinian artist on Palestinian land. The organization of this event here in Bethlehem, the city of peace, makes the event very special. If my father had been here, he would have been happy to present these works here in Palestine and he would have been proud of fact that this event has taken place in his homeland.”
© Christian Media Center 2015