NEWYORK, June 16, 2015 – OppenheimerFunds and the Financial Times today announced the longlists of 10 rising artists in each of three categories who are advancing to the next stage in the new FT/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices Awards competition. Selected from more than 800 entries from 65 emerging-market countries, the nominees are vying for awards as well as global recognition.

“The rapid growth of the emerging world, fueled by economic progress, has contributed to a surge in artistic talent in developing nations. The overwhelming response to our first ever Emerging Voices Awards is testament to this,” said Michael Skapinker, Associate Editor of the Financial Times and chair of judges. “Our esteemed panels of judges were impressed with the quality and breadth of creativity seen across the entries in all categories and will honor the best of these.”

“As one of the largest investors in emerging markets, OppenheimerFunds has a long track record of discovering investment opportunities around the globe. This has also given us a front-row seat to witness the extraordinary artistic talent that defines the developing world,” said Justin Leverenz, Director of Emerging Market Equities at OppenheimerFunds. “The incredible response to our call for entries, in terms of both quantity and quality, helps us create an exciting new platform to share the vision, creativity and originality of these remarkable artists with the rest of the world.”

The competition was open to artists from emerging-market nations as defined by the World Bank Atlas Method1:

  • Africa and the Middle East – works of fiction published in English – 162 entries received from 28 countries;
  • Asia-Pacific – films in any language with English subtitles – 140 entries, 12 countries;
  • Latin America and the Caribbean – painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, mixed media – 570 entries, 25 countries.

“OppenheimerFunds was one of the first U.S. asset managers to recognize the value of investing around the world. We have made that global perspective one of the fundamental principles of our investment philosophy,” said Art Steinmetz, Chairman, CEO and President of OppenheimerFunds. “We’re delighted that our new partnership with the Financial Times in much the same way is showcasing the vast reservoir of talent and spirit across emerging markets.”

Panels of judges are reviewing the submissions to find the artists whose work best demonstrates outstanding talent and exemplifies their art form and the voice of their region. The judges include:

Chair: Michael Skapinker, Associate Editor, Financial Times

Fiction Panel: Africa

Alaa al Aswany, Author
Kwame Anthony Appiah, Professor, New York University
Lorien Kite, Books Editor, Financial Times
Justin Leverenz, Director of Emerging Market Equities, OppenheimerFunds
Nadifa Mohamed, Author
Elif Shafak, Author

Film Panel: Asia-Pacific

Nigel Andrews, Film Critic, Financial Times
Samira Makhmalbaf, Film Director
Mira Nair, Film Director
Rithy Panh, Film Director
Jia Zhangke, Film Director

Art Panel: Latin America and the Caribbean

Iwona Blazwick, Director, Whitechapel Gallery
Jan Dalley, Arts Editor, Financial Times
Teresita Fernández, Artist
Justin Leverenz, Director of Emerging Market Equities, OppenheimerFunds
Jorge Tacla, Artist

A shortlist will be announced on Aug. 7. Category winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony on Oct. 5 in New York City. Winners will each receive a $40,000 award.

Fiction Longlist:

Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett, Chatto & Windus, Nigeria
Broken Mirrors: Sinalcol by Elias Khoury, Maclehose Press, Lebanon
Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Granta Books, Kenya
It Might Get Loud, by Ingrid Winterbach, Human & Rousseau, South Africa
Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga, Archipelago Books, Rwanda
The Book of Memory, by Petina Gappah, Faber & Faber, Zimbabwe
The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma, Pushkin Press, Nigeria
The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud, Oneworld Publications, Algeria
The Texture of Shadows, by Mandla Langa, Picador Africa, South Africa
Women of Karantina, by Nael Eltoukhy, The American University in Cairo Press, Egypt

Film Longlist:

Endless Nameless by Mont Tesprateep, Thailand
Exclaim by Jian Mei, China
Kush by Shubhashish Bhutiani, India
Scent of the Morning Sun by Harin Paesongthai and Monkum Khukhuntin, Thailand
Selfie girls by Huỳnh Nguyeễn Ðăng Khoa, Vietnam
The Concrete by Wei Liu, China
The Last Mango Before the Monsoon by Payal Kapadia, India
The Sea by Han Ting, China
Trespassed by Yuhang Ho, Malaysia
Under the Sun by Qiu Yang, China

Art Longlist:

Adriana Maria Beatriz Carambia, Argentina
Cássio Vasconcellos, Brazil
Cecilia Monteverde, Argentina
Cristina Planas, Peru
Fabiola Menchelli Tejeda, Mexico
Gonzalo Fuenmayor, Colombia
Hugo Arquímedes Carrillo García, Mexico
Marcela Ramirez-Aza, Colombia
Pablo Mora Ortega, Colombia
Sebastian Castañeda, Peru

For more information, visit or follow the conversation on Twitter at #EmergingVoices.

1Gross national income of less than $12,746 per capita.