NPL Curatorial Residency 2019


Where is our place? Where do we belong? Can the archive be a site where we can discover and name ourselves? Can it be a site where we build solidarities? Can the excavation of queer experience, queer desires and queer traumas allow us to re-examine our inherited past knowledge and imagine new futures?

Nepal Picture Library is pleased to invite Sumitra (India) and Aziz Sohail(Pakistan) for this summer Curatorial Residency to research the promiseand potential of ‘queer archives’ in South Asia. Their four-week residency at Nepal Picture Library, will initiate conversations on how, as curators, archivists and activists, we can remember, recognize, and witness queer lives across South Asia.

Sumitra is an independent art curator and researcher who has been working in the field for over 10 years. She has curated projects in India, working primarily with archival material. Her curatorial practice engages and problematizes the understanding of queering art practice as well as Queerness as an identity.

Her research work has led to a doctoral thesis in curating contemporary art, viewed through the lens of art history and feminist frameworks. She has been the recipient of various fellowships for her research and curatorial work, including one from the National Institute of Advanced Studies that supported her doctoral research, and fellowships from Kochi Biennale Foundation and Khoj International Artists Association for curatorial work.

At present, Sumitra’s work is anchored in exploring history and memory through archiving practices as well as creating a framework for the exhibition and production of queered art. She is currently based out of Bangalore, India.

Aziz Sohail is an art curator, writer and researcher. His practice is particularly invested in promoting under-researched histories and building interdisciplinary connections between art, history, archive, fiction, theory and biography.

He has been a curator-in-residence at The New Art Gallery Walsall, England, in 2015 and part of the Curatorial Intensive South Asia 2018 program at Khoj in New Delhi. He has worked with organizations such as the British Council and the Lahore Biennale Foundation to build new cultural initiatives and spaces. As a South Asia Fellow at Cornell University in 2017, he began building an archive of cultural and visual production in Karachi from the 1990s through today.

Sohail is currently an MFA Candidate in Art at University of California, Irvine, supported by a fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council. His current research focus is a meditation on the longue-duree intersections of sexuality and colonialism with migration, law and identity, particularly for individuals from the Global South as they navigate empire(s) and its afterlives.