writer, researcher, editor

— stories, art history, sci-fi, grief, feminist histories, trees, rebels, publishing

Saira Ansari is an independent writer, researcher and editor who employs creative non-fiction to think about art practice and criticism, feminist histories, gardens, grief, science fiction, and South Asia and its real and imagined peripheries.

As an editor, Ansari has worked with a wide range of artists and writers from across South Asia, the Middle East and Iran and recent projects include the recent monographs on Bani Abidi (Hatje Cantz, 2022), Khalil Rabah (Sharjah Art Foundation, 2022; ed: Anthony Downey) and the upcoming volume Sahand Hesamiyan (Black Dog Press, 2023/24).

Ansari has served as a Contributing Editor (Art) for the South Asian literary journal Papercuts; Managing Editor of Art in the Age of Anxiety (Sharjah Art Foundation/Mörel Books, 2020), and monographs of Abbas Akhavan (SKIRA/Works on Paper, 2018) and Pouran Jinchi (Akkadia Press/Works on Paper, 2019); and as Arts Correspondent at The Rio Times (2010). Until recently, Ansari worked in Publications and Research at the Sharjah Art Foundation (UAE) where she managed book projects and the FOCAL POINT art book fair. Previously, Ansari was the Director of Communications at The Third Line, Dubai.

Her writing has been published in The Library of Unread Books, Jameel Arts Centre (UAE, 2019); Everything we do is Music, Drawing Room and Cornerhouse Publications (UK, 2017); Rupak 2016-2017, Documenta 14 and Grey Noise (Greece/UAE, 2017); Syntax Freezone: Anthology of Essays on Language and Accent, THE STATE and Maraya Art Centre (UAE, 2015); and PIX: The Pakistan Issue (India, 2015), amongst others. Her texts have also appeared in: Art Asia Pacific, Art Monthly UK, Flash Art, Canvas, Harper’s Bazaar Art Arabia, ArtNow Pakistan, Herald Magazine, The Friday Times, Tribe, Khaleej Times, Libas International, and Alserkal.Online. 

Curatorial projects include The importance of staying quiet (Yallay Gallery, Hong Kong, 2014); within | without (Asia House, London, 2018); and moonshow (Grey Noise, Dubai, 2018). Ansari’s research focuses on Pakistani modernist Zubeida Agha and projects include the Zubeida Agha Archive, hosted by Asia Art Archive (Hong Kong), made possible through the Lahore Biennale Foundation Research Fellowship (2016).

— Zubeida Agha archive on Asia Art Archive: link