anticolonial maps
for lost lovers


The project brings together over twenty artists from across the global south – understood as a relation and not a geopolitical locus – to actually practise such a relation as something other than the “process” of value production, taking on with relish and a sense of possibility, the unresolved relation between nostos and polis, and not seeking to settle it. Together, we attempt a collaborative archive of “shared knowledge” – by way of maps, phenomenologies, autoethnographies – in motion, composing, assembling, and manifesting ways of reading, being, seeing, sensing, and allow “minor” itineraries of political struggle to become evident, especially where the destinations have been lost or not reached, or appropriated, or looked different than they were expected to. The deterritorial yet located nature of this “mapping,” and the difficulties therein, are not lost on us. Still, we rely on these difficulties to keep alive those epistemic struggles which promise new subjects and institutions and a future beyond capital and colony, especially when many of us feel policed by humanitarian, democratizing, or liberatory projects that also replicate orientalism, Eurocentrism, and US exceptionalism, with their purveyors refusing to learn any new lessons. 

anticolonial maps

Anticolonial Maps for Lost Lovers proceeds from the perspective, location, and time of “the unrequited” in articulating a politics of “another love” (Abbas, 2018), where political desire and its pursuits might be able to be thought otherwise. What might those “shared knowledges” look like, in which Edouard Glissant (1990) finds our redemption on the open boat — not as exceptions, but as people, as those whom Cèline Chuang calls “diasporic descendents of the displaced” (2021). Eschewing platitudes that plague contemporary salvationist discourses on the left and the right – both betrothed to unexamined epistemontologies of the wheres of our lifeworlds – this project explores mix of narrative, art, pedagogy, and theory that enacts an ongoing and capacious historical materialist method for a political understanding of location, space, and attachment, that could unlock forms of presence, connection, appearance, motion, and relation to the objects of our desire and commitment that allow the production of knowledge and political action to be something other than acts of occupation, conquest, colonisation. 

A curated summer 2022 residency, Jehānuma, organized by GCAS-Jehān and Hic Rosa, with the support of the Bard Centre for Human Rights and the Arts, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, and Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, laid the groundwork for the production of a digital archive of the process and the artworks alike, as one offering – a Chapter I, if you will – of “shared knowledges.” A launch of this archive, and a series of engagements with it, including physical exhibits where possible, and mini-symposia and panels, through late Spring into Summer and Fall 2023 are doors and invitations for this cooperative archive to grow.



Ali Jafri


Anum Sanaullah

Ashu Rai

Asma Abbas (also curator and convener)

August Clark (also intern)

Aysha Ally

Babar Naeem Shaikh

Bushra Saleem

Cèline Chuang

Forugh Farrokhzad 

Charlie Yates

Diana Yaseen (also intern)

Fizza Saleem

Imraam Sheeraz (also photographer, videographer, and documenter) 

Laxmi Priya

Lesley-Ann Brown

M. Wasay Ijaz (also site and interface designer and web captain)

Maham Zehra

Mahreen Zuberi

Parma Abbas (also intern)


Radhya Kareem

Rhita Jibou (also intern)

Safdar Ali

Safi Alsebai

Samra Mansoor

Sheetala Bhat

Stephen Hager 

Valerie Fanarjian

Vladimir Shcherbak


Zari Rosa Abbas-Hager 

Zoya Abbas




Renata Summo O’Connell, Principal Advisor for the project

Silvana Carotenuto, for being a friend and guide, for the promise of hospitality for this work at the University of Naples L’Orientale

Thomas Keenan, Michelle Song, Ziad Abu Rish, Tanya El-Khouri, and other fellow travelers at the Bard-OSUN Centre for Human Rights and the Arts, Bard College at Annandale

John Weinstein, Brendan Mathews, Karen Advokaat, Anne O’Dwyer, and all the Studio mates at the Simon’s Rock Annex for Transdisciplinary, Collaborative, and Experimental Studies, Bard College at Simon’s Rock

Inspiring Critical Aesthetic Theory students at the M.Phil. in Art and Design programme at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture

Faiza Mushtaq and friends new and old at Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture

Ali Akbar Naqvi and his sons, for the abundant gift of their soz

All that Karachi makes possible, and some other places

Newly beloveds, colleagues, and supporters at Al-Akhawayn University for a temporary home for the project and its curation

Sara Mugridge, Daniel Neilson, Colin Eubank, and Valerie Fanarjian for the lifelong promises and projects that sustain us

Hic Rosa family 

Tipu, Zari, Steve, Ammi, and all the life they make possible