Conference: ‘The Art of Independence’, 12-13 October 2017

The Art of Independence: Visions of the Past and Future in India and Pakistan12 – 13 October 2017

At Midnight on the 15th of August 1947 India and Pakistan achieved their freedom from British Rule. This Conference commemorates the 70th anniversary of that independence. Artists, curators, filmmakers and academics stage a multidisciplinary and multi-media discussion that asks: What futures did the citizens of these new nations envision for themselves? How might we think about the midnight hour, and its many imagined futures, in retrospect?

Day 1, Dreams and Nightmares: Spectacle, Partition and Progress
12 October 2017, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Day 2, Futures Lost and Found: Citizenship and Contemporary Art
13 October 2017, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

For further details see programme. Places are limited and early booking recommended, click here to book a ticket.


Shailendra Bhandare, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Kishwar Desai, Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust, New Delhi
Meghnad Desai, House of Lords
Faisal Devji, Oxford
Rachel Dwyer, SOAS
Shruti Kapila, Cambridge
Yasmin Khan, Oxford
Kajri Jain, Toronto
Rattanamol Johal, Columbia
Zehra Jumabhoy, Courtauld Institute of Art, London
Amar Kanwar, Artist, New Delhi
Mallica Kumbera Landrus, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Mariah Lookman, London
Nick Merriman, Manchester Museum
Maria Misra, Oxford
Partha Mitter, Sussex
Hammad Nasar, Curator, London
Jahnavi Phalkey, KCL
Christopher Pinney, UCL
Saleem Arif Quadri, Artist, London
Sumathi  Ramaswamy, Duke
Vyjayanthi Rao, Terreform New York
Srirupa Roy, Göttingen
Abhay Sardesai, Art India Magazine, Mumbai
Gulammohammed Sheikh, Artist, Baroda
Nilima Sheikh, Artist, Baroda
Sudarshan Shetty, Artist, Mumbai
Gautham Shiralagi, Oxford
Salma Siddique, Freie Universität Berlin
Shahzia Sikander, Artist, New York
Alexander Sturgis, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Deborah Swallow, Courtauld Institute of Art, London
Sarah Wilson, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

Organised by Faisal Devji and Mallica Kumbera Landrus (University of Oxford) with Deborah Swallow and Zehra Jumabhoy (The Courtauld Institute of Art, London)

This event is co-hosted by:
The Courtauld Institute of Art, London |The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford | Asian Studies Centre, St Antony’s College | Oxford Centre for Global History