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Hamja Ahsan

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Hamja Ahsan
Born (1981-03-17) 17 March 1981 (age 38)
Tooting, Wandsworth, London, England
EducationChelsea College of Arts
Central Saint Martins
Gwangju Biennale Foundation

Hamja Ahsan (Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Unicode data' not found.); born 17 March 1981) is an English artist, independent curator, writer on contemporary art, and human rights activist.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Ahsan attended Graveney School and left in 1999. In 2005, he completed a BTEC in Foundation Art and Design at Chelsea College of Arts. In 2008, he graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins. In 2009, he completed an MA in Critical Writing and Curatorial Practice at Chelsea College of Arts. In 2011, he completed an International Curators Course at Gwangju Biennale Foundation.[1]

Ahsan comes from a Sunni Muslim family background. His parents were in West Bengal before the Partition of India and then settled in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where most of his extended family live. His parents settled in Tooting, London in 1964.[2] His father, Syed Abu Ahsan (born 1939), is a civil servant, and his mother, Farida Ahsan, is disabled.[3][4]

Career[edit | edit source]

Ahsan's artwork encompasses drawing, sound, painting, appropriated text work, sculpture, photography, performance, video, sound live art, directing exhibitions and critical writing. His themes as an artist revolves around post-colonial history, Pan-Islamism, diaspora politics, indexing time, the prison system and new formations of imperialism.[1]

He is an exhibition and events curator and has presented projects at Tate Britain, The Guild Gallery in New York, Deptford X, Shanaakht Festival in Pakistan, Shilpakala Academy in Bangladesh and across artist-run spaces. He is the co-ordinator of Other Asias – an artists-run organisation of 10 interweaving curatorial currents, exploring national and regional representation. He is the co-curator with Fatima Hussain of the REDO Pakistan project – a nomadic art project that circulates through the UK, Pakistan and Bangladesh.[1]

Awards and nominations[edit | edit source]

In 2012, Ahsan was nominated for Shell Our Heroes Award by South London Press.[5] In 2013, he was nominated for a Liberty Human Rights Award 2013 for his civil liberties campaign work,[6] and an Alhambra award for excellence in the Arts by The Muslim News.[7]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

On 19 July 2006, Ahsan's elder brother, Syed Talha Ahsan, was arrested in response to a request from the U.S under the Extradition Act 2003 and detained without trial or charge[8] before being extradited to the United States on 5 October 2012.[2][9] Since July 2006, Hamja has been the leader of the "Free Talha Ahsan" campaign.[8][10]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "British Bengali Success Stories". BritBangla. Retrieved 1 July 2015. Hamja Ahsan
  2. 2.0 2.1 Patel, Ian (21 February 2013). "The impossible injustice of Talha Ahsan's extradition and detention". New Statesman. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  3. "'Forgotten' terror suspect from Tooting nears five years in prison". Your Local Guardian. 13 July 2011. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  4. Kermani, Secunder (8 April 2012). "Terror suspect Talha Ahsan's family fear US extradition". London: BBC News. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  5. "Long Walk: Family Struggles for Justice in the UK". Rich Mix. 18 July 2012. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  6. "Liberty honours human rights heroes in annual awards ceremony". Liberty. 22 November 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  7. "London public meeting with Hamja Ahsan and Nisha Kapoor". Stop the War Coalition. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Ahsan, Hamja; Shah, Turab (18 July 2012). "Interview – Hamja Ahsan and Turab Shah: "It is important to remain hopeful"". Ceasefire Magazine. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  9. Chakrabarti, Shami; Ahsan, Hamja; Shah, Turab (9 November 2013). "Interview – Shami Chakrabarti: "When fear stalks the land, people throw principles aside" (VIDEO)". Ceasefire Magazine. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  10. Orr, Judith (29 July 2014). "'I won't stop campaigning' – Talha Ahsan's brother Hamja speaks out". Socialist Worker. Retrieved 1 July 2015.

External links[edit | edit source]

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