Sofia Karim (*1976 in Liverpool, UK) is a London-based architect, artist and activist. Karim’s activism focuses on human rights in Bangladesh and India. She is the founder of Turbine Bagh, a collaborative artist movement against fascism and authoritarianism and a platform for political art. The name is a reference to Shaheen Bagh, the women-led resistance movement that protested the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Delhi in 2019/20. In the past two years, Turbine Bagh has been involved in farmer protests, anti-rape protests, protests against the hijab ban, Islamophobia in the U.S. and U.K., and global movements like Black Lives Matter.
An important medium of “Turbine Bagh” is samosa packaging. Traditionally, these bags used to wrap samosas, popular in South Asia, are made from old paper and quickly discarded. Turbine Bagh uses them to disseminate political issue.
Karim’s installation of samosa packets, presented at the Kunsthaus, features a collection of paper bags made from photographs, poems and newspapers to draw attention to specific political issues such as feminism, women’s resistance in Nepal, and the CAA.
For once, the packaging becomes more important than the contents. Using scrap paper and her mother’s home printer in London, Karim works with artists from India, Bangladesh and other countries to create these paper bags.