Mariam Ghani is an artist, writer, and filmmaker. Her work operates at the intersections of language, loss, migration, memory, and history. Her films, public projects, photographs, and installations have been presented and collected worldwide, notably in Times Square and the new Terminal C at LaGuardia Airport; the Guggenheim, New Museum, MoMA, Smithsonian and Metropolitan Museums; the CCCB in Barcelona, the Secession in Vienna, and Para/Site in Hong Kong; Documenta 13, the Dhaka Art Summit, and the Liverpool, Lahore, Yinchuan, and Sharjah Biennials; and the Rotterdam, CPH:DOX, SFFILM, DOC NYC, Sheffield Doc/Fest, BlackStar, Ji.hlava, and Ann Arbor film festivals. Museum solo shows include the St. Louis Art Museum, the Blaffer Art Museum in Houston, the Schneider Museum of Art in Oregon, and the Queens Museum of Art in NYC. Ghani’s first feature film, the critically acclaimed documentary What We Left Unfinished, tells the mostly true story of five unfinished Afghan Communist films. It premiered at the 2019 Berlinale, was released theatrically in the US by Dekanalog, and had its streaming premiere on the Criterion Channel. Her second feature film, Dis-Ease, looks at the real consequences of how we fictionalize disease, and premieres in summer 2024.

Ghani is known for projects that engage with places, ideas, issues and institutions over long periods of time, often as part of long-term collaborations. These include: collaborations with the Endangered Language Alliance on data visualization murals for the Queens Museum and LaGuardia Airport (2015-16, 2022-23); critical, curatorial, conservation and creative work with the national film archive Afghan Films (2012-20), with support from the media archiving collective Pad.ma and a number of international art institutions; the video and performance series Performed Places, ongoing since 2006, in collaboration with choreographer Erin Ellen Kelly and composer Qasim Naqvi; and the experimental archive and discussion platform Index of the Disappeared, initiated with artist Chitra Ganesh in 2004, which has also become a vehicle for collaborations with other activists, archivists, artists, journalists, lawyers and scholars.

Ghani has received a number of fellowships, awards, grants, and residencies, most recently from the Graham Foundation, Field of Vision, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Wellcome Trust, the New York Public Library, Creative Capital, EMPAC, the 18th Street Arts Center in Los Angeles, the Schell Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law, and the Center for Constitutional Rights. She also produces critical writing, organizes symposiums, and lectures widely, most recently for the Center for Arts and Society at Carnegie Mellon, the Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, the HKW in Berlin, the M+ Museum in Hong Kong, the Mosaic Rooms and the Photographers Gallery in London, pad.ma in Mumbai, the Wende Museum in Los Angeles, DOC NYC Pro, Sundance Co/Lab, and Asia Art Archive, Rhizome, Triple Canopy, UnionDocs, and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics in NYC.

Ghani teaches film/video at Bennington College.

cv / statement

gallery representation: RYAN LEE, New York

feature film distribution: Good Docs (educational/non-theatrical US/CAN/UK/AUS/NZ) | Dekanalog (theatrical US) | Arsenal (theatrical/non-theatrical everywhere else)

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email: info at mariamghani.com

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rights: all reproductions of work by Mariam Ghani on this site and sites linked to it are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License

Please note that this license only applies for non-commercial uses, e.g. presentation in a classroom or academic talk; if you want to use images or video in any for-profit context (which includes most media outlets), you must contact me first. Also note that if an image (for example, an installation view) is credited to another photographer, my Creative Commons license does not apply to that image.

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