Photo by Mahwash Rahman
Multidisciplinary artist and writer, Sehba Sarwar was raised in Karachi, Pakistan, in a home filled with artists, activists and educators. 1n 2000, she founded Voices Breaking Boundaries in Houston, Texas as a literary art collective; a year later, the collective acquired 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. Sarwar is currently based in Southern California where she writes and creates time-based art installations that explore displacement and women’s issues.
Sarwar's first novel, Black Wings, was published in 2004 (Alhamra Publishing, Pakistan), and her essays, poems and short stories have appeared in publications including And The World Changed (Feminist Press, New York), The News on Sunday, The New York Times’ Sunday Magazine and Callaloo. She has also created a series of video collages that have been screened in Pakistan, India, Egypt and the United States.
Borderlines, a flagship program of VBB developed under Sarwar’s leadership, continues to create connections between North America and South Asia through the generation of art production and publications featuring literary and visual art.
Sarwar is currently developing a nonfiction narrative entitled What Is Home? that began during her two-year artist residency at the University of Houston's Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts. In 2014-15, through a Mid-America Arts Alliance Artist Innovation grant, Sarwar expanded What Is Home? into a multidisciplinary arts production, the first phase of which culminated in May 2015.
Using her trademark talent for deftly translating experiences into thought-provoking, relatable words and images, Sarwar’s blog documents the multiple realities she inhabits as writer, artist, mother, activist and transnational.
Visit Flickr to view images from Sarwar’s productions; follow Sehba on Twitter @sehbasarwar; and follow What Is Home? here.