Award Ceremony Theodora Niemeijer Prize 2021 - Online via Livestream

De drie genomineerden voor de Theodora Niemeijer prijs 2021: Razia Barsatie & Marjet Zwaans, Silvia Martes en Buhlebezwe Siwani. Foto's: Koos Breukel

Award Ceremony Theodora Niemeijer Prize 2021 Online via Livestream

17:00 - 19:00
Incentive prize for emerging female visual artists


The Niemeijer Fund and the Van Abbemuseum are jointly organising the Theodora Niemeijer Prize an incentive prize for emerging women visual artists. It is the only Dutch visual art prize for woman artists only. In 2021 the prize will be awarded for the fifth time. The three nominees of this fifth edition are the duo Razia Barsatie | Marjet Zwaans Silvia Martes and Buhlebezwe Siwani. The project proposals were selected by the jury led by Hedy d'Ancona from a record number of 111 submissions. On Monday 27 September 2021, the recipient of the Theodora Niemeijer Prize 2021 will be announced. 

There is a livestream available for the award ceremony:


17.00 hours Official welcome at auditorium
17.15 hours Talk between artist Lily van der Stokker and Diana Franssen (curator Van Abbemuseum)
17.45 hours Video portraits of the three nominees
18.00 hours Announcement winner Theodora Niemeijer Prize 2021 by Hedy d’Ancona
18.15 hours Congratulations and short speech by winner



The project of artist duo Razia Barsatie (Paramaribo, 1982) | Marjet Zwaans (Groningen, 1988) starts from a research question: 'Can we stretch the core values ​​of the Theodora Niemeijer Prize for emerging women artists in the Netherlands to a space for stimulation, support and the sharing of knowledge among emerging women artists in the Netherlands and Suriname?' Barsatie and Zwaans met in Suriname in 2018, when they were both selected to participate in the Moengo Triennial of the Kibii Foundation. Since then, the two artists have expressed the desire to work together and have now actually joined forces with a concrete plan: to strengthen the position of the Surinamese women artist, through a collective workplace with a tailor-made mentorship program. Their proposal for Het Oog, an oval patio in the Van Abbemuseum, is part of this larger project. They envisage an exchange program with five online meetings. All documentation of this sub-process will be drawn on the windows that enclose Het Oog. In the space itself, there will be a spatial installation in the form of a mobile and modular workstation that serves both as a laboratory and physical archive. It is intended to be able to work on recipes from online and open source archives in combination with ecological and local materials.


Silvia Martes (Eindhoven, 1985) studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy Amsterdam (Bachelor Fine Arts, Audiovisual) from September 2009 to July 2013. Her film She that comes from the green forest on a Tuesday was nominated for the Graduation Prize Gerrit Rietveld Academie Fine Arts Award Work. From January 2019 to May 2021, she was an Artist in residence at the Rijksakademie Amsterdam. In her proposal, which deals with the conflict between isolation and exposure, she responds to the pandemic: "In 'Het Oog', I want to build a film set with a house that is predominantly made of glass, safely quarantined between the walls of the museum. Since the house on the movie set mostly consists of glass windows, the concept of privacy is hard to come by. A house that is safely sheltered within a barricade, where everything can be seen: from the first screw that is drilled up to the quality of the bedding."



Buhlebezwe Siwani (Johannesburg, 1987) completed a Masters in Fine Art at the University of Cape Town between 2014 and 2016. Her work travels across the world. She proposes to build an installation of green South African Preem soap, that symbolises the socio-economic situation that the country is in, a situation that was created and maintained by colonisation and the apartheid regime. The soap will be shaped in order to create two cities, that will be presented on top of each other on polycarbonate (a clear, glass-like material). The upper city will be modeled after typical Dutch architecture and the lower one after the typical Cape Dutch architecture in South Africa. The construction allows the soap to seep down when it rains which means that eventually, the Cape Dutch city will dissolve.


The Theodora Niemeijer Prize is an incentive prize for emerging women visual artists. The aim of the prize, which has been in existence since 2012, is to contribute to the development of talent and the promotion of equal opportunities between male and women artists in the art world. It is the only Dutch visual art prize for woman artists only. The prize, worth € 10.000, is awarded once every two years to the artist who makes the best project proposal for Het Oog ("The Eye"), an oval patio in the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. The winner will not only receive a cash prize but will also get the opportunity to present her project to the public in the museum. The artists who finish in the second and third place will also receive a check, of € 2500 and € 1500 respectively.The winners of the previous four editions were Josefin Arnell (2018), Sissel Marie Tonn (2016), Sachi Miyachi (2014) and Sarah van Sonsbeeck (2012).


Emily Pethick (director Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten)
Charl Landvreugd (head of research and curatorial practice Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, artist and writer)
Sarah van Sonsbeeck (artist and former winner Theodora Niemeijer Prize)
Yolande Zola Zoli van der Heide (curator exhibitions Van Abbemuseum)
Andrea Davina (chairman of the board Niemeijer Fund Foundation)

This year's jury chairman is Hedy d'Ancona (sociologist, politician and feminist).


The Niemeijer Fund is named after its founder Theodora Niemeijer (Groningen 1912 - Laren 2004), daughter of the well-known tobacco manufacturer Niemeijer in Groningen. She was a remarkable person with a great passion for the visual arts. In 1996 Theodora Niemeijer founded her own foundation with the aim of stimulating emerging artists. This foundation annually donates amounts from the return of its assets to various artists, from musicians to visual artists and to various initiatives in the field of art, culture and society. In 2021, the Niemeijer Fund will celebrate its 25th anniversary.