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TED Prize 2011 Awarded to JR
2010

JR, a moving and innovative artist who exhibits freely in the world's streets, has been named the recipient of the 2011 TED Prize – an award granting $100,000 and something much bigger: a wish to change the world with the support of the TED Community's incredible resources.

JR is a true humanitarian who creates "Pervasive Art." Working with a team of volunteers in various urban environments, he mounts enormous black-and-white photo canvases that spread on the buildings of the slums around Paris, on the walls in the Middle East, on the broken bridges in Africa, and in the favelas of Brazil. These images become part of the local landscape and capture people's attention and imagination around the world.

In Rio, he turned hillsides into dramatic visual landscape by applying images to the facades of favela homes. In Kenya, focusing on "Women Are Heroes," he turned Kibera into a stunning gallery of local faces. And in Israel and Palestine, he mounted photos of a rabbi, imam and priest on walls across the region – including the wall separating Israel from the West Bank.

JR remains anonymous – never showing his full face, revealing his name, or explaining his huge portraits – to allow for an encounter between the subject and passers-by.

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