Skip to content

Voices of Resistance

The South Asian Progressive Action Collective
in partnership with Marwen
is proud to present


SAPAC Voices of Resistance 10 flyer


Voices of Resistance 10: REVISION

at Marwen, 833 N. Orleans St., Chicago

  • Visual Art Exhibition

Friday, September 30 – Saturday, October 22, 2011
Opening reception: September 30, 5:00-7:00pm
Admission: FREE (no ticket required)

  • Performance

Saturday, October 15, 2011
Admission: $10 advance / $15 at the door (18 & under FREE)

Voices of Resistance (VOR) features performance and visual art dedicated to social justice and the illumination of progressive artistic perspectives on South Asian issues. As we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11, this 10th annual VOR reflects on an event that drastically impacted the South Asian community and was the impetus for the creation of VOR.

The program highlights original work by Chicago-based performance and visual artists. The works, developed over a 3-month period of artist workshops and dialogues, address a range of issues including nationalism and belonging in America, conflict in South Asia, Islamaphobia/xenophobia in the United States, and personal hopes for creating a more just and accepting society.


Anjal Chande engages the public with encounters with bharatanatyam. Chande seeks to create work that speaks to the current times and a diverse locality by bringing together choreography, ideas, and music in her performances. She is a second generation Indian-American. As a choreographer, musician, composer, writer, thinker, entrepreneur, and educator, Chande is the founder and director of Soham Dance Space, which offers instruction in bharatanatyam dance to adults and children in Chicago and Palos Park.

Sabba Syal Elahi’s artwork explores family, community, and social narratives of loss, reclamation, and negotiation and their tension at political moments of change. Elahi received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her art has been featured nationally at ArtWallah, internationally in Spain and Pakistan, various Chicago venues including the Chicago Cultural Center, and virtually through the International Museum of Women (IMOW). Elahi joined the Marwen staff in the fall of 2009 as Coordinator of College and Career Programs. This is her third year as a VOR committee member.

Ravi Grover has a degree in Human Computer Interaction and is a student and an employee of DePaul University. Grover volunteers with India-based non-profit Save A Mother and runs a blog on Hindu-Muslim unity called Dharma Deen Alliance, which focuses on communal harmony.

Savera Iftikhar received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has been a guest presenter at Soul Space and been invited as an arts panelist at the University of Illinois. She has displayed work at the Emory University Art Gala, The Nawawi Foundation Eid Luncheon, The Open Shutter Project at Northwestern University, and various events at the Inner-City Muslim Action Network. She has photographed many prominent individuals including Hamza Yusuf, Dr. Umar Farooq Abd Allah, Zaid Shakir, Amir Sulaiman, Brother Ali, The ReMINDers, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Lupe Fiasco, Mos Def, K’naan, and Outlandish. Her newest endeavor has been textiles, where she uses various goods she crochets as an opportunity to raise funds for donation to various charities.

Kareem Khubchandani is a performance artist and PhD student in Chicago. His creative and academic works focus on the transnational exchanges of material objects, cultural practices, feelings, emotions, and ideologies fostered by queer South Asians. In Chicago, he has worked closely with and/or performed at Rasaka Theatre, 2nd Story, Homolatte, About Face Theatre, Northwestern’s Queer Pride Graduate Student Association, and Trikone-Chicago.

Nazafarin Lotfi was born in 1984 in Iran. She grew up with the feelings of insecurity, lack of freedom, and always wanting to be somewhere else. She studied Industrial Design at the University of Tehran and moved to Chicago in 2008 to start a new life. She is a recent graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she received her MFA in Painting and Drawing. Her work is inspired by personal experiences and presents an uncertainty to position her within the work and within the world. She uses architectural elements as metaphors for belonging and not belonging to place.

Chee Malabar is one half of the hip hop outfit Himalayan Project and Oblique Brown. Firmly planted in the American experience, his music speaks on the immigrant experience, love, relationships, politics, and art. Having released “Wince At The Sun” with Himalayan Project in 2003, Chee most recently released the eponymous LP “Oblique Brown” and an EP entitled “Dust” with long time collaborator Zeeb. Most recently, he is at work on an album with State Island native Ali Abidi. The album, ‘Burning Tire Artisan’ is an amalgam of the personal and the political. The full length will be released in the fall of 2011.

Hilesh Patel is an artist and educator working in Chicago. His artwork encompasses ink and pencil drawing, text, graffiti, stenciling in exploring themes of borders, boundaries, colonialism and its after-effects, and neighborhood identities. He has been a Teaching Artist since 2004 and is currently Program Associate at Chicago Arts Partnerships In Education (CAPE). He has shown work and performed at the Empty Bottle, Museum of Contemporary Art, Marwen, Open End Gallery, and Chicago Art Department to name a few.

Murassa Qazi has an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA in Textile Design from the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan. As a graduate student, she was a recipient of Incentive Merit Scholarship and at the National College of Arts. She has shown her work in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Base Space Gallery and Sullivan Galleries, and in various group shows in Chicago including Chicago Artist’s Coalition’s Chicago Art Open Show, University of Chicago’s Department of Visual Arts’ Juried Annual Group Show, and the Chicago Cultural Center. Qazi was also an artist in resident at Ragdale Foundation.

Niema Qureshi’s artwork addresses colonial experiences from the perspective of family history, integrating the experience of immigration and the idea of home. Qureshi has exhibited her mixed media work in the US as well as the UK. Niema was born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. She grew up in England and studied at Oxford Brookes University where she completed a Bachelors Degree with Honors in Visual Studies. She then went on to complete a Masters Degree in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London. After moving to the United States, Qureshi worked as a Museum educator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Terra Museum of American Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. Qureshi currently teaches sculpture courses to 6-8 graders and teacher workshops at Marwen.

Namratha Rajagopal grew up in Saudi Arabia and has been a music lover since childhood. She has formally trained in Carnatic music for over 12 years and aspires to become a full fledged musician in the near future. Rajagopal also plays the Spanish guitar and has performed Carnatic music as well as a fusion of Indian-Western music.

Ahalya Satkunaratnam is both a dance scholar and dancer. She received her PhD in Critical Dance Studies from the Department of Dance at University of California, Riverside in 2009 and is now a lecturer in Women’s Studies and Political Science at Northeastern Illinois University. Trained in Bharata Natyam dance under Hema Rajagopalan of Natya Dance Theatre, Satkunaratnam continues to choreograph and perform nationally and internationally. Her research interests include transnational feminist practice and women’s resistance to war and nationalism in Sri Lanka. This is her second year as a VOR committee member.



Can’t wait for VOR10? Check out photos, videos, and more from Voices of Resistance 9: Fair & Lovely!