Visionary Award 2017: Omar Imam. Supplementary award: Andrea Ellen Reed

20th April 2017


The Tim Hetherington Trust is proud to announce the Visionary Award 2017, which this year the judges have awarded to OMAR IMAM for completion of his innovative project “Syrialism”.  Described by some as “documentary Surrealism” Omar creates conceptual portraits of a carefully constructed cross section of the Syrian diaspora including pro and anti government voices, Jihadists and pacifists, professionals and artisans and many others who are represented in ways that reflect their perspectives and experiences.  Omar is primarily focused on challenging Syrian self perceptions in ways that provoke enlightened awareness of the broader Syrian condition, and secondarily offers a window through which other cultures can watch and learn about the Syrian experience since the onset of civil war in 2011.

Supplementary Award

In finalizing the Visionary Award 2017 the judges took the unusual step of adding a supplementary award to ANDREA ELLEN REED for her project “Unseen” which offers an authentic insight into the Black experience in USA 2017, told with startling clarity through a soundtrack of pundits, politicians and others describing the world we live in accompanied by a video of Andrea the artist watching and listening.  It’s an approach that is simple yet innovative and delivers a visceral understanding of how it is to be so deeply enmeshed in American culture yet held on the periphery as an onlooker on one’s own participation.  In keeping with everything that Tim stood for, it’s hard to describe yet simple to understand once seen and is overall profoundly honest.

The judges comment:
"Both projects are addressing fractured communities in different parts of the world.  Both artists are at a point in their careers when they could benefit from support and guidance and could use a cushion that would enable them to experiment.  They have a sense of their audience and where they want to go and would benefit from a little help on the tiller.  Their work transcends social divisions, national boundaries and challenges preconceptions and engages broader audiences.”

Visionary Award 2017: Omar Imam.  Supplementary award: Andrea Ellen Reed