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The Sahmat Collective: Art and Activism in India since 1989

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Safdar Hashmi performing in a Janam street play , ca. late 1970s © Photo courtesy Janam archive
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© Courtesy of the Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago
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
Opening: February 13th, 2013 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

QUICK FACTS
WEBSITE:  
http://smartmuseum.uchicago.edu/
NEIGHBORHOOD:  
South Side
EMAIL:  
smart-museum@uchicago.edu
PHONE:  
773-702-0200
OPEN HOURS:  
Tue-Wed, Fri-Sun 10-5; Thu 10-8
TAGS:  
variety of mixed media

DESCRIPTION

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.