My father, Dr. Mohammad Sarwar, struggled with cancer for two years before passing away in May 2009.
Six months later, in an attempt to process my loss, I created a Living Room Art, Honoring Dissent/Descent, production at my Houston home that drew more than 400 visitors, including activist Sissy Farenthold and then-Houston’s Pakistani Consul General, Aqil Nadeem.
Ten artists in Houston and Karachi participated in the project, including the daughter of a Chicano activist, Daniel Bustamante. In an altar that we created at our fireplace, community members placed objects in memory of their loved ones.
I transformed my study into a site-specific installation, Listening from Within, which included photographs, a bed decorated with red rose petals, audio recordings from a Karachi memorial service with songs dedicated to my father and writings by him.
This production inspired me to begin a new wave of Living Room Art productions in different parts of Houston.
All of her projects come from the personal and, although What is Home? has grown to include not just her own stories, but also those of others—the sense of urgency with which she works to preserve memories, voices, and stories comes from an entirely intimate and personal place.
— “Meaning & Memory: Sehba Sarwar Explores Home.” Arts & Culture Magazine, March 2015. LINK
Ongoing & Additional Projects
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.Universities and non-profit organizations based in Texas can apply for Texas Commission on the Arts grants to fund Sarwar’s workshops, readings and/or installations since she serves on the Texas Touring Roster.