For over twenty years, the influential, Delhi-based artist collective Sahmat has enabled Indian artists in all media to create and present works that engage in important political and social debates.
Formed in 1989 in the weeks after playwright, actor, and activist Safdar Hashmi was fatally attacked by political thugs while performing a street play, Sahmat is an expansive network of Indian artists and intellectuals—painters, sculptors, writers, poets, musicians, actors, and activists—who create powerful and vibrant works of art in defense of freedom of expression and in celebration of secular, egalitarian values. Through a mix of high art and street culture, Sahmat artists take a consistent stance against the threats of religious fundamentalism and sectarianism.
In the first major exhibition about the group organized for U.S. audiences, the exhibition The Sahmat Collective: Art and Activism in India since 1989 includes work by more than 60 artists, including several with high profiles in the international contemporary art world. With paintings, sculpture, prints, and photographs alongside ephemera, collaborative works, performances, and rich interpretive materials, the exhibition encourages a thoughtful assessment of the impact of this unique, multi-faceted—and sometimes controversial—collective on contemporary Indian society. It also adds a dynamic and stimulating chapter to the history of activist art worldwide.
More Info: http://ackland.org/exhibition/sahmat/