Safdar Ahmed

Safdar Ahmed is a Sydney-based artist, writer, and educator. He works across a range of mediums, including drawing, graphic narratives, painting, zine-making, musical performance, and installation.

Portrait of Safdar Ahmed

Safdar Ahmed, Sidney, 2020, photo: Safdar Ahmed

Ahmed’s art practice focuses on issues of representation and belonging, subtly interweaving personal history, cultural exegesis, anti-racist polemic, and (Chishti) Sufi tradition.

He is the author of the Walkley Award–winning documentary web-comic Villawood: Notes from an immigration detention centre (2015). He subsequently expanded and adapted the comic into a graphic novel, Still Alive, which was published in 2021 by Twelve Panels Press. His dissertation Reform and Modernity in Islam was published in 2013 by IB Tauris.

Ahmed is a founding member of the not-for-profit community art organization Refugee Art Project, for which he has conducted art workshops with people from an asylum seeker or refugee background in the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre and in the Western Sydney community since 2011. He is a member of eleven, a collective of contemporary Muslim Australian artists, curators, and writers. Ahmed also sings and plays guitar with the anti-racist death metal band Hazeen.

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