Naeem Mohaiemen (born 1969) is a writer and visual artist, working in Dhaka and New York. He uses essays, photography, film, and mixed media, to research histories of the international left, and the failure of utopia projects. He is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow.
Naeem is author of Prisoners of Shothik Itihash. He edited the anthologies Between Ashes and Hope: Chittagong Hill Tracts in the blind spot of Bangladesh nationalism, Collectives in atomised time, and System Error: War is a force that gives us meaning.
He was the primary critic of Dead Reckoning, a book by Sarmila Bose on the 1971 war of Bangladesh. His response was cited by the BBC and published in Economic & Political Weekly ("Waiting for a real reckoning on 1971"). Sarmila Bose responded to his remarks in the same periodical, followed by a rebuttal from Mohaiemen.
Essays on Bangladesh history include "Accelerated Media and the 1971 Genocide", "Musee Guimet as Proxy Fight against Army rule", "Mujtaba Ali: Amphibian Man" (The Rest of Now, Rana Dasgupta ed.), "Mujib Coat" (Bidoun journal), and "Everybody wants to be Singapore" (Carlos Motta’s The Good Life). He wrote the chapter on religious and ethnic minorities in the Ain o Salish Kendro Annual Report for Bangladesh.
Essays on diaspora include "Known unknowns of the class war" (Margins, Asian American Writers Workshop),"The skin I'm in: Afro-Bengali solidarity and possible futures" (Margins, Asian American Writers Workshop), "Beirut, Silver Porsche Illusion" (Men of the Global South, Zed Books), "Why Mahmud Can’t Be a Pilot" (Nobody Passes: Rejecting the rules of Gender and Conformity, Seal Press), and "No Exit" (Asian Superhero Comics, New Press).
Essays on culture include "Islamic Roots of HipHop" (Sound Unbound, MIT Press; Runner Up for Villem Flusser Theory Award),"Adman blues become artist liberation" (Indian Highway, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist) and "At the coed dance " (Art Lies: Death of the Curator).
Naeem’s short films include Rankin Street, 1953, Der Weisse Engel, and SMS Iran: After Gilles Peress.
Since 2006, he has worked on a series of films under the project The Young Man Was, a history of the 1970s revolutionary left.
Part 1 of the series was United Red Army, about the 1977 hijacking of Japan Airlines Flight 472 by the Japanese Red Army. United Red Army premiered at Sharjah Biennial, Hot Docs, and IDFA. It has shown at various museums, including the The New Museum in New York and is in the permanent collection of the Tate Modern museum in London.
Part 2, Afsan's Long Day premiered at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2014.
Part 3, Last Man in Dhaka Central will premiere at the 56th Venice Biennial 2015.
Naeem co-founded Visible Collective, a collective of New York based artists and lawyers investigating security panic. Visible's work exhibited internationally, including the 2006 Whitney Biennial of American Art ("Wrong Gallery" room) and L’institut des cultures d’Islam in Paris. His solo projects have looked at military coups ("My Mobile Weighs A Ton" at Dhaka Gallery Chitrak), surveillance ("Otondro Prohori, Guarding Who?", Chobi Mela V at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy), Indian partition ("Kazi in Nomansland" at Dubai Third Line), architectural nationalism ("Penn Station Kills Me" at Exit Art), and dueling leftist and Islamist politics ("Live True Life or Die Trying" at Cue Art Foundation, New York). Chapters from his ongoing research on the 1970s ultra left have shown at the Pavilion (Bucharest), New Museum (New York), Frieze Art Fair (London), and MUAC Mexico City.
Naeem graduated from Oberlin College in 1993 with a BA in Economics and Concentration in History. He was a member of the college's Board of Trustees for the 1994-1996 term. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Historical Anthropology, with a Certificate in Comparative Literature, at Columbia University.
