Articles and Long Reads


“Sacred Hunger: The Cinema of Jamil Dehlavi” Sight and Sound Magazine, August 2018


Diverse Documents: Surrealism, Anthropology, and Michel Leiris,” Frieze Masters 2016.

Fig 5. Pakistani Pashto Cassette Cover - Nazia Iqbal. Collection of the author..jpg

Capacious Tapes: Cassettes as Intangible Cultural Heritage – ArtPapers March/April 2016

At the end of the 20th century, audiocassettes revolutionized both the solitary and social consumption of music. Through personal Walkmans and ghetto blasters, cassettes layered the ambient sounds of everyday life with a diverse backdrop of aural signs…

Fig 1. Manazil bela abwab | Houses without Doors

Syria’s Armenians: A Nation Within a Nation, Frieze, March 2016

The psycho-geography of Aleppo as seen in Avo Kaprealian’s film, Houses Without Doors

Fig. 6. Saat Lakh.gif

The Circulatory Dynamics of Pirate Cinema, Rhizome, March 2016

The act of restoration through rehabilitation is experienced through tactile engagement with the film copy. By using a notion of grain and noise to help map a historical continuity that transcends the media of moving image transfer, this essay will discuss the materiality of mass reproduction and dissemination, and the cultural spaces, dynamics, and trajectories that they generate.

Basim Magdy, A Sign For Remembrance (2011)

Review: Project Biennial of Contemporary Art at D-0 ARK Underground, Konijc, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Fig 4. Shilpa Gupta, 998.9, 2015, Performance and Installation View, photo Mark Blower

Review: The Pavilions of India and Pakistan at the 56th Venice Biennale, July/August 2015

Fig4. South Asian Lenticular Print of Kaaba

The Visual Archive of Devotion and Taboo– Rhizome June 2015

In 1995, a puzzle company produced a 1038 piece architectural model of the Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, the expansive complex that contains the Kaaba. Upon delivery of 17,000 copies to Saudi Arabia, the construction toy was deemed idolatrous and the shipment destroyed….

Fig. 1 Shalimar Productions Sample of Quality 1

Migratory Surfaces: An Informal Visual Economy and the Repair of the Colonial Archive, Afterimage Vol. 42, no.6

An incident in the life of Elihu Yale comes to mind when surveying the pervasive discourse assailing media piracy, the mobility of people and labor, and the lingering stranglehold of imperial power. On one occasion, Yale, a notable governor of the East India Company in the late seventeenth century and benefactor of the eponymous American university, wanted to hang his manservant for leaving his services but, as English law did not allow for such a punishment, he had him tried for piracy instead. The man was hanged….

Fig 10 Haunted

The Shadow Economies of Being Seen Determining the Axis of the Global South and Middle East, April 30, 2015, Ibraaz

I explore the interrelated points of departure and arrival that delineate the axis of the Global South and Middle East, taking into account the ever-shifting populations on which these terms are imposed.


Publication: The Black Market Archive – chapter in Dissonant Archives: Contemporary Visual Culture and Contested Narratives in the Middle East Edited by Anthony Downey (IB Tauris, 2015)

Featuring writing, interviews and original art work – reproduced in full-colour – by internationally renowned academics, curators, activists, filmmakers and artists, Dissonant Archives: Contemporary Visual Culture and Contested Narratives in the Middle East asks a crucial series of questions: How do we define the ongoing relationship between contemporary art and the archive? How do we understand the suppositional forms of knowledge that are being produced in contemporary art practices in North Africa and the Middle East? Do these practices foster a nostalgic fetishization for the archive or suggest an ongoing crisis in institutional and state-ordained archiving? And what, moreover, do artistic practices that engage with archives reveal about the politics of global cultural production?

Fig. 6 Zama Badal (Dir. Sana Ullah Khan Gandapur, 1972)

On Informality and Nomadism – ArtPapers March/April 2015

Torrent sites enable users to upload and download large files on the Internet to and from other users, rather than a central server; in Pakistan, where the products of visual culture have yet to be institutionally catalogued, these informal online resources are valuable libraries. Multiply copied, re-subtitled, and redistributed, the films of a century of Pakistani cinema are recorded and traded within a community-maintained black market archive, its aesthetic vocabulary marked with signs of the artifact’s struggle out of empire, and into nomadic circulation.

