Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 26 May 2019

Turner Prize 2019: Sounds of Syrian prison nominated for prestigious art award

Artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan will find out if he's won the prize on December 3

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, who won the 2018 Abraaj Group Art Prize, was shortlisted for the Turner Prize on Wednesday. Photo Eric T. White; courtesy Maureen Paley
Lawrence Abu Hamdan, who won the 2018 Abraaj Group Art Prize, was shortlisted for the Turner Prize on Wednesday. Photo Eric T. White; courtesy Maureen Paley

A sound installation based on interviews with former detainees at a high-security prison in Syria has been nominated for Britain's Turner Prize for contemporary art in a shortlist unveiled on Wednesday.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan used sound effects to help six survivors of Saydnaya "recall their audio memories, to map the unknown architecture of the prison and to understand what happened there", the judges said.

Amnesty International said as many as 13,000 people were hanged between 2011 and 2015 at the military-run prison near Damascus.

The shortlist also features London-based Helen Cammock, nominated for a film on the role of women in the civil rights movement in Londonderry in 1968 at the start of three decades of unrest in Northern Ireland.

Colombian-born Oscar Murillo and self-taught artist Tai Shani were also nominated for the prestigious prize, which is to be announced on December 3, 2019.

An exhibition with the works of all four nominated artists will open in September at the Turner Contemporary gallery in the seaside town of Margate.

The prize is open to visual artists born or based in Britain.

Updated: May 2, 2019 10:40 AM

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