Nada Raza

PhD student

Thesis: Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea

Supervised by Dr. Sussan Babaie

Raza is focussing on transcultural connections, particularly between the Gulf and South Asia, given the emergence of the Indian Ocean as a new geographic paradigm within the fields of contemporary art and visual culture. The Sharjah Biennial (UAE) and the Kochi-Muziris biennale (India) are focal points that have invited site and context specific approaches, fostering artistic projects that either attempt to galvanize the maritime as a space of possibility beyond the territorial politics of the land, or point towards historical lacunae in our knowledge of precolonial and early modern cosmopolitanisms. Simultaneously, the nation state constructs and reimagines itself through cultural patrimony, building new museums and funding historical research to align with geopolitical agendas around oceanic trade and security. Tracing one such overlooked instance of syncretism through a close examination of the iconography of a deity closely associated with the Indus river and delta – Jhuley Lal – revered by multiple communities in Sindh, some now resident in the Gulf, she looks at the circulation of visual material through trade, migration, cultural intersection and shifting political alliances.


  • Master of Arts (Distinction) Critical Writing and Curatorial Practice, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, UK

Research interests

  • International art
  • South Asia
  • Middle East
  • Art and politics

Recent publications

  • Editor and lead essay: Bhupen Khakhar: You Can’t Please All Tate Publications, London, UK (2016)
  • The Missing One, exhibition catalogue, Office of Contemporary Art, Norway (2016)