The Shubbak Festival of Contemporary Arab Culture and the Samandal Association, a collective of comic book artists from the Arab region based in Lebanon, are to receive the 16th edition of the UNESCO Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, has named the laureates on the recommendation of an international jury, recognizing their dedication to the promotion of Arab culture across the world. Ms Azoulay will present the Prize to the laureates in a ceremony at UNESCO’s Headquarters later this year.

Eckhard Thiemann, artistic director, said: “We are very grateful to UNESCO for this Award. This year’s festival has the widest range of artists, venues and artforms since we started from family-friendly circus to performance in museums, from poetry readings to outdoor DJs, from murals to film screenings. Our ever-growing range of partners in London and beyond shows there is a real hunger and interest to hear Arab artists’ take on our times and the world we live in. The beauty of our festival is that we can boldly show many of these views, often creatively contradicting each other, but enriching us with powerful emotion and sharp insights.”

Established in 1998, the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture rewards two laureates every year, individuals, groups or institutions who have made an outstanding contribution to the dissemination and knowledge of Arab art and culture. Every year, the laureates of the Prize share a monetary reward of $60,000.