Photo by Mahwash Rahman
Sehba Sarwar is a writer, multidisciplinary artist, and activist, currently based in Houston, USA. She moves between the city of her birth, Karachi, Pakistan, where she spent the first half of her life in a home filled with artists, activists and educators, and her adopted city, Houston, where she has recreated a community similar to the one where she was raised. Through her writings and installations, Sarwar explores displacement and women’s issues, moving between South Asia and the US.
Sarwar's first novel, Black Wings was published in 2004 (Alhamra Publishing, Pakistan), and her essays, poems and short stories have appeared in publications including And The World Changed (Feminist Press, New York), The News on Sunday, The New York Times’ Sunday Magazine and Callaloo. She has also created a series of video collages that have been screened in Pakistan, India, Egypt and the US. In an attempt to document the multiple realities she inhabits - writer, artist, mother, activist, dual citizen - Sarwar maintains a blog, where she posts images, videos and words.
Currently, Sarwar is developing a non-fiction narrative entitled What Is Home? that she started in 2012 while doing a two-year residency at the University of Houston's Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts. In 2014-15, through a Mid-America Arts Alliance Artist Innovation grant, Sarwar expanded her What Is Home? project into a multidisciplinary arts production, the first phase of which culminated on May 9, 2015. To follow her project, please click here.
Alongside developing What Is Home?, Sarwar serves as artistic/ founding director of Voices Breaking Boundaries (VBB), a non-profit arts-activist organization in Houston, USA for which she has visualized Borderlines, a series that creates connections between North America and South Asia by generating art production and art catalogues.
Check Sarwar's blog, where she posts reflections as well as interviews with friends, family, artists and community members; view images from her productions on Flickr; and stay connected by following her on Twitter @sehbasarwar