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Imagining a new post-imperial and de-colonialized modern world...

Communist people

The projects of 21 emerging scholars were workshoped and presented in Hong Kong (August 2019) and Dhaka (February 2020) as part of Connecting Modern Art Histories in and across Africa, South and Southeast Asia (MAHASSA).  This Dhaka Art Summit Programme was a collaboration with the Institute for Comparative Modernities (ICM) at Cornell University, and the Asia Art Archive with support from the Getty Foundation’s ‘Connecting Art Histories’ initiative.


MAHASSA was shaped by shared institutional and intellectual developments that are closely related based on the fact that Africa, South and Southeast Asia are marked by similar experiences during the twentieth century. These include the rise of modern art practices associated with the withdrawal of colonialism and the consolidation of nationalism; the founding of institutions such as the art school and the museum; and increasing exchange with international metropolitan centres via travel and the movement of ideas through publications and exhibitions. Viewing this in terms of statist and national art histories obscures their analysis in a comparative framework. MAHASSA emphasises a connected and contextualized approach to better understand both common developments as well as divergent trajectories. Under the leadership of Dr. Iftikhar Dadi, art historical panel discussions and symposia took a thematic approach to draw comparisons across the rich modern art histories of these regions across the nine days of DAS 2020 with established and 21 emerging scholars in the field. Learn more about the initiative here.


Above: Chittaprosad (b. 2015, Naihati, India; d. 1978, Kolkata, Bangladesh), Panel (Ink Drawing) for India Immortal, April 2945.


MAHASSA Hong Kong Syllabus MAHASSA Dhaka Syllabus


Programme materials are available to all at no cost.  Check back, we will add more material as they become available.

PDF documents to download:

Links to lectures: