Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński receives the Camera Austria Award
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Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński receives the Camera Austria Award

Camera Austria

Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński, Unearthing. In Conversation (still), 2017.

November 11, 2021
Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński receives the Camera Austria Award
Camera Austria
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The Camera Austria Award for Contemporary Photography by the City of Graz, which is awarded biennially, will be bestowed on Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński in 2021.

Award ceremony: December 10, 2021, 6pm
Camera Austria exhibition space, in the frame of
the exhibition opening of Sandra Schäfer

Laudatio: Nora Sternfeld.

The jury founded their decision to honor Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński with the Camera Austria Award on the following statement:

“The Camera Austria Award for Contemporary Photography by the City of Graz 2021, bestowed this year on Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński (born 1980 in Vienna), is honoring an artist whose explorative photographic work is closely tied to the researching and unsettling of colonial history and its legacy. Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński creates photographs, but also collages, films, performances, installations, and writings, which scrutinize how the experiences and narratives of Black individuals are suppressed or marginalized. Her sharp analysis of visual regimes and hegemonic epistemologies is based on research conducted in collections, museums, archives, and libraries. As part of her artistic research, Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński interlaces analysis with fiction and documentation with imagination. This results in works of art that are piercing and poetic in equal measure, deliberately open, at times fragile and hypothetical—works that facilitate critical insight into how colonial perspectives and matrices of power live on, while at the same time presenting new imaginaries grounded in the Black Radical Tradition.”

Members of the jury:
Natasha Christia, freelance curator and author, Barcelona
Chiara Figone, publisher, Archive Books, Berlin 
Matthias Michalka, curator at Museum moderner Kunst, Vienna 
Reinhard Braun, publisher Camera Austria International, Graz

Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński, born 1980 in Vienna, is an author and visual artist living in Vienna. After attending the School Friedl Kubelka for Artistic Photography, she earned a degree in international development at the University of Vienna with a focus on Black feminist and postcolonial theory. Kazeem-Kamiński was then accepted into the PhD-in-Practice program at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna under the supervision of Renate Lorenz and Anette Baldauf. In April 2021, she completed her research very successfully with the dissertation “Fleshbacks & H(a)untings: Notes on Research, Blackness, Empaths, and the Destruction of the World As We Know It.” This work is based on two historical constellations: on the one hand, the research conducted by Paul Schebesta (1887–1967); on the other, the putting on show of a group of individuals from West Africa at what was then called the Wiener Thiergarten. Here, Kazeem-Kamiński pursues a research-based, process-oriented investigative practice that explores, in particular, gaps and voids in the official historiography, as well as the representation of Black individuals. The artist thus combines documentary and fictional elements in her multimedia work, thus exposing the presentness of enduring colonial pasts.

Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński’s works of art have been shown nationally and internationally. Her short film Unearthing: In Conversation (2017) was presented at international festivals like the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Vancouver International Film Festival, the Diagonale, Graz, and the European Media Art Festival, Osnabrück. Counting among her publications and editorial work are numerous articles and books, such as Das Unbehagen im Museum (2009, co-edited with Charlotte Martinz-Turek and Nora Sternfeld), Engaged Pedagogy: Antidiskriminatorisches Lehren und Lernen bei bell hooks (2016), and Kuratieren als antirassistische Praxis / Curating as Antiracist Practice (2017–18, with Natalie Bayer and Nora Sternfeld). Her first institutional solo exhibition is on view at Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, until March 6, 2022.

The Camera Austria Award for Contemporary Photography by the City of Graz was established in 1989 and is bestowed every two years on an artist who has published a noteworthy contribution in the magazine Camera Austria International and has made an important contribution to contemporary photography. The prize-money is EUR 15,000.

Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński’s work has been published in Camera Austria International no. 153/2021.

Previous recipients of the Camera Austria Award include:
2019: Lebohang Kganye (South Africa); 2017: Jochen Lempert (Germany); 2015: Annette Kelm (Germany); 2013: Joachim Koester (Denmark/US); 2011: Heidrun Holzfeind (Austria); 2009: Sanja Iveković (Croatia); 2007: Marika Asatiani (Georgia); 2005: Walid Raad (Lebanon); 2003: Aglaia Konrad (Belgium); 2001: Allan Sekula (US); 1999: Hans-Peter Feldmann (Germany); 1995: David Goldblatt (South Africa); 1993: Seiichi Furuya (Japan/Austria); 1991: Olivier Richon (Switzerland/GB); and 1989: Nan Goldin (US).

Press inquiries: Angelika Maierhofer, exhibitions@camera-austria.at

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November 11, 2021

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