Credit: Florian Voggeneder

Jury and Advisors 2023

Photo: Lara Santaella

Leila Nachawati Rego (ES/SY)

Leila Nachawati Rego is a Spanish-Syrian writer and human rights defender. She works as media outreach lead at the Association for Progressive Communications and is a professor at Madrid’s Carlos III University, where she took her PhD in citizen communications in war and conflict. She is the co-founder of news portal on Syrian civil society SyriaUntold and the author of novel “Cuando la revolución termine”, which focuses on the beginning of the Arab Spring in Syria.

Photo: Talie Rose Eigeland

Lucia Pietroiusti (IT)

Lucia Pietroiusti is Head of Ecologies at Serpentine, London. As a curator, Pietroiusti works at the intersection of art, ecology and systems, usually outside of the gallery space. She was the founder of Serpentine’s General Ecology project (2018-ongoing) and the curator of Sun & Sea (Lithuanian Pavilion, 2019 Venice Biennale and 2019-2024 tour), 8th Biennale Gherdeïna (with Filipa Ramos), Back to Earth (Serpentine, 2020-ongoing) and The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish (also with Filipa Ramos). Recent publications include More-than-Human (with Andrés Jaque and Marina Otero Verzier) and Microhabitable (with Fernando García-Dory).

Photo: Roser Gamonal

Marita Muukkonen (FI) and Ivor Stodolsky (DE/FI)

Marita Muukkonen and Ivor Stodolsky (in alternating order) founded and direct Perpetuum Mobilε (PM) which runs Ecologists at Risk (ER) and Artists at Risk (AR). Curatorial projects include: Alliances for Art at Risk (ZKM), Risk and Rebellion, AR Pavilion (4 iterations incl. biennials), Pluriversity, School of the Displaced (Kyiv Biennial), Re-Aligned (10), Perpetual Romani Pavilion (Venice, Berlin, Moderna Museet), Arts Assembly (Manifesta, CAFA, Beaux Arts, +5); Raw, Cooked, Packaged (Kiasma).

Photo: Sebastian Bolesch

Simon Mraz (AT)

Simon Mraz is an exhibition maker and art historian. From 2009 to 2020 he served as director of the Austrian Cultural Forum Moscow. Simon Mraz´s working focus is an artistic exploration of diverse cultural layers of Russia and the interaction with independent Russian creatives. He has initiated, organized and curated a series of art projects involving Russian and international artists in locations across Russia that over years were counted among the internationally most successful contemporary art projects created in Russia. 2021 Simon Mraz was hired by the Austrian Foreign Ministry with the task to develop and implement innovative formats for an international Austrian cultural policy at the Austrian foreign ministry in the field of contemporary art. In March 2022 he co-founded the leading Austrian program supporting Ukrainian artists in Austria – “Office Ukraine – Shelter for Ukrainian Artists” and together with Ars Electronica the international program “State of the Art(ist)” dedicated to artists at risk from around the world.

Photo: tom mesic

Martin Honzik (AT)

Martin Honzik is an artist, CCO of Ars Electronica Linz, and Managing Director of the Ars Electronica’s Festival, Prix and Export. He studied visual experimental design at Linz Art University (graduated in 2001) and completed the master’s program in culture & media management at the University of Linz and ICCM Salzburg (graduated in 2003). Since 2006, Martin Honzik has been Managing Director of the Ars Electronica Festival, the Prix Ars Electronica, the Exhibitions in the Ars Electronica Center and Ars Electronica Export. He has been curating a considerable number of international Exhibitions in the context of Art, Science and Technology. Additionally, he became CCO (Chief-Curatorial-Officer) of Ars Electronica Linz in 2021.

Photo: tom mesic

Christl Baur (DE)

Christl Baur is the director of the Ars Electronica Festival, where she leads as an interdisciplinary researcher specializing in the convergence of art and science. With a diverse academic background encompassing art history, cultural management, and natural sciences, her work revolves around the fusion of aesthetic and social practices that challenge established norms. She has curated and co-produced a wide range of exhibitions and performances, notably including the exhibition “40 Years of Humanizing Technology – Art, Technology, and Society” in collaboration with CAFA and the Design Society in Shenzhen, China. Baur’s expertise extends to various fields, including video art, new media technologies, computer art, biotechnology, and interactive art. Her research endeavors explore the interplay between art and science, constantly pushing the boundaries of social, political, and economic protocols.

Jury Statement 2023

The State of the ART(ist) 2023 Open Call has garnered tremendous response, with a staggering 564 submissions received from artists residing in 58 different countries. This overwhelming participation serves as a testament to the global resonance of the State of the ART(ist) Initiative, which aims to shed light on the challenging conditions faced by artists worldwide.

The jury has carefully considered the submissions, reflecting on the essence of being an artist at risk. We recognize the immense risks faced by these artists, including living under war and conflict, enduring violations of basic human rights such as freedom of speech and artistic expression, and facing persecution for political reasons, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation.

In an important development of the State of the ART(ist) 2023, the jury has also taken into account the risks associated with environmental breakdown. This includes the direct threats posed by climate change and biodiversity loss, as well as the specific forces—individual, corporate, and governmental—that endanger the lives and livelihoods of activists, organizers, and communities at the forefront of extraction and destruction.

We hold great appreciation for the artistic vision that offers unique approaches to making invisible issues visible. The selection process prioritized works that showcase and engage with human values, highlight overlooked conflicts, and contribute to a greater understanding of environmental concerns.

We value the contributions of artists who have been silenced or repressed in various contexts, ranging from Ukraine, Iraq, Kurdistan, to Myanmar and Nigeria. Their voices and expressions enrich our collective understanding and serve as a testament to the unwavering courage and resilience of the human spirit.

We are profoundly inspired by the courage and resilience demonstrated by artists living and working in challenging situations around the world. Together, we stand united in our commitment to fostering an environment that nurtures and protects their invaluable contributions to the cultural fabric of our global community.

Christl Baur, Ivor Stodolsky, Leila Nachawati Rego, Lucia Pietroiusti, Marita Muukkonen, Martin Honzik, Simon Mraz


  • Amir Almuarri (SY)
  • Amin Davaei (IR/UE)
  • Anna Jermolaewa (RU/AT)
  • Bermet Borubaeva (KG)
  • Daria Pugachova (UA)
  • Eduardo Cachucho (ZA)
  • fantastic little splash (UA) – Lera Malchenko and Oleksandr Hants
  • Farah Salka (LB)
  • Han Htoo Khant Paing (MM)
  • Karl Ingar Røys (NO)
  • Katalin Krasznahorkai (DE)
  • Linda Chiu-han Lai (HK)
  • Marcus Neustetter (ZA)
  • Margarethe Makovec (AT)
  • Oksana Chepelyk (UA)
  • Oleksandr Burlaka (UA)
  • Ruthia Jenrbekova (KZ)