“I AM AFRAID OF THE AIDS” is a web-gallery curated for Visual AIDS. When approaching the database, I intended to honor the history and memory of BIPOC artists who died of HIV / AIDS-related complications, recognizing their place in the movement. Furthermore, given that the conversation on HIV / AIDS is ongoing and current, I also included artists living with HIV and a community project from South Africa. The latter also demonstrates the importance of addressing HIV / AIDS from a global perspective, particularly taking into account non-Western contexts.

When selecting the artists, I also noticed gaps in the archive, particularly around the representation of and information on BIPOC women, trans, and non-binary artists. Hence, it is important to note that this web gallery is, by no means, a definitive survey of BIPOC artists who died with HIV / AIDS-related complications or are living with HIV / AIDS. Instead, I hope this presentation becomes an invitation to expand BIPOC perspectives on the subject further while working toward a world where no one has to be afraid of "the AIDS."
Virtual exhibition: visualaids.org/gallery/i-am-afraid-of-the-aids

Rotimi Fani-Kayode
Reza Abdoh
Affrekka Jefferson 
Sunil Gupta
Tatiana Mazur
Abdul-Aliy A. Muhammad
Keiskamma Art Project

Making Gender: LGBTIQ2S+ Studio, 2021 - 2022

Over 12 weeks, the Making Gender: LGBTIQ2S+ Studio, a course at OCAD University, Toronto, takes a studio-based approach to look at LGBTIQ2S+ histories, cultures, and subcultures within the context of contemporary art and critical theory. With a particular focus on BIPOC creative practitioners, the students explore the groundbreaking, experimental, and radical strategies that have informed queer art-making. Responding to the course material, the students work toward their individual projects.

Virtual exhibition: makinggender.com

Course led by: Abdullah Qureshi (Winter 2021 & 2022)
Exhibition organising team: Zain Bhanapatel and Andy Chitty

Artists: Grace Bell, Zain Bhanapatel, Tyler Burey, Enzo Chen, Andy Chitty, Alison Clark, Amaaya Dasgupta, Caylen Dort, Yoon Han, Bisma Jay, Yasmine Irani, David King, Lake Kos, Brynn Murphy, Jessica Nummi, Madison Pound, Menelik Powell, Emerald Repard-Denniston, Vanessa Sanginiti, Madelyn Schutz, Ashley Waithe, and Chupei Yu.

Supported by: The Faculty of Art Office, OCAD University and organised in collaboration with the Centre for Feminist Research, York University.

Mythological Migrations: Imagining Queer Muslim Utopias, 2018 — present

Mythological Migrations: Imagining Queer Muslim Utopias examines formations of queer identity and resistance in Muslim migratory contexts. Responding to an urgent need to recognize queer Muslim voices and address the rampant Islamophobia in Europe, the research contextualizes narratives of Muslim LGBTIQ+ immigrants in Islamic history, mythologies, and art. Through artistic and curatorial interventions, the project challenges and re-imagines spaces of exclusion and fetishization.

The project is part of Abdullah Qureshi’s ongoing doctoral studies at Aalto University, Finland, and includes two artistic components, Chapter 1: The Nightclub (2019) and Chapter 2: The Darkroom (2020), and a monograph (forthcoming).

Supervisor and Advisor: Dr. Mira Kallio-Tavin, Aalto University, Finland
Advisor: Jeuno Kim, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Supported by: Kone Foundation, Finland

Chapter 1: The Nightclub

Commissioned by Publics for Today Is Our Tomorrow Festival, Club Kaiku, Helsinki, Chapter 1: The Nightclub is a one-night multidisciplinary exhibit that addresses exclusionary histories in European culture that target immigrants and bodies of colour.

13 September 2019

Photographs courtesy: Aman Askarizad, Kush Badhwar, and Joni Korhonen, 2019

Premiere of Journey to the CharBagh
A film by Abdullah Qureshi, with Danai Anagnostou as Producer, and Directors of Photography: Hadi Rehman and Kerttu Hakkarainen.

Performance by Meera Band
Classical music; covers of Fairuz, Dalida, and Warda Al Jazairia

Where are you from?
A film by Tamara Al-Mashouk

Alif is for Awakening
A performance by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

Chapter 2: The Darkroom

Organized virtually, in collaboration with Gay Sauna Vogue, Helsinki, and Centre for Feminist Research, York University, Toronto, Chapter 2: The Darkroom examines critical views on cruising, erotic spaces, and liberatory sexual practice from queer, Muslim, and BIPOC perspectives

28 – 31 October 2020
The program includes artistic contributions, films, and talks, featuring:

Tamara Al-Mashouk, Morehshin Allahyari, Lina Bembe & Max Disgrace, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Mustafa Boga, Yara El Safi, Sunil Gupta, Jaya Jacobo, Abdi Osman, Blake Paskal, Hadi Rehman, Anthony Rosado, Queering Space x Amani Saeed, Umair Sajid, Begum Taara Shakar, and Derrick Woods-Morrow.

