ON TOUR

Sehba Sarwar On Belonging Menil Collection Houston Texas
Survey response cards by community members placed on ajrak fabric, materials for Sehba Sarwar's 2018 On Belonging installation

On Belonging

On Belonging is a performance and installation through which I explore issues of displacement and identity. The project was launched at the Menil Collection (Houston) in  February 2018 when I performed new work as well as created a site-specific installation containing community responses to the question of belonging. My performance was held inside the Menil Collection’s Byzantine Fresco Chapel for two afternoons while my installation was outside the chapel, and remained up for three weeks after the February launching.

Please click here to learn more about On Belonging, or to bring the production to your city.

On Belonging is supported by the Menil Collection as part of Mona Hatoum’s Terra Infirma exhibition.

Through Voices Breaking Boundaries (VBB), the arts collective that I started in 2000, I collaborate with artists to create art installations.

One of my VBB initiatives (inspired by artist friend Oskar Sonnen) is called Living Room Art for which I partnered with artists in Houston and Karachi to transform residential homes into artistic spaces, while creating connections between local and global spaces. For smaller production, I’ve tackled interracial partnerships, the challenges of being an artist and a mother, and gun culture and more.

Sehba Sarwar Performances
Audience members experiencing Sehba Sarwar's 2009 installation Listening from Within dedicated to her father, Dr. Mohammad Sarwar; photo by Eric Hester

Alongside my writings which have been published in a broad array of magazines, anthologies and newspapers, I have generated a body of solo and collaborative performances and art installations that underscore urgent issues such as race, class, women’s rights and border/migration patterns.

My video collages have been screened in Pakistan, India, Egypt and the United States, and I have created performances as well as readings at spaces including the Menil Collection (Houston), the Rothko Chapel (Houston), The Second Floor Café (Karachi), Cielo Gallery (Los Angeles), Portland State University (Portland) and many more.

I wasn’t able to comprehend how profoundly Sehba had affected me until I found myself impatient to write, often anxious just to get my hands on a pen…It seemed as though at every turn, Sehba was there to urge me on.  Her deliverance of voice and reason kindled a flame inside me.

student, The Rice School/La Escuela Rice

CONTACT

I am an author and speaker, an artist, and a community and cultural activist.

If I can use my talents and passions to inspire you or your network to push boundaries and become involved in our communities, please connect with me. I am open to schedule readings, workshops, courses or multimedia installations; my On Belonging performance and installation is available for touring. 

CONTACT SEHBA SARWAR

Front hood of art car, Digital Meets Pakistani Truck Art, featuring stickers of buraq images from Karachi; photo by Burnell McCray

Sehba Sarwar Art Car
Front hood of my art car, Digital Meets Pakistani Truck Art, featuring stickers of buraq images from Karachi; photo by Burnell McCray