Borderlines

Borderlines was a long-term project (2013-2017) that I initiated for Voices Breaking Boundaries, where I serve as Artistic Director/Founder. The project explored parallels between the border regions of South Asia and North America.

During the life of the project, I worked with Houston-based artists to transform residential homes into art spaces, and more than 70 artists from Bangladesh, Canada, India, Mexico, Pakistan, US-Mexico border, and Houston participated in the series. In one of my installations, What We leave Behind, I spray painted slippers donated by Pakistani women in Houston, while in another installation, I created a web, using beads from Karachi’s Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine.

Borderlines Volumes One, Two, and Three published by Voices Breaking Boundaries; co-edited by Margot Backus PhD and Maria Gonzalez PhD and visualized by Sehba Sarwar

Additionally, I visualized and directed three publications featuring writing and art by participants in Bangladesh, Canada, India, Mexico, Pakistan, US-Mexico border, and Houston; the publications were edited by scholars Margot Backus and Maria Gonzalez and designed by Joshua Turner.

My essays are published in all three volumes, which have been launched at the University of Texas-Austin (Austin, TX), Brazos Bookstore (Houston, TX), and Karachi Literature Festival (Karachi, Pakistan).

During the research and development segment of the project, I generated additional essays for publications outside of Voices Breaking Boundaries:

Read an excerpt of one of my Borderlines essays—about my father’s passing—that was published in the Houston ChronicleRead More »
Read my essay in a Pakistani magazine, Aman Ki Asha, about visiting Delhi, India after 25 yearsRead More »
Read my essay in Creative Time Reports about my visit to Dhaka, BangladeshRead More »
View a video of a reading and panel discussion about Borderlines at Karachi Literature Festival 2016Read More »

ADDITIONAL BORDERLINES MATERIALS:

Read Zubeida Mustafa’s review of Borderlines in Pakistan’s Dawn newspapeRead More »
Learn more about Borderlines productionRead More »
Read Muneeza Shamsie’s review of Borderlines in Pakistan’s Newsline magazineRead More »
Read Betsy Huete’s review of Borderlines in Houston’s GlasstireRead More »
Order Borderlines publicationRead More »

Borderlines was funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; The Neely Foundation; Copydotcom; Houston Endowment, Inc.; National Endowment for the Arts; and Texas Commission on the Arts. VBB receives funding support from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance and is a participant of the Capacity Building Initiative (CBI).

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 offer a range of services including: readings, workshops, courses, or multidisciplinary performances/installations. I look forward to hearing from you!

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