curated with Iona Fergusson
[Peckham 24, Copeland Gallery, London, 10 - 12 September 2021]

[photo credit: Leah Band]
In January 2020, architect, artist and activist Sofia Karim, collaborating with activists worldwide, initiated Turbine Bagh - a joint artists’ movement against fascism and authoritarianism focusing on India and Bangladesh.

“India was in the grip of mass protests sparked by anti-Muslim citizenship laws. The Turbine Bagh movement emerged around a protest we planned for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. The protest was postponed due to COVID-19, but the movement continued.”
Sofia Karim

Turbine Bagh is a UK-based platform for resistance against authoritarianism, fascism and the rise of far-right nationalism in India, Bangladesh and beyond. The name references Shaheen Bagh, the women-led protest in Delhi which was the epicentre of the resistance against India’s hardline right-wing government prior to the COVID-19 lockdown. Led mainly (but not only) by Muslim women, Shaheen Bagh challenged patriarchy but also western stereotypes of the ‘Muslim woman’. It was the largest women-led resistance movement of our time.

This exhibition at Peckham 24 returned to the origins of the Turbine Bagh project, displaying samosa packets printed with images submitted by artists from across India and beyond. The packets depict moments of collective solidarity and mass protest in the face of repression across the globe, alongside urgent calls for the release of political prisoners such as the BK16 in India. Tracing almost two years of action and resistance, it also shows glimmers of hope - packets calling for the release of individuals such as Shafiqul Islam Kajol or Abul Kalam, who have since been released on bail. Others like Umar Khalid remain incarcerated however, and for those on bail charges are pending. This is coupled with the recent mass arrests of activists, intellectuals and students, and the increased normalisation of state violence. The fight continues.

With special thanks to all contributing artists: Abul Kalam, Ali Monis Naqvi, Anish Kapoor, Ashish Kumar Kataria, Dalia Chakma, Deb Choudhuri, Farhin Afza, Finola Inger, Harsha Vadlamani, Ishan Tankha, Javed Sultan, John Trotter, Lokesh Khodke, Lylah Sanderson, Madpaule’, Marcelo Brodsky, Mayank Makhija, Nausheen Khan, Oliver Weeks, Polok Monorom, Rahnuma Ahmed, Ritankar Mazumder, Rob Gerhardt, Rohit Saha, Ronny Sen, Shahidul Alam, Shah Tazrian Ashrafi, Shuchi Kapoor, Sofia Karim, Vijay Prashad.

Curated by Iona Fergusson & Vincent Hasselbach