top of page


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)? By compensating both our immensely hard-working staff and contributors. By publishing work that is thoughtful and rigorous: work that connects the local and the global, work that is unafraid but not provocative simply for the sake of it, and work that is internationalist in scope. By traipsing across genres and modes of art.

SAAG exists to create a truly activist-literary space: not one that serves to preach to the choir or provides a drifting sense of "representation," but one that challenges and enriches our intellectual lives.


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.

SAAG Colophon


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 digital literary magazine for global South Asian solidarities & activist approaches to representation.


30 April 2024
In conversation with Amit Chaudhuri: Discussing NYRB reissues A Strange and Sublime Address, Afternoon Raag, & Freedom Song.
30 March 2024
Launch Event Vol. 2 Issue 2: 
Solidarity: Across the Disaster-Verse · ShapeShifter Lab with panels, musical performances and more.
8 March 2024
Women, Resistance, Revolution.
A SAAG & Kamli.NYC event · Panel with Gaiutra Bahadur, Gulalai Ismail & Suchitra Vijayan & musical performance by Apoorva Mudgal Ensemble.
12 May 2023
Launch Event Vol. 2 Issue 1:
Soapbox Gallery with album release of Apertures by Rajna Swaminathan, featuring Utsav Lal & Ganavya (Vagabonds Trio)
23 April 2023
Film Screening:
JOYLAND (2023) dir. Saim Sadiq. Sponsored by the Asian-American Cultural Center, Yale Women's Center, and the Office of LGBTQ Resources.
22 April 2023
In collaboration with SALAM for Rice & Resistance: Tamil Labor on the Plantation
22 October 2022
In collaboration with SALAM for Rice & Resistance: Climate Imperialism in Pakistan
31 December 2022
Launch Event at Kitab Ghar Literary Festival: The Argument for an Internationalist Perspective of Disaster
In Grief, In Solidarity: Panels, Films, Live Performances + more 


7 May 2024
Launch Event at Barefoot Gallery:
Narratives of Solidarity: Avant-Garde Storytelling in Sri Lanka
Launch Events for SAAG Vol. 2
Issue 2
bottom of page