Mapping Sahmat

Print edition : May 31, 2013

Safdar Hashmi: April 12, 1954–January 2, 1989.

Ayodhya: What then are our invocations? May 1993, 24 x 38 inches. Design: Ram Rahman. Texts: Charles Correa, Geeta Kapur, Madan Gopal Singh, and Ram Rahman, with contributions from Rajendra Prasad. Architectural drawings: Ravindra Bhan. This broadside reflected the ideas that had come up at several Sahmat discussions on how to address the issue of Ayodhya in all its complexity. The Hum Sab Ayodhya exhibition and the Muktnaad programme in Ayodhya evolved after the broadside was mailed to cultural activists and student groups across India. Sahmat members travelled to several cities to hold discussions and workshops on how to approach the Ayodhya issue through a process of creative engagement. Historians, along with other academics, were an active part of the project to research and conceive Hum Sab Ayodhya.

Inside the performance tent, 'The Making of India', Safdar Hashmi Memorial, January 1, 2004.

Peace, 2002, poster, 17½ x 22½ inches. Design: Ram Rahman. This poster was a response to the destruction by the Taliban of the Bamiyan Buddha statues in Afghanistan in 2001. It uses texts from the rock edicts ofthe Mauryn Emperor Ashoka (circa 272–232 B.C.), some of which are inAfghanistan. The edicts call for a just rule for all people to live in peace,regardless of individual religious beliefs.

An installation at The Smart Museum of Art, Chicago. It is an autorickshaw bearing the slogan that was chosen winner from Sahmat’s 'Slogans for Communal Harmony' project, 1992. Some of the other slogans are also seen.

Painter Manjit Bawa (extreme left) plays the dholak for the legendary Sufi singer from Pakistan, Allan Faqir. Anhad Garje, Delhi, January 1, 1993.

The book traces how Sahmat, an avant-garde experiment, offers an aesthetic of resistance in times of fundamental transition.
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