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Inspired by the anniversaries of South Asian independence in recent years, Now We Are Free? aims to explore what freedom feels like, tastes like and means once it has been attained. How does one express a freedom that is craved for so long? As the Covid-19 crisis forces us into isolation and takes away many freedoms globally, does this force us to understand and appreciate freedom differently?

20 visual artists are featured in the exhibition. Three runners up will be awarded a £200 cash prize, with one winner awarded a £500 cash prize

Now we Are Free? runs from 13th July - 23 August and is a online exhibition hosted as part of An Indian Summer 2020.

Ashokkumar Mistry



Ashokkumar Mistry works as an artist, writer and curator in the UK and internationally.


He has worked with AIS for a number of years developing innovative and thought provoking exhibitions. Ashokkumar has developed a number of exhibitions in Taiwan for National Cheng Kung University and A-Glow space.

Louise Clements


Judge image Louise Clements.jpg

Louise Fedotov-Clements is the Artistic Director of QUAD, a centre for contemporary art, film and new technologies in Derby UK, since 2001, and the Director of FORMAT International Photography Festival, which she founded in 2004. An independent curator since 1998, she has initiated many commissions, publications, mass participation, performances and exhibitions.


She has been a guest Curator for numerous international exhibitions and festivals, including Dong Gang Photography Festival (Yeongwol) South Korea; Photoquai Biennale Musée du quai Branly Paris; Poikkeustila 2020/State of Emergency 2020 Finland; Venice Biennale EM15, Italy; Photo Beijing and more.


She is an advisor for WYNG Masters Hong Kong and Artist Pension Trust Global and has to many publications as producer/writer.

Sajan Mani



Sajan Mani is an intersectional artist hailing from a family of rubber tappers in a remote village in the northern part of Keralam, South India.


His work voices the issues of marginalized and oppressed peoples of India, via the “Black Dalit body” of the artist. Mani’s performance practice insists upon embodied presence, confronting pain, shame, fear, and power.


Several of Mani’s performances employ the element of water to address ecological issues particularly related to the backwaters of Kerala, as well as to the common theme of migration.

Jana Manuelpillai



Jana Manuelpillai is the founder and managing director of The Noble Sage, the first gallery in London exclusively for South Asian contemporary art, particularly art from South India. The gallery opened in 2006 and quickly established a strong reputation in London and abroad. 


A British-born Sri Lankan with heritage from India, his career has been vast, varied and international, spanning from Dulwich Picture Gallery, the Mall Galleries and South London Gallery to The Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, designed to be the largest contemporary art space in the world. 


In 2004, Jana created The Noble Sage is the product of this endeavour - an intelligent symphony of Jana’s own unique cultural background, his belief in a new world culture, and his personable love of the arts.

Kajal Nisha Patel



Kajal Nisha Patel (b.1979), is a visual artist whose work spans across disciplines, social groups and contexts.


Having previously specialised in lens based media, she now works as a multidisciplinary artist, primarily using Indian textiles and other found objects. Her work shifts between representation and abstraction.


Spanning communities between the UK and India, much of Kajal’s practice focuses on the intersectional lives of South Asian women, their processes of emancipation/transformation while considering the politics of power. In 2016, she was awarded the Leverhulme Artist Residency prize. In 2008, she founded Lightseekers, a collaborative social practice which uses art and social practice to initiate dialogue between disparate communities and space is created for sub-alternate narratives. After qualifying as a yoga teacher in 2017, Kajal encourages the use of ayurvedic processes within social and participatory contexts.

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