Event — IIAS lecture

Off-Centre epistemology and methodologies through site-responsive creative discourses

A talk by Sadya Mizan, followed by a discussion chaired by Dr Sanjukta Sunderason (University of Amsterdam), with Dr Lotte Hoek (University of Edinburgh) as discussant.

This event will take place from 16:30 to 17:30 Amsterdam Time (CEST) in the conference room of IIAS in Leiden.

Everyone is welcome, but please note that seats are limited. Seats will be given in order of the time of registration.

This event is supported by the British Academy and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Talk

Community inclusive and responsive art practices are getting almost at the center of interest in the art world now-a-days, yet they continue to be positioned as the Off-Centre practices. We need better understanding of the “off” about the “Centre”, how we are defining the ‘Centre’ in contemporary time and why. That might lead us to a new dimension about the community engaging in creative practices and its importance. Such practices contribute alternative efficient methodologies to explore social history and cultural heritage critically. The outcome of these creative critical discourses are valuable resources immune from the historical norms. 

Through the lens of her long-term project Uronto Artists community, its activities and the organic methodologies of responding to community narratives through multidisciplinary artistic tools, Sady Mizan is looking forward to having a collective discussion around the understanding and adaptation of site-responsive creative interventions in order to motivate responsible and exciting art expressions. Also, she will briefly expand the discussion on art as a tool for alternative archive, mental healing and activism through some of her recent affiliations like the Rohingya Cultural Memory Centre and Art of Impact. 

The Speaker

Sadya Mizan is an independent curator, researcher and creative consultant. She has a multidisciplinary practice through the lens of artist-led initiatives, decentralized community-based art intervention, museum consultancy and curatorial partnerships. Her curatorial expertise is in facilitating decentralized platforms to identify cultural heritage, reconnect and archive cultural narratives, reflect contemporary social realities and inspire community-inclusive site-responsive artistic expressions. Uronto Artist Community is one of her pioneering initiatives since 2012, an artist-led open-collective doing story telling through art and upholding social responsibilities. Since 2018, she is the founding trustee of Art Initiative Bangladesh which empowers art infrastructure through alternative research and resources. Currently she is affiliated as an artist facilitator with the Rohingya Cultural Memory Centre-under the UN-IOM, a community-run museum located in Rohingya Refugee camp, to identify Rohingya cultural heritage through their talent, memories and creative skills. Sadya is a mentor to the Rickshaw Art Project in the new South Asian Gallery of Manchester Museum. Furthermore, a curatorial partner in the Our Shared Cultural Heritage project by British Council to connect youth with cultural heritage and museums. Sadya has been a contributing researcher for Asia Art Archive-Delhi and a fellow at the Art Think South Asia-India, the Autumn School of curating in Romania-2020, the EDI Global forum fellowship in Naples 2022 etc. She mentors in diverse academic courses introducing inclusive creative methodologies in South Africa, Bulgeria, Hongkong and India. Her research on art infrastructure, art activism to represent voices of minor community and contemporary art archiving tendencies contribute in shaping future references of art history.


Everyone is welcome, but we kindly ask you to register via the web form on this page. Please note that seats are limited. In case capacity is exceeded, registered attendees take precedence.

Sadya Mizan (speaker) with art work by artist Manir Mrittik

Supported by the British Academy and the University of Edinburgh, Schotland