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all photographs and reproductions by Yossi Zabari

Anisa Ashkar was chosen by the Prize Committee, which includes Dr Galia Bar Or, Dr Aya Lurie, Arie Berkowitz, Orly Hoffman, and Ann and Ari Rosenblatt, for her groundbreaking work as a Muslim female artist who operates within local spaces that are rife with conflicts, emotions, and impulses.

In her multidisciplinary art, Ashkar engages with issues of identity, social critique, and gender. Using painting, photography, performance, and installation, she creates a fantastic dream-like world, directly connected to changes in the sociopolitical atmosphere, offering an opportunity to generate dialogues on our society and culture. In her years of activity as an artist, Ashkar created a personal language that draws on her Arab cultural origin, tradition, texts, poetry, and eastern and western local politics. She works with the private realm and uses her self portrait as a platform for various visual representations that echo the interrelations between her and her surroundings. The calligraphy that she paints on her face as a daily practice has become a unique and fascinating identifier and a performative act that carries a message and a statement, resonating and impacting her work in a range of mediums.

Born in Acre in 1979, Anisa Ashkar currently lives and works in Acre and Tel Aviv-Jaffa. She graduated from the Western Galilee College of Art and the B.Ed.F.A program at HaMidrasha School of Art, Beit Berl College. Ashkar is the laureate of the Minister Award for Visual Artists from the Ministry of Education and Culture in 2015, the Landau Science and Arts Award in 2016, and the Artist in the Community Award from the Ministry of Education and Culture in 2018. She also received a residency scholarship at the Cite des Art, Paris from the French Institute in Tel Aviv in 2019. Her works have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Israel, Europe and the US. Her recent solo exhibitions include Black Gold at The Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Cultures, Beersheba and Golden Surface at the Walled-Off Hotel Gallery, Bethlehem.

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