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Artist Sheba Chhachhi Wins 2017 Prix Thun for Art and Ethics Award

Indian artist and women’s rights activist Sheba Chhachhi has been awarded this year’s Prix Thun for Art and Ethics Award, which recognizes artists who promote sustainability in their work. As the second recipient of the prize, which was established by artist George Steinmann who grew up in Thun, Switzerland, Chhachhi will receive $25,000.

Chhachhi’s career launched in the 1980s with her documentary photographs of the women’s movement in India. In the 1990s, Chhachhi began making the large-scale multimedia installations for which she is well known. Based in New Delhi, the artist works with other female artists to bring about awareness of the challenges faced by women at all levels of society. She also often investigates questions of gender, eco-philosophy, violence, and cultural memory in her practice. Chhachhi’s works have been featured in a number of solos shows over the years, including “Sheba Chhachhi” at Walsh Gallery in Chicago (2008–2009); “Winged Pilgrims: A Chronicle from Asia” at Nature Morte in New Delhi (2007–2008); “Women of the Cloth: Photographic Conversations” at Nature Morte (2007); and “Ganga’s Daughters, Nellkanth: Poison/Nectar, When the Gun is Raised, Dialogue Stops” (2005) at the Townsend Center at the University of California, Berkeley (2005).

The jury comprised Steinmann; Jürg Neuenschwander, a film director and producer based in Paris and Bern, Switzerland; Peter Schneemann, a professor at the Institute of Art History at the University of Bern; Jean Ziegler, a professor and sociologist based in Geneva; Helen Hirsch, the director of Kunstmuseum Thun; and Marianne Flubacher, the head of Thun’s cultural department. The prize will be presented to Chhachhi during a ceremony on August 25.