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Three members of the South-South working group present at a conference panel. CICA Artist Roundtable held during WPC 2023 Worlding Tiohtià:ke/Montreal colloque.
Left to right: Amin Rehman, Pansee Atta, and Swapnaa Tamhane

The South-South working group is a collective of researchers whose work intersects with the various geographical regions that make up the “Global South.” The intention is to critically engage with this designation and unfold the many complexities and cultural specificities that make up the broad regions that fall under this rubric.

Emerging from studies in political economy, the concept has increased exponentially since the early 2010s in discussions of international politics, finance, and trade, and consequently news media and popular public culture. Considered as somewhat less hierarchical, Global South is used most as interchangeable with previous terms such as “underdeveloped or developing countries” and “Third World”, as one in a long line of negative Eurocentric adjectives describing so-called backward peripheral nations, many of which were former colonies. Undoubtedly, there are conflicting theories associated with the term Global South.                                              

In their 2011 book Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection, anthropologist Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing understands friction as a metaphor for the diverse and conflicting social interactions that variously construct, imagine, and inhabit this world as one where many worlds fit.South-South aims to rub up against, and in proximity with, various Global South formulations to re-learn ways of being and co-existence in planetary ways.

Taking an interdisciplinary approach, we will consider ways in which diasporic and transnational configurations disrupt geopolitical designations and explore various south-south implications for artistic practices and materiality, interregional coalitions and transnational solidarity activism. We begin our critical exploration by focusing on South Asia and its multiple diasporas formed in community.


  • Alice Ming Wai Jim, Professor, Department of Art History | Concordia University Research Chair in Critical Curatorial Studies and Decolonizing Art Institutions (Faculty of Fine Arts)
  • Gada Mahrouse, Associate Professor, Simone de Beauvoir Institute and Women’s Studies (Faculty of Arts and Sciences)
  • Nalini Mohabir, Associate Professor, Geography, Planning and Environment (Faculty of Arts and Science)

Student coordinator

  • Varda Nisar, 2023 Concordia Public Scholar and PhD Candidate, Department of Art History (Faculty of Fine Arts)

Interested in joining South-South?
Contact Varda at

Amin Rehman, My Father, 2021, Mixed media on paper, 11"x17"

Key questions

  1. How does the “Global South” see, identify, and define itself?
  2. How do we connect with the Global South as both an abstraction and geographical reality to embrace each other's complex colonial/postcolonial histories without being essentialised?
  3. What is the impact of Global South discourses on the cultural production of racialized communities living and working in the Americas? How do these discourses complicate non-Indigenous, non-Black POC identifications?
  4. Is there an alignment of Global South and BIPOC categories? Are they adequate categories to acknowledge the diverse experiences of white supremacy by racialized communities?
  5. How can co-creating knowledge through dialogue, conversations and collaboration counter white supremacy and its associated hegemonic assumptions and discourses?

Group members


  • Natasha Bissonauth, Assistant Professor, Department of Visual Art and Art History, University of York; queer, trans, and feminist contemporary art practices, South Asia and its diasporas, indenture studies, archival work, and material culture.
  • Surabhi Ghosh, Associate Professor, Department of Studio Arts, Concordia University; transmission of cultural identity, nationalist ideology, diasporic people, South Asian immigrants and their descendants in North America.
  • Alice Ming Wai Jim, Professor, Contemporary Art, Department of Art History, Concordia University; art historian and curator of contemporary art; cultural production by BIPOC artists, diasporic art in Canada, contemporary Asian art, ethnocultural and global art histories, critical race theory, media arts, and curatorial studies.
  • Rilla Khaled, Associate Professor, Department of Design and Computation Arts/Director of the Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) Research Centre; Design and Computation Arts; playful media, interactions between games and culture, practices involved in emerging forms of game design.
  • Gada Mahrouse, Associate Professor, Simone de Beauvoir Institute and Women’s Studies (Faculty of Arts and Sciences)
  • Nalini Mohabir, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Planning, and Environment, Concordia University; feminist and postcolonial migration geographies, gender and racial justice. 
  • Balbir K. Singh, Assistant Professor, Art and Racial Justice, Department of Art History, Concordia University; racial, gendered, and sexual politics of embodiment, Asian and Arab diasporic cultural studies; race, affect, and aesthetics; visual culture and surveillance studies; the politics of fashion and the body.
  • Kanwal Syed, Assistant Professor, Art History, American University, Dubai; art historian, critical art histories, contemporary South Asian art and non-western Feminist Art, Global Art Histories.
  • Jaret Vadera, Assistant Professor in Intersectional, Feminist, and Decolonial 2D and 4D Image-Making Practices, Studio Art; transdisciplinarity, glitch, rupture, parallel ways of seeing.



  • Priscilla Jolly, PhD Candidate, Department of English, Concordia University; researcher, tropicality, invasion, contamination, alien, postcolonial.
  • Julie Alary Lavallée, PhD Candidate, Art History, Concordia; contemporary Indian Art; exhibition studies.
  • Varda Nisar, PhD Candidate, Art History, Concordia; museums, South Asia, art education, pedagogy, global souths.
  • Aman Sandhu PhD (research-creation) student in the Humanities at Concordia; decentering whiteness in artistic practice, place of refusal.
  • Alexandra Tsay, PhD Student, Department of Art History, Concordia University; curator and researcher, contemporary art, Central Asia, aesthetic autonomy, global art history.
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