Sara Raza was selected by a committee of esteemed experts in the region as Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Middle East and North Africa. As a part of her two-year residency at the Guggenheim in New York, Raza is curating the third phase of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative. Born in London in 1979, she earned her MA in Art History and Theory from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Royal College of Art.
Raza has curated and co-curated several international exhibitions and projects for biennials and festivals, including Collateral Events at the 55th Venice Biennale (2014); Ergin Cavusoglu’s Middle Eastern debut exhibition at The Pavilion Downtown Dubai (2011); the Central Asian Salon for the 6th Tashkent Biennial at the Art Gallery of Uzbekistan (2011); Shezad Dawood’s first North American solo exhibition at the Plug In ICA, Winnipeg (2010); Practices of Everyday Life, New Image Making in the Middle East and Cult of Personality: Erbossyn Meldibekov and Sophia Tabatadze at ShContemporary, Shanghai (both 2008); and the 2nd Bishkek International: In the Shadow of Fallen Heroes at the Bishkek Historical Museum and Alto Square, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (2005). Raza has also organized exhibitions at institutions including the Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah; The Pavilion, Dubai; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; and Alaan Artspace, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia among others. Previously she was Curator of Public Programs at Tate Modern (2006–08).
Raza has lectured and participated in panels at Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM), Karlsruhe (2004); Brown University, Providence; San Jose State University; Bishkek Historical Museum, Kyrgyzstan (all 2005); Queen Mary University, London; Westminster University, London (both 2006); Sharjah Biennial (2009); ICA, London (2009); National Museum of Uzbekistan (2011); Sotheby’s Institute in London (2012–13); Institute de Monde Arabe, Paris; American University of Sharjah (both 2013); and Casa Arabe, Madrid (2014), among others.
Raza is Head of Education at Yarat Contemporary Art Space, Baku, Azerbaijan and was previously an educational advisor to Edge of Arabia’s CULTURUNNERS US tour (2013–14). She was a jury member for the 2014 Akbank Contemporary Turkish Artists’ Prize, for which she also curated the shortlist exhibition (2014), and has previously been a nominator for the Jameel Art Prize of the Victoria and Albert Museum (2012 and 2015), and for the Future Generation Prize of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation (2014). Sara Raza writes for numerous publications and is the longstanding desk editor for West and Central Asia ofArtAsiaPacificmagazine. She is the author of Punk Orientalism: Central Asia’s Contemporary Art Revolution, which will be published in the winter of 2015 by Black Dog Publishing, London.
She can be found online at sararaza.com and on Instagram at@punkorientalism.