The Sahmat Collective: Art and Activism in India since 1989

Founded in 1989, the influential Delhi-based organization Sahmat has offered a platform for artists, writers, poets, musicians, and actors to create and present works that promote artistic freedom and secular, egalitarian values. A companion to an exhibition of the same name at the Smart Museum of Art, this book explores the contemporary art scene in Delhi while meditating on the power of art as a tool for social change.

The Sahmat Collective documents the history of the organization through a series of case studies, each presenting new scholarship, vivid images, reprints of original articles, essays, and interviews with the artists and organizers of each project. Situating the collective within not only the political sphere in India, but also contemporary art trends from around the world, this beautifully illustrated volume offers both critical essays on the art produced by Sahmat and texts on the political, social, and artistic climate in India.


By Jessica Moss and Ram Rahman, with contributions from Prabhat Patnaik, Madan Gopal Singh, William Mazzarella, Geeta Kapur, Karin Zitzewitz, and Rebecca Zorach.

Publication date

February 2013


Paper, 300 pages, 420 color plates, 11 x 9.5"



Purchase this catalogue

Available for $40 online from the University of Chicago Press or in person at the Smart Museum Shop.