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Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago

Exhibition Detail
The Sahmat Collective: Art and Activism in India since 1989
Curated by: Jessica Moss, Ram Rahman
5550 S. Greenwood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

February 14th, 2013 - June 9th, 2013
February 13th, 2013 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Safdar Hashmi performing in a Janam street play , Safdar Hashmi performing in a Janam street play ,
ca. late 1970s
© Photo courtesy Janam archive
© Courtesy of the Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago
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South Side
Tues, Wed, Fri: 10am-5pm; Thurs: 10am-8pm; Sat-Sun: 10am-5pm
variety of mixed media

Since 1989, the influential Delhi-based Sahmat has offered a platform for artists, writers, poets, musicians, actors, and activists to create and present works of art that promote artistic freedom and celebrate secular, egalitarian values.

The collective formed in the weeks after playwright, actor, and activist Safdar Hashmi was fatally attacked by political thugs while performing a street play. In the more than twenty years since, Sahmat has drawn on India’s secular heritage and an expansive group of collaborators to produce a series of projects that engage in important political and social debates through a mix of high art and street culture. This exhibition will introduce Sahmat's work to the United States through a survey of art and ephemera while assessing the impact this unique—and sometimes controversial—collective has had on contemporary Indian society and artistic practice.

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