Staff

Indu Vashist

Indu Vashist

Executive Director
Indu Vashist

Indu Vashist

Executive Director

Indu Vashist has served as the Executive Director of SAVAC since 2013. Currently, she is serving her second term on Executive of the Board of MANO (Media Arts Network of Ontario), she sits on the Advisory Board of Blackwood Gallery, and the Advisory Council for Creative Time Summit hosted by The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery. She has written and published extensively including: “Redefining South Asia without Borders.” (Art Gallery of Mississauga, 2013); “From Collective to Institution.” (Surrey Art Gallery, 2015); “Family Photo Album.” (Art Asia Pacific Vol 95, Sept/Oct 2015); “What do you do?: Basil AlZeri’s You Do What You Love Because You Do One Two, and More Than Two.”  (University of Waterloo Art Gallery, publication forthcoming). Prior to working at SAVAC, she had been equally splitting her time between India and Canada. In India, she worked with artist, queer and feminist arts organizations and collectives: Bombay-based Queer Nazariya International Film Festival, Delhi-based Nigah Media Collective, and Madras-based Marappacchi Theatre Group.

indu@savac.net

Toleen Touq

Toleen Touq

Artistic Director
Toleen Touq

Toleen Touq

Artistic Director

Toleen Touq is a curator, cultural producer and writer who has recently moved to Toronto. Her approach takes site-responsiveness as a methodology to build radical pedagogical platforms and alternative knowledge systems. Previously based out of Amman, Jordan, she co-founded Spring Sessions (www.thespringsessions.com), an annual residency program that brings together 20 artists, scholars and cultural practitioners in a collaborative and experiential learning environment for 100 days every spring. She also initiated The River Has Two Banks (www.theriverhastwobanks.net), a multi-disciplinary platform that addresses the historical, political and mobility commonalities between Jordan and Palestine. Her writings have been published with Ibraaz, A Prior, Manifesta Journal and others. She has received several fellowships from the Clore Leadership Program (UK), the Berlin Biennale (Germany), Art Dubai (UAE) and the Franchise Award from Apexart Gallery (NY). Over the past decade, she has worked as a mentor for emerging artists and looks forward to bringing her expertise to Toronto. toleen@savac.net

Sajdeep Soomal

Sajdeep Soomal

Communications Coordinator
Sajdeep Soomal

Sajdeep Soomal

Communications Coordinator

Sajdeep Soomal is a writer, researcher and curator based in Toronto, ON who was initially hired to complete a three-year oral history project about the Toronto-based South Asian arts festival Desh Pardesh (1988-2001) with the launch of a digital archive and podcast series. As Communications Coordinator, Sajdeep has designed a new visual brand and website for the organization and revitalized its social media presence.

Outside of the office, Saj is currently writing about drone-proof cities, agricultural chemicals and auto mobilities. Past projects include: Mad Building Syndrome (MBS); Migrancy in the Garage (Winner of the 2018 Avery Review Essay Prize); and Racing Bodies. They have previously worked at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas. 

communications@savac.net / sajdeep.com

Sophie Sabet

Sophie Sabet

Project Coordinator
Sophie Sabet

Sophie Sabet

Project Coordinator
Sophie Sabet is a Toronto based visual artist working predominantly in video. Her practice is often autobiographical and intimately traces the complexities and fluidity of the domestic sphere. She is interested in different forms of communication, creating space for empathy and the process of working through heterogeneous cultural and personal perspectives. She is happy to join SAVAC during summer 2020 as a Project Coordinator for Ishtar’s International Network of Feral Gardens! 
 

Board of Directors

Yasmin Aly

Yasmin Aly

Board Member
Yasmin Aly

Yasmin Aly

Board Member

Yasmin Aly is a researcher, artist, and educator invested in seeing international and local artists contribute to Toronto and SAVAC through critical and contextualized art that speaks to the condition of a racialized cultural existence. Born in Cairo and drawing on lived and labour experiences in Germany and Egypt, she moved to Toronto in order to further explore concepts of coloniality, representation, feminist activism, and art. She is currently a doctoral student at the University of Toronto completing scholarship on Arab personage in European film (specifically German). She is a co-founder of the Postcolonial Reading Group; volunteer evaluator of the Regent Park Film Festival; and organizer in Cairo on issues of censorship and harassment. Her recent multi-media art pieces entitled “Fair & Lovely”, part of the (Mus)Interpreted group exhibition (09/2017), reflected on racism in Egypt combining social media, glass work, and lived experiences of shadeism.

Mahshid Rafiei

Mahshid Rafiei

Board Member
Mahshid Rafiei

Mahshid Rafiei

Board Member

Mahshid Rafiei’s work has been exhibited at Fri Art Kunsthalle, Fribourg (2018); Rheum Room, Basel (2018); Image Arts Gallery, Toronto (2016); and Libreria Cascianelli, Rome (2015). Recent collaborative and discursive projects have been presented at Mercer Union, Toronto (2018); Studio Theatre at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto (2017); and online at Temporary Art Review (2016). She participated in March Meeting 2019: Leaving the Echo Chamber at Sharjah Art Foundation, and she will be a resident at Darling Foundry, Montreal in Spring 2020.

Ananya Ohri

Ananya Ohri

Board Member
Ananya Ohri

Ananya Ohri

Board Member

Ananya Ohri is the Director of Home Made Visible. She holds a Master’s degree in Cinema and Media Studies from York University where she researched participatory documentary processes, ranging from community based video work in India and Canada, to online cyber-community video creations. Until recently, she has sat on the board of the South Asian Visual Arts Centre, as well as the advisory committee for the LCO Media Co-op in  Kenya. Ananya is also a filmmaker; her work has shown in Canada and India, with her most recent piece given Best Film distinction at the Toronto Urban Film Festival. 

Marsya Maharani

Marsya Maharani

Board Member
Marsya Maharani

Marsya Maharani

Board Member
Marsya Maharani is an Indonesian independent curator working exclusively in collaboration with others. Working from the position of an immigrant and settler, her projects explore experimentation in learning and working together that nourishes culturally diverse ways of thinking, specifically in relation to feminism, decolonization, and meaningful inclusion in cultural and institutional contexts. Marsya is a member of Younger Than Beyoncé Gallery and MICE Magazine. She has worked with the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto, the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, and Sheridan College. She holds an MA in Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories from OCAD University.
Saroja Ponnambalam

Saroja Ponnambalam

Board Member
Saroja Ponnambalam

Saroja Ponnambalam

Board Member

Saroja Ponnambalam (No Cable Productions) is an Ontario-based filmmaker and community arts educator with Venezuelan and Tamil-Indian roots. She is well-versed in critical geography, participatory media and documentary. Her independent arts practice involves working with a variety of media within the spectrum of documentary – animation, photographs, home video, and interviews. Pandi, her first feature film, is an intimate moving diary that explores the mysteries behind her uncle’ life and sudden death via his personal archives. Her work has been supported by Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and the National Film Board of Canada. She has been an integral part of the National Film Board’s Emmy-winning HIGHRISE project. In 2015, she was awarded with the K.M. Hunter Artist Award in Media Arts.

Saroja has worked in programming, research and workshop facilitation with various arts institutions and non-profit organizations including the NFB, Regent Park Film Festival, The Metcalf Foundation, Workman Arts, Toronto School of Arts, Hot Docs Youth Camp, the Commons Studio and has sat on juries for the Ontario Arts Council. She holds a Master of Arts in Human Geography from University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production from York University.

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401 Richmond St. W.
Toronto, ON M5V 3A8
Canada

1 (416) 542-1661
info@savac.net

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