'In 1989, the activist, actor, playwright, and poet Safdar Hashmi, was fatally attacked by political thugs during a street performance in Delhi. The murder sparked widespread grief and outrage, and the formation of the Delhi-based collective Sahmat. Created to build solidarity among artists, intellectuals, and activists on questions of conscience in current politics, Sahmat has emerged as a vital platform to promote artistic freedom and secular, egalitarian values throughout India. 

The Sahmat Collective: Art and Activism in India since 1989—a companion to the exhibition of the same name presented by the Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago—relates the history of this remarkable organisation through case studies from a rich range of interdisciplinary projects and performances. Vivid images and original and new commentary from participants, organisers, and scholars situate Sahmat within both the contemporary art scene in India and the country's political sphere. This beautifully illustrated volume thus documents compelling works of contemporary art while meditating on the power of art as a tool for social change.' (back cover)

Held from February to June 2013, the exhibition includes works in a variety of media from over sixty artists including Manjeet Bawa, Atul Dodiya, Subodh Gupta, Zarina Hashmi, Rummana Husain, Bharti Kher, Pushpamala N., Nalini Malani, Gigi Scaria, Nilima Sheikh, and Vivan Sundaram.
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Chapter headings
Introduction - Jessica MOSS
A Journey of Resistance - Ram RAHMAN
Sahmat's Beginnings
The Founding of Sahmat
Safdar Samaroh and Artists Alert
National Street Theatre Day
Children's Books
Artists Against Communalism
Artists Against Communalism Campaign
Images and Words
Slogans for Communal Harmony
Ayodhya: Demolition of the Babri Masjid and After
Anhad Garje
In Defence of Our Secular Tradition: Posters with Sufi-Bhakti Poetry and Contemporary Art
Hum Sab Ayodhya
Tribute to Gandhi
Postcards for Gandhi
Gift for India
Art on the Move
Ways of Resisting
Reasserting Secularism
History and Culture
The Making of India
Making History Our Own
History in Education
Free Speech and Defending Husain
For Free Speech
In Defence of M. F. Husain
For Husain at 94
Husain @ 95
Publications, Design, and Graphics
Design and Graphics
An Experiment with Political Theory - Prabhat PATNAIK
Song of the Unvanquished: Beginning(s) and Continuities of Sahmat: A Brief Personal History - Madan Gopal SINGH
Mind the Gap! Or, What Does Secularism Feel Like? - William MAZZARELLA
Secular Artist, Citizen Artist - Geeta KAPUR
Signature and the Secularity of Artistic Subjectivity - Karin ZITZEWITZ
Accumulations in Space and Time: Sahmat's Gifts for India - Rebecca ZORACH
The Sahmat Collective: Art and Activism in India since 1989
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The Sahmat Collective: Art and Activism in India since 1989