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The 2020–2021 Visiting Artist Fellowship Magazine

The profound and inspirational work of our artists has not stopped despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In this magazine, we spoke with each of our fellows to discuss the inspiration behind their career as an artist, what they hope to learn during their time as a Visiting Artist Fellow, and their thoughts on the artwork they have each presented in this magazine. In the magazine’s pages, you will read the artists’ thoughts on these subjects in their own words, and we hope that it will inspire you to enter their world and see their work through their eyes.

Understanding the Dynamics of Evolution and Drug-Resistant Pathogens

“As human health is increasingly threatened by emerging pathogens, multi-drug-resistant infections, and therapy-evading cancer cells, our understanding of the dynamics of evolution is of growing importance,” writes the research team of Ramya Purkanti, one of the Mittal Institute’s 2016–2017 B4 Fellows.

Visiting Artist Fellows: Curating a South Asian Art Gallery with Siddharth Shah

Recently, our 13 current Visiting Artist Fellows from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal gathered in the virtual world for the next edition in a series of four online seminars curated to support their long-term art practice. Dr. Siddharth Shah, Director of Civic Engagement and Curator of South Asian Art at the Peabody Essex Museum, taught the second virtual seminar for the Mittal Institute’s Visiting Artist Fellows on “Curating a South Asian Art Gallery." He brought the artists together to explore the South Asian art gallery at the Peabody Essex Museum and discuss the thought and research that goes into curating a gallery, down to the keywords and labels that are used to describe and define art.

Visiting Artist Fellows: Nora Schultz Teaches Studio Language

Due to COVID-related programming changes this year, our 2020–2021 Visiting Artist Fellowship was reimagined, bringing 13 of the top applicants from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal to the virtual world for a series of four online virtual seminars curated to support the artists’ long-term practice. In these courses, the artists participate in thought-provoking discussions with their peers and the faculty member facilitating the class. Centering on art history, creative writing, urban design, and more, the artists will learn using Harvard’s intellectual and creative resources.

Vidya Subramanian: From Citizen to Consumer in a Data-Driven Society

This time of the year, we would normally be welcoming the new Mittal Institute Raghunathan Family Fellow to Harvard's campus in Cambridge. But, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the fellowship has been adjusted to meet the needs of our newly selected Fellow. Vidya Subramanian, an interdisciplinary scholar whose research interests lie at the intersection of technologies and societies, joined us virtually this fall as a Mittal Institute Research Affiliate. She will defer her in-person fellowship term to a time when she can join the team on campus to make the most of Harvard's intellectual resources and student and faculty interactions.

The Mittal Institute’s 2020–2021 Visiting Artist Fellows

Due to COVID-related programming changes, we have reimagined the 2020-2021 Visiting Artist Fellowship. We have selected 14 Visiting Artist Fellows, including photographers, sculptors, videographers, and mixed media artists to attend a series of four online virtual seminars curated for them to support the artists’ long-term practice, while simultaneously contributing to thought-provoking discussions among their peers and the faculty facilitating the class.

Raile Rocky Ziipao: Infrastructural Deficit in Northeast India

We spoke with Raile Rocky Ziipao, a multidisciplinary researcher, development practitioner, and former Raghunathan Family Fellow at the Mittal Institute. He is currently tenured at the Central University of Punjab, and has recently published a book entitled “Infrastructure of Injustice: State and Politics in Manipur and Northeast India.” Raile’s research delves into the dynamics of infrastructural development in northeast India, especially in his home state of Manipur, from a socio-anthropological perspective.

A Step Forward in India’s Digital Health Ecosystem

On August 15, Prime Minister Modi will announce India’s National Digital Health Mission — underpinned by the Personal Health Record design that was proposed by India Digital Health Network (IDHN) collaborators at a Radcliffe Seminar in 2016. IDHN is a Harvard-wide research and policy collaborative that works with public and private sector partners in India to advance meaningful health data exchange with the intent to improve clinical care and population health.

Numair Abbasi: The Everyday Encounters Art Exhibit

Spring 2020 Visiting Artist Fellow Numair Abbasi is a Pakistani artist whose practice draws on popular culture and anecdotes to challenge how gender is socially constructed and performed. In this video, he discusses the work behind his virtual exhibition, Everyday Encounters, with the Harvard Ed Portal.