Jasmine Chohan

PhD Student; Associate Lecturer

Thesis: La Bienal de la Habana: The Rise of the Collateral.

Supervised by Prof. Julian Stallabrass

Funded by Michael Heller and The Joseph & Esther Lichtenstein Scholarship

Having completed my Undergraduate and MA at the Courtauld, I pursued my PhD with Professor Julian Stallabrass focusing on contemporary Cuban art.

My thesis explores the Bienal de la Habana through a contemporary art historical study. This is a major bi/triennial event, which focuses on “Third World” art. My research looks at the rise of the collateral exhibitions around the Bienal de la Habana, while analysing the way in which the Bienal de la Habana interacts and responds to the city and its inhabitants. This then furthers my understanding of how the uninvited Cuban artists were integrated into the Biennial. The thesis analyses the relationship between the invited and uninvited participants, placing this into a wider discussion of how the local fits into the global. This will be done through a comparative study of biennial discourse and mainstream media’s coverage of both groups of participants. My focus on a “Third World” art event has encouraged me to explore art from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

More recently I have been researching the role of British Black and Asian artists in the Bienal de la Habana, which led me to explore the history of British Diaspora artists in Britain. As a result, that led to me forming part of the founding team of the 1989 Collective which works closely with the Panchayat Special Collection at the Tate. Through conferences and publications, the group aims to explore the art history of British Diaspora artists from 1989 onwards.


  • BA Art History- Courtauld Institute of Art
  • MA Art History- Aestheticising Politics: The Globalisation of Contemporary Art, Professor Julian Stallabrass- Merit Thesis: The Havana Biennial: Changing Agendas- Distinction/Publication

Research Interests

  • Contemporary art history
  • Latin American art history
  • Post- Colonial discourse
  • Cuban art history
  • Centre/ Periphery relations.

Recent publications

Conference Papers

  • Revising the Relational in the 12th Havana Biennial, Modern and Contemporary Second Year Courtauld Symposium, Courtauld Institute of Art, 2017.
  • La Bienal de la Habana: From Internationalist to Globalised, Modern and Contemporary Annual Colloquium, Courtauld Institute of Art, 2018.
  • La Bienal de la Habana: From Internationalist to Globalised, LASA Annual Conference, Barcelona, 2018.
  • The “Utopian Biennial”, Cuban Research Forum, University of Nottingham, 2018.

Other academic activity

  • Producer of Afghan artist and official translator of the 12th Havana Biennial.
  • Director of exhibition ‘The ISA Revolution’ to be opened in Havana in June 2016.
  • Director of the Cuban International Art Network (CIAN).
  • Working on Art Tours to Cuba with Cubaism.