British Association for South Asian Studies

News & Events

25 September 2021

Call for Papers: 'Visual Cultures of Protest: Art and Resistance in South Asia'

Submission Deadline: 1st November 2021

Anisha Palat, University of Edinburgh,

Silvia Genovese, University of Edinburgh,

From Sheba Chhachhi’s photo-video installation Record/Resist (2012) to the Sahmat collective’s provision of a space for the exchange of ideas against religious intolerance in their community project Slogans for Communal Harmony (1992), visuals and resistance in South Asia appear to be closely intertwined. While these visual reactions may be contemporary examples, the alignment between visual culture and resistance has in fact existed for centuries.

This session focuses on the exchanges between art (paintings, sculptures, photographs, installations, etc.) and resistance in South Asia, exploring the way visual culture is used to put forth alternative understandings of protest and resistance. Through an interdisciplinary approach, building on works in art history and visual anthropology, this session analyses how different visual cultures can be examples of and tools for resistance. Some key questions that will be explored include, but are not limited to:

  • How are ideologies resisted through art?
  • How might the use of artistic media in South Asia lead us to reconsider traditional modes of art as protest?
  • To what extent can aesthetics be conceptualised as a site of resistance within the South Asian context?
  • What are the modes of distribution and curation for visuals of resistance? How are they displayed and curated within different spaces?
  • How might visual culture provoke new ways of seeing and engaging with acts of resistance?

Ultimately, this session hopes to comprehend visual cultures of protest in South Asia, situating art as resistance within debates of existing hegemonic practices.

Call for Papers deadline: 1st November 2021. Please submit your paper proposal to the convenor.