Suneil Sanzgiri is an artist, researcher, and filmmaker who explores the complexities of anti-colonialism, nationalism, and diasporic identity through various imaging technologies. His work is inspired by his family's legacy of resistance in Goa, India, an area under Portuguese occupation for over 450 years until its independence in 1961. His first solo museum exhibition, Suneil Sanzgiri: Here the Earth Grows Gold, is on view at the Brooklyn Museum from October 27, 2023 to May 5, 2024.

The exhibition features two new works by Sanzgiri: a two-channel video installation titled Two Refusals (Would We Recognize Ourselves Unbroken?) and a sculptural assemblage modeled on bamboo structures seen across South Asia. The video installation tells the stories of the mutual struggle in India and Africa against Portuguese colonialism, highlighting the solidarity that developed between the two continents during the 1960s and 1970s. The film combines archival footage, animation, interviews, and a script written by poet Sham-e-Ali Nayeem. The sculptural assemblage features family photos, 3D renderings, anti-colonial publications, and images of water and red clay soil from Goa that are drawn from his research. Together these works present the concept of diaspora as a way to reconfigure our understanding of history and belonging.

Sanzgiri is the fourth recipient of the UOVO Prize, which recognizes the work of emerging Brooklyn-based artists. Winners receive a solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, a commission for a fifty-square-foot public art installation on the facade of UOVO's Brooklyn facility, and a $25,000 unrestricted cash grant. Sanzgiri's mural is on view at UOVO Bushwick through July 2024. The exhibition is organized by Drew Sawyer, Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography at the Whitney Museum of American Art (formerly Phillip and Edith Leonian Curator of Photography, Brooklyn Museum), with Imani Williford, Curatorial Assistant, Photography, Fashion and Material Culture, Brooklyn Museum.

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