June 1, 2024
“Dream Baby Dream: Queer Worldmaking” closing of The World That Belongs to Us
New Art Gallery Walsall (Walsall, UK)

It was a joy to present work and impressions alongside artist and curator Candice Nembhard in “Dream Baby Dream,” the closing programme for The World That Belongs to Us (November 24, 2023–June 9, 2024) exhibition, curated by Aziz Sohail and Deborah Robinson.

Through talks, poetry and performance bringing together cultural practitioners from all over the UK, this closing programme "Dream Baby Dream" unraveled threads of queer themes within the project, sustained through the decades of organising, friendship and worldmaking. We contextualised the exhibition within a history of queer cultural production and organising in Britain from the perspective of South Asian and other diasporic communities. In doing so, we centred dreaming as an act and strategy of making queer diasporic life possible and visible.

Speakers: Professor Rohit Dasgupta, Saima Razzaq (Birmingham Pride), curator and arts worker Yasmyn Nettle, artist-curator Candice Nembhard and poet/writer Jhani Randhawa.

The World that Belongs to Us brought together a constellation of intergenerational artists from the South Asian diasporas of the UK, USA and Canada (Chila Kumari Singh Burman, Chitra Ganesh, Sunil Gupta and Charan Singh, Roshini Kempadoo, Pamila Matharu, Hardeep Pandhal, Jagdeep Raina, Sa’dia Rehman, Salman Toor). Sharing a common thread of combining autobiography and activism, and working across a wide range of media including painting, photography, film, animation, wall drawing and site-specific installation, these practices activate a wide range of conversations around community and belonging, friendship and intimacy, migrant and diasporic storytelling and queer world-making.

More information: https://thenewartgallerywalsall.org.uk/exhibition/the-world-that-belongs-to-us/

A recording of Jhani’s reading can be viewed here.