Chapter 2: The Darkroom
Talk Schedule

October 28
16:00 EET; 10:00 EST
Chapter 2: The Darkroom
Abdullah Qureshi
Hosted by the Centre for Feminist Research, York University, Toronto. Co-Sponsored by The School of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies, The Sexuality Studies Program, and School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design

17:00 EET; 11:00 EST
Artist Panel
Queerness Elsewhere

Hadi Rehman, Begum Taara Shakar, and Umair Sajid in conversation with Abdullah Qureshi

18:30 EET; 12:30 EST
Artist Panel
Unraveling and Revealing: Intimate Encounters

Abdi Osman and Yara El Safi in conversation with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Hosted by the Centre for Feminist Research, York University, Toronto. Co-Sponsored by The School of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies, The Sexuality Studies Program, and School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design

October 29
17:00 EET: 11:00 EST
Queering Space x Amani Saeed
Ihsan, a spoken word performance and conversation

18:30 EET: 12:30 EST
Panel Discussion
Much Handled Things Are Always Soft
Derrick Woods-Morrow, Blake Paskal, and Anthony Rosado in conversation with Tamara Al-Mashouk
October 30
17:00 EET: 11:00 EST
Artist Talk
Sun City and Beyond
Sunil Gupta

18:30 EET; 12:30 EST
Panel Discussion
Trans and Femme Perspectives on Art, the Erotic, and Representation

Jaya Jacobo, Lina Bembe & Max Disgrace in conversation with Danai Anagnostou

October 30
17:00 EET; 11:00 EST
Artist Panel
Reversing the Orientalist Gaze

Tamara Al-Mashouk, Mustafa Boga, and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in conversation with Abdullah Qureshi

18:30 EET: 12:30 EST
On process, organization and collaboration

Abdullah Qureshi & Danai Anagnostou in conversation with Mira Kallio-Tavin

Supported by

River in an ocean, 2018

River in an oceana collateral event of Lahore Biennale 01, co-curated by Abdullah Qureshi and Natasha Malik, took place in Lahore from 20 — 31 March 2018.

Borrowing the title from late artist and activist Lala Rukh (1948 — 2017), the exhibition saw the 80s as critical in Pakistan's history. It surveyed the feminist legacy of art and activism in Pakistan. Through an open call process, the works of 27 contemporary artists and collaborators were presented, addressing themes of gender, institutional inequality, traditional roles and spaces assigned for women, and the challenging of heteronormativity through queer perspectives.

The exhibition included a day-long dialogue series, including performances, talks on gender and film with Akifa Mian and Rabia Hassan, and a panel discussion curated by Mehlab Jamil and Sarah Suhail on the state of trans rights in Pakistan.

Artists: Amra Khan, Anushka Rustomji & Zara Asgher, Aziz Sohail, Damon Kowarsky, Faraz Aamer Khan, Farsam Zafar & Waleed Zafar, Fiza Khatri, Haider Ali Akmal, Hilde Krohn Huse, Imran Nafees Siddiqui, Lali Khalid, Maha Ahmed, Malcolm Hutcheson, Mohsin Shafi, Mustafa Boğa, Natasha Jozi, Noor Choudry & Harris Chowdhary, Noor us Saba Saeed, Rabila Kidwai, Rehan Bashir & Gillian Rhodes, Saba Khan, Sarah Mumtaz, Seyhr Qayum, Ujala Hayat, Vidha Saumya, Zahrah Ehsan, and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

View e-catalogue
Photographs courtesy: The Creative Process

Is Saye Kay Parcham Talay, 2015

Is Saye Kay Parcham Talay
(Translation: The Shadow Over our Flag), a project co-curated by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Abdullah Qureshi, involved a series of exhibitions and talks in Lahore and Karachi. Tackling issues of marginalization and minority politics in Pakistan, the project looked at ethnic, religious, and gendered communities.

Starting in Lahore, the inaugural exhibition at Gallery 39K took place from 6 - 18 November 2015, in conjunction with the 6th International THAAP Conference. The presented artworks looked at a broad range of themes, including the Kasur incident (a child abuse scandal), violence against the Shite community, the role of the state and military, and failures of nationalism. Working with Justice Project Pakistan, the exhibition also included paintings by two prisoners on the death row penalty and Bhutto’s Young Street Photographers project, which showcased photographs of 25 children from Karachi’s Neelum and Shah Rasool Colonies.

Artists: Nad-e-Ali, Farida Batool, Mohan Das, Rabi Georges, Aneeq Haider, Ayaz Jokhio, Adnan Ali Manganhar, Ahmed Ali Manganhar, Justice Project Pakistan, Ali Sultan, and Young Street Photographers.

In Karachi, exhibitions and talks took place at:

Jamshed Memorial Hall: Maryam Hasnain and Aysha Bilal.

The Second Floor (T2F): Ali Imani, screening of Chupan Chupai by Saadat, and a talk by Kami Sid.

71 Clifton: Young Street Photographers.

Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture (IVS): Aneeq Haider, Faiza Butt, Farida Batool, Nad-e-Ali, Ahmed Ali Manganhar, Adnan Ali Manganhar, Ayaz Jokhio, Misha Abbas, Mohan Das, Hira Nabi, Samreen Sultan, Sarah Kazmi.