It’s all part of his continued fight to help victims of injustice.
British artist and recipient of the 2017 Genesis Prize Sir Anish Kapoor donated his $1 million prize to aid with the Syrian refugee crisis. The Genesis Prize is colloquially known as the “Jewish Nobel” and is awarded to individuals who “have attained excellence and international renown in their fields and whose actions and achievements express a commitment to Jewish values, the Jewish community and the State of Israel”
Kapoor, creator of Chicago’s Bean and the sole proprietor of the “blackest black,” is known for both his art and his commitment to social justice causes. Born in Bombay to a Baghdadi Jewish mother and Indian father, Kapoor has been connected to the Jewish community all his life, even having lived in Israel for a brief period of his life. For him, the fight for justice is directly correlated with his Jewish identity.
“As inheritors and carriers of Jewish values it is unseemly…for us to ignore the plight of people who are persecuted, who have lost everything and had to flee as refugees in mortal danger,” Kapoor told Jewish News.
His commitment to Jewish values also come through in his artwork. He created the Holocaust Memorial at London’s Liberal Jewish Synagogue and, on the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust, designed 70 remembrance candles to honor its victims.
Kapoor has also partnered with artists like Ai Weiwei to fight for social justice. The two can often be seen together at protests.
For Kapoor, the Syrian Refugee Crisis demands action. He says, “I am an artist, not a politician, and I feel I must speak out against indifference for the suffering of others. There are over 60 million refugees in the world today — whatever the geography of displacement the refugees crisis is right here on our doorstep.”
Kapoor has been advocating for Syrian refugees for some time now. He recently went to Syria as a part of UNICEF’s art therapy campaign, and taught art at a refugee camp. While we don’t have specifics on where the money will go as of yet, the artist has made a commitment to discuss further plans in June.