In 1989, playwright, actor, and activist Safdar Hashmi was fatally attacked by political thugs while performing a street play outside of Delhi. His death led to the founding of Sahmat, a vital platform for contemporary art in India and the subject of a new exhibition at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. Through a mix of art and ephemera, The Sahmat Collective: Art and Activism in India since 1989 (February 14–June 9, 2013) uniquely situates two decades of contemporary Indian art within the political sphere while meditating on art’s capacity as a force for change.
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