Women Under Siege (2012)

I was inspired to create Voices Breaking Boundaries’ Women Under Siege production after I experienced metal detectors to enter the shrine dedicated to Karachi’s patron saint, Abdullah Shah Ghazi.

I encountered the same sense of forced “security” metal at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, where I was a board member at the time. Both spaces had been been impacted by bombs and even today, continue to receive threats by extremist religious forces.

Sehba Sarwar participating in women's conversation in Parachute Room at Women Under Siege; photo by Mahwash Rahman

I went on to direct a production that featured video, performances and installations by more than 10 artists from Houston and Karachi.

After the production was complete, Voices Breaking Boundaries' Interim Executive Director Joshua Turner and I co-edited a publication, Women Under Siege that features writing and art by women in Karachi and Houston (currently out of print). My essay "Invisible Threads" is featured in the book.


Women Under Siege was made possible through the support of: the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Houston Endowment, Inc.; National Endowment for the Arts; the Nightingale Code Foundation; Poets & Writers; The Simmons Foundation; & Texas Commission on the Arts. VBB receives funding support from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.

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 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