South Asian Avant-Garde (SAAG) is an argument that South Asians have claimed avant-garde traditions since longer than the word was coined. They experimented wildly in form, function, and craft; some had an enormous impact on European avant-gardism. But South Asia is rarely the locus of those histories. (See: “Picasso manqué syndrome”)
How do we carve out this space in the contemporary media landscape, where traditional media is shuttering & literary magazines, art exhibits & academic journals exist as silos (especially without mass generational wealth)? SAAG has been crowd-funded since its inception. From Issue 2 onward, SAAG will use a member model to remain sustainable and compensate both our immensely hard-working staff and contributors.
Subscribe below to get the chance to become a member of SAAG early, and get early access to our online store (under construction), discounts to a dizzying variety of new merch, including subscription boxes for books, zines, board games, and art, our first print issue, access to events in cities across the globe, our archives, paywalls, and active collaboration with the editorial team. Stay tuned for more.
We have a lot of exciting new places to go, grassroots organizations to partner with, and stories to tell. We’d love for you to join us in interrogating and shaping the South Asian Avant-Garde Vol. 2.
South Asian Avant-Garde is published by 501(c)(3) nonprofit South Asian Avant-Garde, Incorporated.
The design system for Volume 2 of SAAG is wildly different to that of Volume 1, for many reasons. Read more on the process and conceptual thinking underlying the changes in the design system here.
Display face, Issue 1: TT Ricks by TypeType Foundry
Primary sans typeface: Social by Dinamo type foundry.
Serif body text: Erode by Indian Type Foundry (ITF).
Our colophon (representing the collective above) is inspired by Rabindranath Tagore's painting Head Study.
We are an unwieldy, globe-spanning collective (see: masthead) of forty-six South Asian writers, editors, academics, organizers, translators, playwrights, journalists, visual artists and designers. We share a deep political commitment to radical art that says something new about power and inequality.
We exist because we don’t see any models for a truly activist-literary space, and that is what we wish to create.
As crises deepen both in and around South Asia, we extend our mission to encompass other parts of the world. Part of our mission is to forge new communities and build upon long-running traditions of solidarity across oceans, languages, and nations. Our column centering solidarity—what we call “The Vertical”—is the first in our effort to include essential stories from around the world, featuring voices that offer a deeper introduction to key issues impacting regions not limited to South Asia.
Our reorganized categories allow for various forms of work to be presented in any category. The Vertical will publish timely op-eds and dispatches in any format, be it prose, comic, or photo-essay. Read the work from Issue 1 now.
SOUTH ASIAN AVANT-GARDE IS A LITERARY MAGAZINE FOR GLOBAL SOUTH ASIAN SOLIDARITIES & ACTIVIST APPROACHES TO REPRESENTATION.