Cycle 8, 2016–2017 finalists announced

2016–2017 finalists announced

Finalists in the dance, literature, theatre and visual arts disciplines are being interviewed by their potential mentors.

Following a worldwide search for the most outstanding young talents in dance, literature, theatre and visual arts, Rolex today announced the finalists who will be introduced to the respective mentors ─ Ohad Naharin (dance), Mia Couto (literature), Robert Lepage (theatre) and Joan Jonas (visual arts) ─ in the 2016–2017 Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. 

The finalists are currently being interviewed by the master artists, each of whom will select a protégé for a year of creative exchange and collaboration to begin in June.

The finalists for the programme’s three other disciplines ─ architecture, film and music ─ will be announced in April. The mentors in these categories are Sir David Chipperfield, Alfonso Cuarón and Philip Glass.

“The chance to benefit from the experience of one of the world’s greatest exponents in their discipline is an unparalleled opportunity for these young artists,” said Rebecca Irvin, Head of Philanthropy at Rolex. “As in past cycles, mentors will find selecting a protégé challenging due to the calibre of the outstanding talents provided by the selection process.” 

The finalists in the four disciplines are:

Londiwe Khoza, 22, South Africa 
Peter Lenso, 24, Zimbabwe 
Christopher Ofanoa, 22, New Zealand
Xanthe van Opstal, 23, Netherlands 

Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida, 33, Portugal 
Isabela Noronha, 35, Brazil 
Julián Fuks, 34, Brazil / Argentina
Kalaf Epalanga, 38, Angola / Portugal
Roberto Cayuqueo, 30, Chile 
Abhishek Majumdar, 35, India
Matias Umpierrez, 35, Argentina 

Em’kal Eyongakpa, 34, Cameroon 
Teresa Solar Abboud, 30, Spain
Phan Thao-Nguyen, 28, Vietnam 

The finalists are selected by independent, anonymous nominating panels of influential artists and arts professionals who, after a rigorous global search, tap into their network of contacts and propose potential protégés who could benefit most from the programme. Application is by invitation only. 

Each protégé will receive 25,000 Swiss francs to support his or her participation in the programme, with a further 25,000 Swiss francs available to create a new work at the conclusion of the mentoring year. Mentors are asked to spend up to six weeks with their protégés over the 12-month period, but the pairs are free to interact in whichever way suits them best.