Thursday, September 12, 2013

Art and Activism in India since 1989: The Sahmat Collective

An exhibit of Indian art representing the work of the The Sahmat Collective opened this week at the Ackland Art Museum at UNC-Chapel Hill.  It's a fascinating exhibit that demonstrates that art can have a clear political purpose. That's because the Sahmat Collective protests political violence, religious fundamentalism and anti-democratic forces.

The collective started in 1989 after the murder of a progressive political critic and artist, Safdar Hashmi. His death made him a symbol for the collective and according to this review,"the driving force behind its leadership in the worldwide activist art arena."

The Collective exhibit moved from Chicago to North Carolina.  The Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago  has a good web page dedicated to the exhibit with a number of short clips about the Collective. Here's a clip abort Sahmat's beginning.

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