Sarah Kazmi (b.1990 Pakistan) lives and works in Oslo and Karachi. She is an interdisciplinary artist and a writer whose artistic practice moves across research and visual production, observing the relationship between food, language and politics. She works with the medium of writing where her texts are visual, rhythmic and performative; often conveyed through a variety of disciplines, which includes sound pieces, video, installations and performance.
Projects that she is currently working on are “Cooking time?”, together with a collection of poems titled “et bilde I et bilde” (a picture within a picture) to be published in the winter of 2024. Some of these poems will be recited at Literature House in December, 2023.
She is currently working on her long-term research project titled The Abandoned Mansions of Pakistan, that focuses on the Pakistani diaspora in Norway, specifically in Oslo where most of this community lives. Touching on diasporic dreams around nostalgia and consumption, this research emerges out of archival and counter-archival processes and takes shape in the form of architectural drawings, photo-based installations and public programming. This long-term project is explored through three interconnected chapters:
Sweet Dreams (2022), Cooking, time? (2023-2024), and Visnings (2024).
The first chapter, Sweet Dreams, unpacked the relationship between migration and dreams, and was curated by Malika Abbas at AAN Art Space & Museum, premiered in Karachi in October 2022.
Cooking, time? is the second chapter, curated by Oslo-based curator Noor Bhangu at Intercultural Museum in the spring of 2024. It enters the history of Pakistani migration through food, language, labor, and time; focusing on the cultural identities of both Pakistani migrants to Norway and the Norwegians that’s received them. The project aims to counter the coloniality of official history and archives through language, texts and poetics through various formats including digital, print, spoken word and sound.
It will comprise of audio-visual installations, a website, and a public program to activate and disseminate the archives collected. Here, Kazmi is using these archival materials in her installation and performance to offer alternative approaches to the past in order to craft a more inclusive future. Through these works, she is complicating the ways in which history has been recorded about the migration of Pakistanis in Norway; asking questions around who gets represented in official archives, and what are the ways of bringing in diverse knowledge keepers, such as community members, to the recording and re-coding of history? Alongside the exhibition, the public program will include lectures, a food tour, translation workshops, and community-oriented dialogues. Rooted in themes of migration, race, and diaspora, we will develop necessary encounters between diverse publics in Norway and Pakistan.
Alongside her artistic practice, Kazmi does policy advocacy for Verdensrommet; an artist-powered mutual support network by/for immigrant artists based in Norway. They work at the intersection of immigration, labor and mutual aid, encouraging new imaginations of the future of cultural work.
Kazmi has been selected as a fellow at RAW Académie Session 8 entitled Tour de Table in Dakar, Senegal in 2021. Recently she was selected as an artist in residence at Photo Ktm with Jatayu Vulture Restaurant & Bird Conservation, Kawasoti, Nepal, in 2023. She has also served on the editorial board for HUMAN International Documentary Film Festival from 2021-2022.