The Genesis Prize Foundation has announced artist Anish Kapoor as the 2017 Genesis Prize Laureate.
Born in Bombay to a Baghdadi Jewish mother and Indian father, Kapoor moved to Israel at the age of 16 and since the 1970s has been based in the United Kingdom. In addition to the Holocaust Memorial for the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London and the seventy candles for Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK in 2015, his works include "Turning the World Upside Down" at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, "Cloud Gate" in Chicago's Millennium Park, and "Orbit" in London.
Awarded the Turner Prize in 1991 and knighted in 2013, Kapoor has long been a public advocate for the cause of refugees and displaced people and recently visited Syrian refugees in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan as part of UNICEF's art therapy program. He plans to use his $1 million cash award to help address the refugee crisis and increase the Jewish community's engagement in a global effort to support refugees. More than 12.5 million Syrians have been displaced during the civil war in that country, of whom some 2.5 million are children.
"Throughout our history, the Jewish people suffered not only from active and violent anti-Semitism, perpetrated by a minority, but also from the indifference of the majority," said Natan Sharansky, chair of the executive of the Jewish Agency and head of the Genesis Prize selection committee. "It is this indifference that made persecution, massacres, and the Holocaust possible. Anish Kapoor has campaigned against indifference his whole life. His message is clear, powerful, and inspiring."