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In Pakistan, Life and Society Become Art

"I was born in a very literary family full of artists, poets, and writers. The art was in the blood, and then my uncle, who is also a visual artist internationally recognized, so he basically channeled my interest into visual arts. Since then I have been involved in visual arts," says Mahbub Jokhio, one of the Mittal Institute's newest Visiting Artist Fellows for Spring 2019.

Art Exhibition Unveils Partition’s Lasting Legacy

“In 1947, British India was divided into Pakistan and India, resulting in the largest forced migration in the history of migration. Certain records say there were about three million who migrated and were displaced, but studies done at Harvard show that the numbers were much higher — about 10–13 million people. The question becomes: Who lives to tell the story?” asks Meena Sonea Hewett, Executive Director of the Mittal Institute. “Art as a medium is a great way to tell these stories, because it allows for multiple perspectives to be shared about the Partition and the feelings associated with it.”

Music Tells a Story of Uprising and Grief in Northeast India

The landlocked, extreme northeastern region of India is connected to the rest of the nation via a corridor of land between Bangladesh and Myanmar. In the 1960s, its tribal community rose in an insurgency against the Government of India, with songs their call-to-arms. Mittal Institute Raghunathan Family Fellow Roluahpuia explains how.

Mariam Chughtai: Making and Breaking Identity in Pakistan

For years, Mariam Chughtai has immersed herself in the study of the complex politics of identity, religion, and terrorism in Pakistan. Today, as The Mittal Institute’s Babar Ali fellow, she is writing a book that brings her research and real-world experience in South Asia to life, exploring the tension between the politics and culture of Pakistan to rewrite the narrative that has been erroneously given to the nation.

Trauma and Memory: Healing Through Art

  Kabi Raj Lama is a Nepal-based artist and former Visiting Artist Fellow (VAF) at the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Harvard University. The VAF Program enables South Asia-based artists to spend a substantial period of time at Harvard, contributing to faculty and student scholarship and bringing valuable educational experiences from the university […]

New Paper: Look/Act East Policy, Roads and Market Infrastructure in North-East India

The Mittal Institute’s Arvind Raghunathan and Sribala Subramanian South Asia Visiting Fellow for 2017/18, Dr. Raile Rocky Ziipao, has published a new paper in Strategic Analysis Journal, entitled ‘Look/Act East Policy, Roads and Market Infrastrcuture in North-East India.’ Abstract: The socio-politico-economic scene in India’s North-east region has guided certain aspects of the country’s domestic and international policy. The Act […]

Visiting Artist Fellows 2018/19: Aman Kaleem, Filmmaker

Aman Kaleem’s work is personal. Her best-known film, Shaadi, Sex Aur Parivaar (Marriage, Sex and Family) contains significant autobiographical elements, she says, often drawing from the lived experience of a single woman in India. In the documentary, three very different women describe the social, economic and personal challenges of choosing a life partner in India, in a […]

A Focus On Tribal Issues In India : Meet The Mittal Institute’s New Fellow

"It's a big leap for me, personally and professionally, and the fellowship was unexpected. But in the first few days here, I have already felt the exciting academic and intellectual atmosphere. The issues that I touch upon in my own work are very much global in nature. There is a lot to learn from other parts of the world. I can listen, share my ideas and fully participate in the academic exchange."

Visiting Artist Profile: Imran Channa

2018 Visiting Artist Imran Channa is a contemporary artist from Pakistan. His art practice interrogates the intersection between power and knowledge. Channa’s primary focus is on the documentation and dissemination of historical narratives and events. He explores how fabricated narratives can override our collective memory to shape individual and social consciousness and alter human responses. In this interview, we discuss how he first became interested in installation artwork and the benefits of making art abroad.