Independence Days

The work of Maryam Jafri




Portfolio, Contemporary Art, Maryam Jafri, Archive, Conflict


Maryam Jafri’s portfolio features three bodies of work that explore archival imagery in relation to cultural and historical representations, addressing the interplay between material and digital archives, and focusing on the preservation and disappearance of images from historical narratives. Jafri’s artistic practice combines found and original material, emphasising extensive research-oriented methodologies while also exploring the roles of chance and intuition in the creation of the final works. Her projects "Independence Day 1934-1975" (2009-2019), "Disappearance Online" (2021), and "Getty vs. Ghana" (2012) exemplify this approach. They investigate subjects such as decolonization processes in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, revealing similarities in Independence Day ceremonies orchestrated by departing colonial powers, as well as the digitization of historical images and the implications for cultural memory and copyright law.


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Author Biographies

Ana Catarina Pinho, IHA, Nova University of Lisbon

Ana Catarina Pinho is a researcher, editor and visual artist.  She holds a PhD awarded by the European Centre for Documentary Research (eCDR), at the University of South Wales, UK, developed with a fellowship granted by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). She's currently affiliated to the research groups Global Art Archive (GAA), University of Barcelona, and Contemporary Art Studies (CASt), IHA, Nova University of Lisbon. Pinho is the founder director of ARCHIVO, and the editor-in-chief of the scholarly journal ARCHIVO PAPERS (ISSN-2184-9218).

Maryam Jafri, Visual Artist

Maryam Jafri (1972, Pakistan) is an artist who for the past twenty years she has worked across varied media including video, sculpture and photography, with a specific interest in questioning the cultural and visual representations of history and political economy and their impact on our quotidian experience. She holds a BA in English & American Literature from Brown University, an MA from NYU/Tisch School of The Arts and is a graduate of the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.  

© Maryam Jafri

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How to Cite

Pinho, A. C., & Jafri, M. (2024). Independence Days: The work of Maryam Jafri. Archivo Papers, 4, 204–215.