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South Asian Network For The Arts (SANA)

While catalysing a vibrant art-community in India, Khoj with the support of the Ford Foundation developed the South Asia Network for the Arts (SANA). SANA harnesses the group energies of Khoj (India), Theertha (Sri Lanka), Vasl (Pakistan), and the Britto Art Trust (Bangladesh), all alternative art initiatives, to work towards creating a collegiality and cooperation.

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About this programme

In 2004, Khoj, was instrumental in setting up a network for the arts within South Asia, to connect artists involved in experimental and dynamic art within the region. An intrinsic part of the global Triangle Arts Trust, the organisations which comprise South Asian Network for Arts (SANA) are Vasl in Karachi, Theertha in Colombo, Britto in Dhaka and Khoj in Delhi. Each organisation has made a significant contribution not only across its borders but also within its local context.

For six crucial years from 2004 to 2011, the Ford Foundation provided much needed financial stability to the newly formed artist-run initiatives within SANA. A mobility fund allowed over 100 artists to participate in workshops, residencies and projects within the region. A digital network connected the region and an annual meeting, the venue for which was hosted by different member groups, provided the network with the opportunity to brainstorm and ideate; to share their successes and challenges and set goals for greater interaction thereby building a much needed supportive structure for contemporary art in the region, where none existed before.

With SANA in place, the organisations found their own peer community within a regional/international setting that understood their anxieties, frustrations and aspirations and which in a way was being misunderstood in its own country. Its art found endorsement and appreciation within these groups. With eruptive geo-politics and developmental anomalies sweeping across South Asia, most of the experiences of groups within SANA had similar bearings. Art that was produced by them engaged in parallel themes and approaches.




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