Wael Shawky

Jameel Prize 4 exhibition in Istanbul organised by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London in partnership with Art Jameel, and in collaboration with the Pera Museum is between 8 June 2016 and 14 August 2016. Over 280 nominations for the Jameel Prize 4 were received from countries as far ranging as Afghanistan, Mali, Puerto Rico and Thailand. A panel of judges, chaired by V&A Director, Martin Roth, selected the shortlist. Works on show range from delicate paper collages to an animated video installation with marionettes and from ceramics, calligraphy and sculpture to artist’s books.

One of the eleven shortlisted artists and designers, Wael Shawky talks about his works and his craftsmanship!


Between 1096 and 1291, armies from Western Europe repeatedly invaded the Mediterranean coast between southern Turkey and Egypt. They attacked the local Muslim population and fought to bring the holy sites in Jerusalem under Christian control. These religious wars are known as the Crusades.

European and American media have long presented the Crusades in a positive light. Their destructive impact was brought out by the Lebanon-born writer Amin Maalouf in his 1983 book The Crusades Through Arab Eyes.

Shawky’s film trilogy Cabaret Crusades also relates events from an Arab perspective. Shawky undermines the characters on both sides, however, by representing them as puppets. The second film, ‘The Path to Cairo’, is devoted to the Second and Third Crusades in 1145–1147 and 1189–1192.

Shawky was born in Alexandria, Egypt, where he lives and works.

The Jameel Prize 4 exhibition in Istanbul is organised by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, in partnership with Art Jameel, and in collaboration with the Pera Museum. Please click here for more info about the exhibition!

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