Poulomi Desai

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Poulomi Desai is a self-taught, outsider, multi-media artist and curator since 1980,[1] when she set up Hounslow Arts Co-op at the age of 14. Desai was born in Hackney, London, England. Originally inspired by a street theatre background, her works are performative, textual, image based, and acoustic. She works with collaborative working processes which evolve through research, learning and action to examine the elusive, creating large scale photographs, performances and outdoor sound installations. Commissions and Exhibitions include The Serpentine Gallery, London, The Science Museum, London, The Queens Museum, New York, The Oxford Gallery, Kolkatta, and The Photographers Gallery, London. She co-founded the first South Asian LGBTTQ campaigning organisation, Shakti in 1987 and also co-founded the first HIV / AIDs charity in India, the Naz Foundation International in 1991. In 2010, she set up the Usurp Art Gallery and Studios, the first and only artist led creative space and studios in the London Borough of Harrow. She was commissioned by the Google Cultural Institute and Sound and Music in 2015 to curate an exhibition for International Women's day[2] and in 2017, she researched, project managed and curated the first comprehensive exhibition on the Grunwick strike 1976 -1978 "We are the Lions"[3] Desai is a Leverhulme Research Fellow at Heritage Quay Archives and the British Music Collection.[4]


Books include "Red Threads" (published by Millivres), "Out of Place" (published by Raw Nerve Books), "Different" (published by Phaidon). Creative Camera, Dazed and Confused, British Journal of Photography, The Guardian, and the New York Times.


  1. ^ "POULOMI DESAI". www.poulomidesai.tumblr.com. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  2. ^ "International Women's Day - Google Arts & Culture". Google Cultural Institute. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  3. ^ "With Georgie Fame, John Simpson and Poulomi Desai, Robert Elms - BBC Radio London". BBC. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  4. ^ "December - University of Huddersfield". www.hud.ac.uk. Retrieved 2017-03-30.

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