With the United Nations citing over 22 million refugees currently worldwide, Indian artist Anish Kapoor has donated his $1 million awarded as part of the Genesis Prize towards helping the crisis. The funds will go to organisations created to help persecuted refugees from Syria, Myanmar, South Sudan, and others, including the International Rescue Committee, the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, HIAS and Help Refugees.
The February 2017 award from the Genesis Prize Foundation is an annual accolade that recognises actions and achievements expressing commitment towards religious values. The money is granted on the condition that it is donated to a charity of choice, and Kapoor revealed that his actions stem from an understanding of displacement. “I do not have to go far back in my family history to find people who were refugees,” Kapoor shared in a public statement, referencing his Indian-Iraqi heritage.
Throughout his practice, Kapoor has engaged in activism with a particular emphasis on refugees, including his works following his reception of the Turner Prize in 1991. Indicative of his social conscious, Kapoor stated that while the Genesis Prize allows him to help people, he opted to cancel the Israel-based ceremony in light of it being inappropriate considering the ongoing violence in Syria.