This year, we received a number of highly qualified papers from throughout the US and abroad. The 2022 Rhonda A. Saad Prize for Best Paper in Modern and Contemporary Arab Art was awarded to Tina Barouti for her paper “Politicizing Art and Public Space in the Years of Lead, 1970s– 1980s.”
The Rhonda A. Saad Prize review committee found that Tina’s paper offers an insightful account of art production in the 1980s, when Morocco witnessed a period of political instability and coercion of citizens under King Hassan II. Otherwise known as the Years of Lead, this period saw a series of brave ephemeral art exhibitions in Tetouan’s al-Faddan square, a prominent gathering site. Tina’s paper argues how these exhibitions played a significant role in pushing the boundaries of artmaking beyond the academy and in fostering opportunities for political activism. The committee applauds the paper for its clear prose as well as its innovative methodological approach, involving insightful observations, oral interviews, and usage of primary and secondary resources.Tina Barouti completed her PhD in the History of Art from Boston University in 2022 and is a Lecturer in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her dissertation “A Critical Moroccan Chronology: The National Institute of Fine Arts in Tetouan Since 1946,” offers the first in-depth, sociopolitical history of the National Institute of Fine Arts in Tetouan, illustrating how generations of artists laid the groundwork for the development of modern and contemporary art in Morocco.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. For more information, submission guidelines, and interviews with previous winners, please visit www.amcainternational.org.Thank you very much. Congratulations again, Tina!Image credits: portrait of Tina Barouti . Artist Abdelkrim Ouazzani (right) carrying a large snake with the help of children and adults from his studio to al-Faddān square, Tetouan, 1985. Bouabid Bouzaid Archive; View of the second edition of the Spring Exhibitions with Ahmed Amrani (seated) in front of his paintings in al-Faddān square, Tetouan, 1980. Ahmed Amrani Archive; Installation by Bouabid Bouzaid at the fourth edition of the Spring Exhibitions, al-Faddān square, Tetouan, 1985. Bouabid Bouzaid Archive; Poster/brochure for the 1980 edition of the Spring Exhibitions, al-Faddān square, Tetouan, Ahmed Amrani Archive.