Sharma explores the relationships of citizenship, home and identity, which are for her both concrete and abstract notions. It combines texts from her written work called Citizens of Elsewhere, which is taking an epistolary form and images of her garden in the UK where she grew up. It grasps at the current political climate regarding the foreigner as fear. She has been investigating how the identity of the “other” is being negotiated by people, objects, and events in the past, present, and in the preparation of a difficult future: a shifting reality. There is no intention to make a conclusion, but to leave an impression of how it is to be a foreigner in your home-country and feared. It is something that is not ourselves but a perception of ourselves; despite being citizens we remain of elsewhere. Through populistic propaganda and identity politics, evil is presented as coming from elsewhere. The crises are not only at the border but also in the notion of a nation, protection, and home. 

Citizens of Elsewhere

Sharma uses her sense of “otherness”, an imposed identity, to investigate the notions of Nation and Home. Drawing unexpected relationships between people, objects and events, she investigates how her foreign identity is negotiated as a female of colour. She uses two major events in history WWII and Brexit and combines them with the personal to describe the current geo-ethnic environment in the UK.
Citizens of Elsewhere final.pdf
Manju Sharma

Manju Sharma

03 juli 1972
  1. Artist statement; wat is je specialisme, wat maakt jouw werk uniek?

    Manju Sharma (b. 1972, India), was brought up in the UK, and now lives and works in Zeist, The Netherlands. She holds a Post Doctorate in Accountancy (2003) from the Vrije University, Amsterdam and BA in Fine Arts (2017) from HKU, Utrecht. In her practice, Sharma examines the concepts of heritage, foreignness, and identity. Through the personal, and the everyday, she unfolds narratives imbedded in social and political landscapes. The artist likes to experiment with various mediums and writing forms an integral part of her process.

  2. Wat zijn je ambities? Wat wil je over vijf jaar bereikt hebben?

    To keep her artistic practice and research going, addressing urgent issues of our time. It is very difficult for artists to continue their work given that it is not an income model. She would also like to be a part of a collective.

  3. Wat is het belangrijkste dat je hebt geleerd tijdens je studie?

    The possibilities of artistic research and how to incorporate it in her practice. To become strong in presentations, talking about your work and writing. To build on vocabulary that deals with urgent issues. To be submerged in an international environment, and thus gaining a global understanding of what is going on in the world, whilst being rooted in Utrecht.

  4. Overzicht van publicaties / exposities / prijzen / concerten / voorstellingen etc.

    Futures Without, Masters Fine Art HKU expo at BAK, Utrecht.
    Previous group exhibitions stemming from her Bachelors, include Eenheid in Verscheidenheid (Unity in Diversity), Gallery Wit, Waginingen, NL (2018); Sporen (Traces) SBK, Amsterdam, NL (2018), Kunst Rai, Amsterdam, NL (2018), ARTificial ? Gallery Sanaa, Utrecht, NL (2017), and Artspotting Dutch National Bank, Amsterdam, NL (2017). In 2015, she was an artist in residence at the AFAD Bratislava, Slovakia.