Sharlene Khan is a South African visual artist who works in multi-media installations and performances, which focus on the socio-political realities of a post-apartheid society and the intersectionality of race-gender-class. Khan uses masquerading as a postcolonial strategy to interrogate her South African heritage, as well as the constructedness of identity via rote education, art discourses, historical narratives and popular culture. She has exhibited in the UK, Italy, France, Germany, South Africa, India, South Korea, Greece and has participated in various international conferences. Her writings on contemporary visual arts appears in journals, books, art catalogues and magazines including Art South Africa, Artthrob, Springerin, Manifesta, Contemporary-And, The Conversation Africa, Imbizo: International Journal of African Literary and African Studies, Agenda and The Palgrave Handbook of Race and the Arts in Education.
Khan has been a recipient of the Abe Bailey Travel Bursary (1998), the Rockefeller Bellagio Arts residency (2009), the Canon Collins/Commonwealth Scholarship (2011), the African Humanities Post-doctoral Fellowship (2017), the National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences Award for Visual Arts (2018), and was runner-up winner in the Videokunst Preis Bremen video art award (2015). She has been nominated twice for the South African Women in the Arts award (Painting) and has received funding from the National Arts Council multiple times. Khan has published three books on her work: What I look like, What I feel like (2009), I Make Art (2017), When the moon waxes red… Negotiating Subjective Terrain as an ‘Inside-Outsider’, an ‘Outside-Insider’ (2019). She is co-convenor of the annual African Feminisms (Afems) Conference; runs the Art on our Mind Research Project; the bi-weekly Black Feminist Killjoy Reading Group and the Decolonial AestheSis Creative Lab. She holds a PhD (Arts) from Goldsmiths, University of London and is Associate Professor at the Department of Fine Arts, Wits School of the Arts, Wits University, Johannesburg.
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