ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A young Kurdish artist from Germany was named one of three recipients for the prestigious ars viva award, a prize which recognizes the visual artwork of young artists under 35.
Cemile Sahin was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1990. Her family is originally from the Kurdish city of Dersim in Turkey, but they now live in Frankfurt.
The young Kurdish artist joins Karimah Ashadu and Thibaut Henz who were also named winners of the ars viva Prize 2020. The winners get €5,000 as well as two exhibitions and a catalog to showcase their work.
Sahin studied Fine Arts at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, United Kingdom before she received a Masters in Fine Arts at the University of the Arts in Berlin in 2018.
According to the artist, she uses words and images in her modern artwork to tell stories that challenge societal constructs and boundaries.
“I mostly work with video. I do video installation consisting of a couple of screens, and I do sculptures using different materials, and I’m combining the screens and the sculptures as an installation,” Sahin told Kurdistan 24.
“The context of my work is mostly about how history is told or how history is written. Who is telling which story? Which narrators are allowed, and which are not?”
The young Kurd is also a writer and has published stories in various German publications, including Zeit Online, Wetter Magazin, and Korbinian Verlag.
During a recent event in Germany, Sahin read an excerpt from her upcoming book “TAXI,” which tells the story of a mother in denial following the death of her son during the war.
The book is expected to be released in October.
“I hope I can continue doing art and have success with it,” she said. “My book is coming out soon, so I hope that will go good as well, but I will keep on doing my work.”
Editing by John J. Catherine
(Additional reporting by Shawqi Kanabi)