Dr. Rajashree Biswal, an art historian, curator and researcher from Odisha, India, is currently in the United States continuing her Fulbright-Nehru postdoctoral research in visual studies at UC San Diego under Prof. Grant Kester.
The art historian is doing a comparative study of contemporary community-based art in the U.S. and India and probing how different community-based art projects have engaged with the idea of community, participation and democracy in a creative way, according to a press release.
Biswal is of the belief that contemporary art can address and engage with the intricate and multifaceted issues of life in the contemporary globalizing world. This conviction impelled her to venture into multifarious activities related to visual arts like research, publication, curatorial engagement as well as art education since last 18 years. Her strong research interest has been recognized through various prestigious awards and fellowships and she has extensively published in national and international journals, books and art magazines.
Biswal has also edited the art magazine Art Fair, and has a book coming out titled, Politics and Aesthetics of Contemporary Community Based Art in India in the Post 1990s.
Biswal has also co-initiated New Bridge India, a cultural initiative with Birendra Pani to address the gap between different systems, institutions and community to create a new form of cultural awareness through art.
Presently, she is exploring Chicano Park in San Diego, which she says is an extremely significant cultural site of struggle reclaiming the identity, history, memory as well as the dignified life of the Chicano community in the U.S. She is also exploring the interventionist public and community-based art by various artists and cultural initiatives in the U.S. to develop a comparative perspective with the practice of art in India.