- ISEA 2010 Ruhr Exhibitions
- 2014 Guggenheim Fellows- Creative Arts-Film-Video
- Prisoners of Shothik Itihash on Amazon
- Samya Kullab, "Championing Pahari Rights", Star Weekend Magazine, 17 September 2010. Thedailystar.net (17 September 2010). Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- Collectives in Atomised Time, with Doug Ashford, Idensitat Press. Idensitat.net. Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- System Error, with Lorenzo Fusi, Silvana Press
- Alastair Lawson, "Controversial book accuses Bengalis of 1971 war crimes", BBC, 16 June 2011
- Economic & Political Weekly, Vol 46 No. 36, 3 September 2011
- Sarmila Bose, "Dead Reckoning: A Response". Economic & Political Weekly, Vol 46 No. 53, 31 December 2011
- Economic & Political Weekly, Vol 43 No. 04, 26 January 2008
- Playing by the Rules: Alternative Thinking/ Alternative Spaces (9781933347431): Robert Atkins, Julie Ault, Rene Block, Winslow Burleson, Biljana Ciric, Renaud Ego, Sofija Grandakovska, Boris Groys, Marina Grzinic, Pablo Helguera, Naeem Mohaiemen, Raphael Rubinstein, Irene Tsatsos, Steven Rand, Heather Kouris: Books. Amazon.com. Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- Silvana Editoriale. Silvanaeditoriale.it. Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- Bidoun #14
- Carlos Motta: The Good Life: Art in General New Commissions Program Book Series Vol. XVIII (9781934890189): Eva Diaz, Anne J Barlow, Stamatina Gregory: Books. Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- [aaww.org/known-unknowns Asian American Writers Workshop]. Retrieved on 18 March 2015.
- Margins/ Asian American Writers Workshop. Retrieved on 6 March 2013.
- Men of the Global South: A Reader (Global Masculinities) (9781842775134): Adam Jones: Books. Amazon.com. Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity (9781580051842): Matt Bernstein Sycamore: Books. Amazon.com. Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology (9781595583987): Jeff Yang, Parry Shen, Keith Chow, Jerry Ma: Books. Amazon.com. Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- Sound Unbound – Table of Contents – The MIT Press. Mitpress.mit.edu (31 May 2008). Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- Indian Highway Catalogue SOLD OUT Serpentine Gallery. Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- A Contemporary Art Quarterly
- Guy Mannes-Abbott, Sharjah Art Foundation, 18.03.2011. Sharjahart.org (18 March 2011). Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
-  Hot Docs. Retrieved on 9 December 2012.
-  IDFA Website. Retrieved on 9 December 2012.
-  New Museum Digital Archive. Retrieved on 9 December 2012.
-  In conversation with Bernadette Buckley. Retrieved on 9 December 2012.
-  Out of the Archive, London Consortium at Tate Modern. Retrieved on 9 December 2012.
-  MOMA: Doc Fortnight. Retrieved on 18 March 2015.
-  Venice Biennial Artist List
- Press. Disappeared In America. Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- "Down by Law", curated by Wrong Gallery. Whitney.org. Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- Collectif Visible – Institut des Cultures d'Islam. Institut-cultures-Islam.org. Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- Nader Rahman, "Blurred pictures and sharp words", Star Weekend Magazine, 29 August 2008. Thedailystar.net (29 August 2008). Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- Jamil Mahmud, "Naeem Mohaiemen takes a look at fear mongering", The Daily Star, 20 February 2009. Thedailystar.net (20 February 2009). Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- Beena Sarwar, "Artists Take On Post-Colonial Partitions", IPS, 6 February 2009. Ipsnews.net (6 February 2009). Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- History | 2007. Exit Art. Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- Brian Boucher, Art in America, 1/15/2010. Artinamericamagazine.com. Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- "What was socialism, and what comes next?", Pavilion, #10–11. (PDF) . Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- ArtCat Zine – Events – Naeem Mohaiemen at New Museum. Zine.artcat.com (27 January 2009). Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- "Retour à Frieze", Le Monde, 26 October 2010. Lunettesrouges.blog.lemonde.fr (26 October 2010). Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- (Spanish) Concepción Moren, "arte, ficciones, política y violencia", El Economista, 20 June 2011. Eleconomista.com.mx (30 June 2011). Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- Global Residency
- Creative Capital
-  Samdani Art Foundation
- Sharjah Biennial
- Rhizome at New Museum
- Franklin Furnace
- High Noon (IV) | Online Only|Granta Magazine. Granta.com (30 September 2010). Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- Modern Painters: Complicating the History of the Left
- » Modern Painters: Art & War. Art-for-a-change.com (22 April 2008). Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- Art Review Future Greats 2012
- Columbia University: Our Graduate Students