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Desispotting: January 2012

2012 January 1
by Ramona


Last updated January 20.

Desispotting January 2012Happy New Year, friends! All of us at SAPAC wish you the very best for 2012. Let’s kick the year off with some desi events around town!

As always, I’ll continue to update this post throughout the month. Send your events to or leave a comment here.


Pakistan: A Rare View @ Noyes Cultural Art Center ADDED 1/4
Tuesday, January 3 – Sunday, January 15

The art center presents “An Introduction to Pakistani Art” featuring work by resident artist Zafar Malik. Free events associated with the exhibit, including poetry reading, music videos, a children’s painting project and gallery talks, will take place Jan. 14 and 15.


Rajorshi Ghosh @ Arc Gallery ADDED 1/17
Sunday, January 4 – Saturday, January 28

The River North gallery presents an exhibition of photography and video by Ghosh and Ray Klimek. “The works in the show explore the historical and imaginative elements of residual landscapes. The images observe ‘landscapes’ focusing on the complex historical traditions and cultural assumptions that shape their perception. While Klimek’s photographs examine former mining sites of N.E. Pennsylvania, Ghosh’s videos and installations reconsider familiar landscapes as sites that blur the complex history of a ‘place’ with its multi-layered present.”


Velcheru Narayana Rao @ University of Chicago
Thursday, January 5 @ 4:30pm

The Emory University professor of South Asian Studies is the first speaker of the year for U of C’s South Asia Seminar Series. He taught Telugu and Indian literature for 38 years at University of Wisconsin-Madison and has written more than 15 books on these topics.

V. Narayana Rao


Monica Ringer @ University of Chicago ADDED 1/4
Friday, January 6 @ 4:30pm

The university’s Middle East History and Theory Workshop presents Monica Ringer, Associate Professor of History and Asian Languages and Civilizations at Amherst College, for a talk called “Pious Citizens: theological origins of modernity in India and Iran.”


Chandrika Marla @ Mars Gallery ADDED 1/4
Friday, January 6 – Wednesday, February 1

The West Loop gallery hosts an opening reception the evening of Jan. 6 for Marla’s new show “Social Skin.” From the artist: “My paintings discuss relationships, where fabric bodices represent people. The human form is redundant, and the collaged fabrics can talk and think. Through these forms I portray our outer personas leading their superficial lives. I grew up in New Delhi, surrounded by old buildings and monuments from centuries ago. You see them here in the backgrounds I create, the scribbled-upon walls of my ancient playgrounds.”

Chandrika Marla - Social Skin

NAPAWF Reproductive Justice Community Conversation @ UIC
Saturday, January 7 @ 2:30pm

The Chicago chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum hosts a community forum on reproductive rights for APIA women and girls. Open to all. Co-sponsored by Chicago Foundation for Women’s Asian American Leadership Council and Invisible to Invincible: API Pride of Chicago.



SaunJuhi Verma @ University of Chicago
Thursday, January 12 @ 4:30pm

The U of C sociology PhD candidate specializing in migration/labor studies, sociology of law, and social theory speaks as part of the school’s Theory and Practice in South Asia series.

SaunJuhi Verma


Works by Sonali Gulati @ Chicago Filmmakers ADDED 1/14
Saturday, January 14 @ 8:00pm

Chicago Filmmakers’ Dyke Delicious Season 9 kicks off with an evening of shorts by South Asian, lesbian, feminist filmmaker Sonali Gulati. Most recently known for her outstanding documentary I Am, Gulati will screen a collection of shorts and join the event via Skype for a virtual Q&A.

Sonali Gulati - Sum Total


Today Like a Kind of Shivering @ Prop Thtr ADDED 1/17
Saturday, January 14 – Sunday, February 12

Written by Curious Theatre Branch’s Jayita Bhattacharya, this Rhinofest piece is billed as “a fairy tale of corrosive unacceptability for two women. And man.”

today like a kind of shivering


Stephen P. Cohen @ Chicago Club
Tuesday, January 17 @ 12:00pm

The Brookings Institution senior fellow (and my former South Asia politics professor at the University of Illinois) discusses “Pakistan: A Continuing Crisis, An Uncertain Future” for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Stephen Cohen


The Paintings of Rabindranath Tagore @ Art Institute ADDED 1/3
Saturday, January 18 – Sunday, April 15

The Art Institute celebrates Tagore’s 150th birthday by bringing “The Last Harvest: The Paintings of Rabindranath Tagore” to Chicago. Co-organized by the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, and the Ministry of Culture of the Government of India, this is the first major traveling exhibition from India to be exhibited at the Art Institute.

Rabindranath Tagore painting


Arupjyoti Saikia @ University of Chicago
Thursday, January 19 @ 4:30pm

Saikia, a visiting scholar in Agrarian Studies at Yale, speaks in the school’s South Asia Seminar Series. He is an associate professor of History at the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, and is the author of the forthcoming A History of Rural Politics: Assam 1940-1980.

Arupjyoti Saikia


South Asians for Justice Meeting @ Panera UPDATED 1/20
Friday, January 20 @ 6:00pm

The radical grassroots organization hosts an information session for a new Chicago chapter.


Roy Fischel @ University of Chicago
Thursday, January 26 @ 4:30pm

U of C’s Theory and Practice in South Asia graduate student workshop presents Fischel, a PhD candidate in its South Asian Languages and Civilizations program, for its speaker series.


Subcontinental Drift @ The Joynt ADDED 1/17
Thursday, January 26 @ 7:30pm

Celebrate India’s Republic Day at the city’s only regular South Asian open mic.


Jai Ho Retro! @ Big Chicks ADDED 1/17
Friday, January 27 @ 10:00pm

Trikone-Chicago’s bimonthly fundraiser is back with a groovy retro theme! Get your groove on while DJ Erik Roldan spins the sexiest Bollywood sounds.

Jai Ho Retro



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