Igor Zabel Award 2022 Ceremony


Bojana Pejić, art historian, art writer, and curator is named this year’s Igor Zabel Award Laureate. Igor Zabel Award 2022 Grants go to Oksana Briukhovetska, Alina Șerban, and Antonina Stebur.

This year’s ceremony presenting the 2022 Igor Zabel Award and Grant recipients takes place on 18 November at 20:00 CET in Cukrarna Gallery in Ljubljana.

More: https://award.igorzabel.org/award-ceremony

The recording of the award ceremony

Foto: Nada Žgank


The Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory acknowledges exceptional achievements of curators, art historians, theorists, art writers, and critics whose work supports, develops or investigates visual art and culture in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. Named in honour of the distinguished Slovenian curator and art historian Igor Zabel (1958–2005), the award, an initiative of the ERSTE Foundation, has been conferred biennially since 2008.

With total prize money of EUR 76,000, it represents one of the most generous and prestigious awards for cultural activities related to Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe.

A three-member international jury selects the laureate and recipients of three grants based on proposals given by ten nominators.

2022 Laureate

The 2022 Igor Zabel Award jury awards Bojana Pejić (born in Belgrade, 1948, based in Berlin) for her lifelong research into the constituent elements of Eastern European art and culture. 

Her writings, and particularly her complex international exhibitions such as After the Wall: Art and Culture in Post-Communist Europe (1999–2001) and Gender Check: Femininity and Masculinity in the Art of Eastern Europe (2009–2010), have had worldwide impact, critically marking our understanding of art during state socialism and also providing critical analysis of post-socialist culture after 1989. Pejić orchestrates transnational teams or works alone as she surveys what Eastern European countries have in common, and how their art makes visible the history, nationalism, and gender politics. Her understanding of Eastern Europe transcends ideological pictures of an oppressed and underdeveloped East. She explores its many cultural histories, treating them not as derivative products of Western exemplars, but as heterogenous and specific, and having their own unique importance. What’s more, her writings and exhibitions generate conclusions that are valuable beyond Eastern Europe: they provide lessons on art, society, and power structures relevant to audiences around the world. Bojana Pejić is an art historian and also an activist for whom academia is never sufficient. She compels us to reread our past in order to change our common future.

photo: Sveta Janać
photo: Sveta Janać

2022 grant recipients

Oksana Briukhovetska, artist, curator, and art writer (Kyiv / Michigan, USA) for her outstanding contribution to the artistic and activist life in Ukraine and beyond; her work triggers processes of democratization under the most demanding circumstances and raises feminist awareness.

photo: Personal Archive
photo: Personal Archive

Alina Șerban, art historian, art writer, curator, and editor (Bucharest) in recognition of her exceptional research and ability to create self-managed organizations and platforms that bring together Central and Eastern European researchers and cultural workers.

photo: Dan Vezentan
photo: Dan Vezentan

Antonina Stebur, curator, art writer, and researcher (Minsk, currently living between Poland and Germany) in recognition of her extraordinary power of resistance, commitment to decolonize Belarusian art, and her belief that art is a practical instrument of political imagination.

photo: Eugenia Babskaya
photo: Eugenia Babskaya


JURY 2022

Marta Dziewańska, philosopher and curator, Kunstmuseum Bern

Ahmet Öğüt, artist, Berlin/Amsterdam

Tomáš Pospiszyl, art historian and curator, Prague


Luchezar Boyadjiev • Olga Chernysheva • Anetta Mona Chisa • iLiana Fokianaki • Dóra Hegyi • Inga Lāce • Lena Prents • Kate Sutton • Ovidiu Ţichindeleanu • Klara Kemp-Welch

Partners: ERSTE Foundation, MGML / Cukrarna Gallery