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  • Sep 30, 2022

Weekly News Roundup: September 30, 2022

AMBREEN QURESHISurkh rooh, 2022, watercolor on paper, 46 × 38 cm. Courtesy South Asian Visual Arts Network. 

South Asian Artists Raise Funds for Pakistan Flood Relief

The South Asian Visual Arts Network (SAVAN), an ad-hoc group of artists and cultural workers from South Asia and its diaspora, has organized an art auction to raise funds for flood relief in Pakistan. Lots are open for online bidding from September 24 to 30 and a physical auction will take place on Friday evening at Prime Produce in New York. More than 70 artists have donated their works to the auction, such as a lithograph titled Move in Place (2015) by installation artist Brendan Fernandes, and a 2012 two-panel comic print She the Question, Slippery Spirit {Train Station} by multimedia artist Chitra Ganesh. Some also created new works specifically for the occasion, such as Jaishri Abichandani’s portrait of Pakistani singer Meesha Shafi. All of the proceeds will contribute to four organizations—Women Democratic Front, Madat Balochistan, Ali Hasan Mangi Trust, and Mama Baby Fund—for the relief efforts in Pakistan. Since June 14, the extremely devastating floods in Pakistan have killed 1,569 people and displaced nearly 8 million people. 

Portrait of LARA KHALDI. Photo by Nicolas Wefers. Courtesy De Appel, Amsterdam. 

Lara Khaldi Appointed Director of De Appel

Curator, artist, and writer Lara Khaldi has been named director of De Appel, a contemporary arts center in Amsterdam, effective January 2023. Born in Jerusalem and based in Amsterdam, Khaldi graduated with a bachelors degree in archaeology and art history, and obtained a masters degree in media and communications from the European Graduate School. With her interdisciplinary background, she once served as assistant program director at the Sharjah Art Foundation and the director at Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre in Ramallah, before completing the curatorial program at De Appel in 2013–14. Most recently she is a member of the artistic team of documenta fifteen. Her other projects include the educational platform “School of Intrusions” with Noor Abed, and group exhibitions such as “Overtone: On the Politics of Listening” at Goethe-Institut, Ramallah (2019) and “Unweaving Narratives” at Palestinian Museum, Birzeit (2018). In 2017, she also co-curated Sharjah Biennial 13 and Off-Biennial in Budapest. 

Photo of BAYAN USA’s community members during the protest at Asia Society, New York. Image via Twitter. 

Cultural Workers Protest Against Bongbong Marcos at Asia Society

A group of Filipino and Asian-American artists, cultural practitioners, and scholars issued an open letter to demonstrate their solidarity with the protestors, who protested the presence of the Philippine president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. at New York’s Asia Society on September 23. In the statement, they wrote, “We refuse to normalize the history of state violence that the Marcos and Duterte names represent. We are boycotting events at Asia Society, and we will refuse to speak at their events and will relay this boycott to fellow writers, artists and scholars to make clear to Asia Society that their actions are harmful to our community of Asian American Pacific Islanders.” Bongbong Marcos, who comes from the corrupt Marcos political family and won 31 million votes during the election this year, was invited to give a speech during the United Nations General Assembly in New York. During the protest, three of the protesters were arrested by the New York City Police Department and released on bail on September 24.