Zasha Colah is a curator and writer. Her exhibitions and texts have been an exploration of artistic imagination under conditions of sustained oppression, often through the prisms of liveliness and restorative laughter. Her work considers a range of cultural practices as an unspoken infrastructure of acts and channels of counter-expression in disobedient terrains that confound militarization and earthly extraction. She is particularly interested in the point at which these practices may cross over to become collective.
Colah was raised in Lusaka, ZM, and Mumbai, IN where she lived and worked until 2014. She divided her time between Berlin, DE, and Mumbai from 2014 to 2017, and for the last six years has been based in Turin, IT. She is a co-founder of the Clark House Initiative (with Yogesh Barve, Sachin Bonde, Poonam Jain, Prabhakar Pachpute, Amol K Patil, Rupali Patil, Nikhil Raunak, and Sumesh Sharma; Mumbai; 2010–22)—a collaborative of artists and curators concerned with ideas of freedom.
Prior to this she served as curator of Indian Modern Art at JNAF/CSMVS Museum and curator of public programs at the National Gallery of Modern Art, both in Mumbai. She was the curator of body luggage, steirischer herbst (Graz, AT; 2016), co-curator of the 3rd Pune Biennale Habit-co-Habit. Artistic Simulations of Some Everyday Spaces in India (with Luca Cerizza, 2017), and part of the curatorial team of the 2nd Yinchuan Biennale Starting from the Desert. Ecologies on the Edge in China (curator: Marco Scotini, 2018). Her doctorate addressed the topic of illegality and meta-exhibition practices in Indo-Myanmar since the 1980s (Sapienza – Università di Roma, IT; 2020). As a member of Archive, a decentralized community of practice (Berlin; Dakar, SN; Milan, IT; since 2020), she co-curates exhibitions, study days, and the serial program on moving multitudes, Choreopoethics. Colah is a lecturer in Curatorial Studies at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan (since 2018) and is on the editorial board of GeoArchivi (director: Marco Scotini/NABA, published by Meltemi, Milan, since 2021), a series of books dedicated to rebellious archives.
She is the artistic director of Ar/Ge Kunst (with Francesca Verga; Bolzano, IT; since 2023), where she co-develops a program centered around a series of artistic questions that each time forge a new working group of artists and practitioners. She serves on the board of the Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean (Port Louis, MU).
Image : Zasha Colah, photo: M. Ben Hamouda
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