Orfalea Center Thematic Research Cluster

Global Genders and Sexualities

Curating as wayward, chaos, embedded, infrastructural...

Public Talk by Aziz Sohail

4.30 PM – 6.00 PM

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Girvetz Hall Room 2320

       Co-sponsors: Department of Asian-American Studies, and New Sexualities Research Focus Group at IHC, UCSB
Visiting curator Aziz Sohail will be giving a public talk on his practice thinking through autobiography, archive and waywardness and the building of queer and feminist cultural infrastructures. The presentation will anchor on three recent exhibitions In Search of Baba Singh (2019), how to gently unpack an empire (2021) and Archival Intimacies: Queering South/East Asian Diasporas (2022) as an analytic to explore queer migration in a West Coast context and further meditate on the tension between settler/diasporic identity frameworks. With invited faculty and students, this will be an opportunity to explore the capacity of curatorial practice as a means of queer diasporic worldbuilding. The talk will include the screening of two filmic performance-lectures produced in collaboration with artists Gazelle Samizay and Vinhay Keo as well as a conversation with Professor Debanuj Dasgupta.


Aziz Sohail is an art curator, writer and researcher whose work is focused on building interdisciplinary connections and supporting new cultural and pedagogical infrastructures. Since 2020, with The Many Headed Hydra, he has been co-leading a language where yesterday are the same word. Kal, a trans*oceanic platform supporting practices enacting queer pasts/futures and decolonial ecologies in South Asia and post-migrant Europe. His current research is a meditation on the longue-duree intersections of sexuality and colonialism with migration, law and identity through the work of practitioners who navigate empire(s) and its afterlives. 

Sohail has been part of residencies and workshops with The New Art Gallery Walsall, England (2015), Khoj, New Delhi (2018), the Nepal Picture Library (2019), and Maxim Gorki Theater, Germany (2019) and the ONE Archives, Los Angeles (2021-22). His current practice is being supported by a fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council (2019-2022). He has previously worked with organizations such as the British Council and the Lahore Biennale Foundation to build new cultural initiatives and spaces in Pakistan. As a South Asia Fellow at Cornell University in 2017, he began a long term project building an archive of cultural and visual production in Karachi from the 1990s through today which led to an exhibition-symposium co-organised with Bani Abidi at the Sharjah Art Foundation (2019). 

Page Editor

Graduate Student Researcher at the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies
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