My practice involves intricate graphite drawings that are a hemming/stitching of divided land within South Asia. I follow a detailed process of research in which I select Pre-Partition towns that were once known for their exchange, whether through active trade, historic train routes or religious and cultural festivals. In the past, I have focused on water body conflicts and natural trans-border transgressions (think Delhi-Lahore Smog, Kashmir floods and Siachen avalanches) that have led to the temporary blurring of the Radcliffe line.  observe and record the aesthetics of delimitation from my current geographical location in Dubai, UAE.  The window in my studio acts as a metaphorical watchtower from where observe the surrounding regions of interest. The roads, connected to highways that lead to abandoned towns, hope to take viewers along on a journey that explores the past, present and future all at once. 


In my more recent work, I have mapped the walkable route of the 1700-mile, pre- 3rd BCE Grand Trunk Road that connects Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. From Kabul to Torkham, Khyber Pass to Lahore, Wagha to Kolkata, I have mapped the region village by village in the detailed graphite landscapes. My smaller works are literal segments of no-man’s land, Kos minars and highway bridges. My recent fascination with the GT Road stems from the desire to highlight various possibilities of horizontal trade and exchange within the South Asian region. 

Saba Qizilbash