#ELLEvate

5 South Asian artists who're tackling culture, politics, gender and nostalgia

Through the medium of art

Five South Asian New-York based artists revisit their roots and discuss influences, inspirations and their practice. Growing up between cultures — her father is Lebanese and her father is Afghani — artist, writer, activist and scholar Mariam Ghani often felt that the place with which she identified most was the border — and that is still where a lot of her work stems from. Her friend and collaborator Chitra Ganesh, counts her key influences in literature, posters, comics, album covers, textile prints and street art. "I tell stories with an emphasis on entanglement and visual pleasure — those that push the boundaries of gender and power representations."  This boundary-breaking narrative can be found in the work of Pakistani artist Shahzia Sikander, who says, "With the crisis around religion and nationalism, art can confront hierarchies through intellectual freedom and imagination."

In conversation with Sana Rezwan Sait, these luminaries talk about art, politics, heritage, gender, nostalgia and what the future holds.

Photographs: Julien Capmeil, Styling: Rahul Vijay

Hair: Laura Deleon/Joe Management;

Make-Up: Christina Reyna/Ray Brown;

Props Stylist: Nicole Heffron;

Production: Isabel Scharenberg;

Assisted By: Divya Gursahani and Mridu Gupta (Styling)