Welcome to Containerstan: how the shipping container took over the world – New Statesman Feb 2015

The ubiquitous unit of global commerce has infiltrated every sphere of modern life – whether as a means of trafficking, a symbol of gentrification, or a part of political protest.

Arab migrants face a new Sykes-Picot in Calais – Open Democracy July 2014

The latest raid on camps in Calais is an example of Europe continuing to strengthen border controls and crack down on migrants. But violence and coercion will not deter those who are determined to reach a safe haven at any cost.

The hypocrisy of R2P: Libyan atheist faces deportation from UK amid death-threats from jihadist militia – Open Democracy June 2014

The UK government has not just failed to support Libya’s transition to democracy; they have betrayed Zakyra El Shebani and his contribution to his own nation’s constitutional moment.

Destruction Ceremonies as 21st Century Book Burning – Rhizome June 2014

Surely the irony wasn’t lost on Maulana Fazlullah when he took to his FM channel to tell his supporters to burn their radios. But Radio Mullah—as he fast became known—was just preaching on his shortwave what the incumbent Islamist government had set in motion on the streets of the frontier province…

Big Data and the Dark Art of Dispossession AC-15 05. December 2013

This summer, years of anger against police brutality, gentrification, and evictions – all in the name of urban regeneration – reached boiling point in a series of Twitter-aided mass demonstrations across Turkey. Following this, the 13th Istanbul Biennial, titled Mom, Am I Barbarian? aimed to explore the symbolic territory where digital social lives and street politics intersect, featuring works that question what place ‘Big Data’ has in the culture of protest.

Why Is the Khaleeji Hijab So Controversial? Vice Magazine – 11/09/13

It’s all about perspective. The Khaleeji hijab is a challenge to the social code. Wearing a hijab says a lot of things; it identifies the wearer as one who conforms to the rules of modesty and celibacy instructed by her faith – it’s a cultural expression of a religious necessity. But it’s also something that’s open to interpretation in how it’s worn, depending on the cultural context that it’s being worn in

The Work of Art in the Age of its Notarised Reproducibility – AC-14 04. September 2013

Collecting art relies on tangibility, the ability to hold, exhibit, and possess a cultural artefact. Performance and immaterial art is an exception to that rule. Usually documented in the form of visual mementos, a paradigm shift in the way museums and collectors conserve and trade intangible art works raises questions of authorship, ownership, and collecting.

Exercises in Style – AC-14 Art Collector Mag 04. September 2013

Emerging from the flamboyant world of Pop Art and the cinema-infused street politics of the May 1968 students’ demonstrations, the Punk phenomenon in London and New York initiated the slow evolution from street fashion and performance art to the MTV generation. In this spirit the V&A Museum in London’s summer fashion exhibition Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s explores the unbridled creativity of ‘80s London.

Turkey’s Sociable Unrest – Your Middle East

The revolutionary promenaders of Taksim Square, Gezi Park and İstiklâl Caddesi are not engaged in a battle for control, they are instead mapping a symbolic territory where social life and street politics intersect.

Falling Out of Ruin AC-13 Art Collector Mag 05. June 2013

An institutional collaboration between London and Lima blurs the boundaries between archaeology and fiction, presenting a range of contemporary artefacts and obsolete technologies as contemporary urban ruins.

A Guide to the Cost of Everything and the Value of Nothing – Art Collector Mag AC-13 05. June 2013

Public and outdoor art features prominently at this year’s ArtBasel. But after the controversy surrounding the hijacking of street art for auction, can artwork like Banksy’s make the leap from the street to the gallery?

It Was Definitely Murder – But Was It Art? – Art Collector Mag AC-12 13. March 2013

Musical icon and popular art iconoclast David Bowie’s surprise return coincides with the first major retrospective of his life and works in an exhibition in London’s V&A Museum. Bowie’s forays into the world of contemporary art have been as frequent and varied as his character incarnations, yet the design-focused institution hopes to dismiss claims of celebrity-worship in their curatorial approach in favour of a reinterpretation of the singer as a major interdisciplinary artistic force.

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