Amin Alsaden is a curator, writer, and educator whose work focuses on transnational solidarities and exchanges across cultural boundaries.
With a commitment to advancing social justice through the arts, Alsaden’s curatorial practice advocates for the dissemination of more diverse, inclusive, and global narratives, by decentering and expanding existing canons, and challenging hegemonic knowledge and power structures. He is particularly interested in politically engaged artists and architects who interrogate collective agency in the public realm and level institutional critique. Through his exhibitions, he examines interrelated questions concerning colonialism, geography, organized violence, extraction, migration, exile, belonging, and the archive.
Alsaden’s scholarship explores the history and theory of modern and contemporary art and architecture globally, with specific expertise in the Arab-Muslim world and its diasporas. His research is often an inquiry into anti-colonial discourses and creative resistance cultures, those developed in the non-West as well as those pioneered by Indigenous and racialized communities in the West. He also studies: the politics of space; historiography and endangered heritage; museological and exhibitionary practices; impact of warfare and militarization on the environment; Orientalism and representational tropes; monumentality, commemoration, and public space. His doctoral dissertation, which he is turning into a book, investigates modernism in post-World War II Baghdad, when the city became a locus of unprecedented encounters that transformed art and architecture well beyond Iraq, while engendering a unique local movement.
Alsaden holds a doctoral degree from Harvard University, a master’s from Princeton University, and completed his undergraduate education at the American University of Sharjah. He has taught at several institutions, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, and regularly serves as an invited lecturer and critic at art, curatorial, and design programs.
He has presented his research internationally, and written for numerous publications including Artforum, Art Journal, ArtAsiaPacific, Border Crossings, Harvard Design Magazine, Ibraaz, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (JSAH), Momus, Ocula, Texte zur Kunst, The Brooklyn Rail, Third Text, and Vie des arts.
Originally from Baghdad, Alsaden has lived and worked in different cities around the world. He is currently based in Toronto, Canada, the traditional territory of several Indigenous nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples.