Winner of the 2024 Rhonda A. Saad Prize for Best Paper | AMCA | Association for Modern + Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran + Turkey

Winner of the 2024 Rhonda A. Saad Prize for Best Paper

2024 Saad Prize Winner Announced

This year, we received the largest number of highly qualified submissions from throughout the US and abroad. The 2024 Rhonda A. Saad Prize for Best Paper in Modern and Contemporary Arab Art is awarded to Connie Sjödin for her paper, “Baya in Vogue: From Oriental Textile to Transcultural Tissage.”

Connie Sjödin is a doctoral candidate in History of Art at the University of Oxford, where she previously studied French and Francophone literature. Her thesis, Aouchem 1962-1998: Algerian Signs and Third World Revolution provides a decolonial microhistory of the 1960s Algerian art movement. The thesis spirals outwards from the national to the transregional and international context, in order to reinscribe Aouchem’s use of Indigenous signs within an anticolonial, Third World imaginary. Following recent and urgent interrogations of global modernist art histories, it traces a politics of form akin to Choukri Mesli’s declaration that “it’s our sign, that of the community of the wretched, the people of the south… we are forming a Third World Revolution, a cultural Revolution.”

Focused on a prominent member of Aouchem, Connie’s paper “Baya in Vogue” unravels the different instances of textile that run through the work of Baya Mahieddine. Weaving between Baya’s reception in France and a visual analysis of her oeuvre, the paper moves from Orientalist and commercial misappropriations of her gouache paintings as textiles, to a reading of her work as a transcultural tissage, based on insights from the Moroccan cultural theorist Abdelkébir Khatibi.

Established in 2010 in honor of our dear and respected colleague and friend, The Rhonda A. Saad Prize aims to recognize and promote excellence in the field of modern and contemporary Arab art. The award is offered to a graduate student or recent post-doctoral scholar working in any discipline whose paper is judged to provide the most significant contribution to the disciplines of Art History and Middle East Studies.

Congratulations Connie!