The Collective

Change would come from below, not from above. Practice and theory had to go hand in hand. Hence we turned our backs on long-term research and decided instead to carry out short ad hoc pieces of research, suggested by community problems, recording and analysing everyday experiences of racism and pointing to ways of combating them. This research we published in accessible pamphlet form, hoping that these would provide community organisations with the ammunition they needed to mount their own fights and win their own battles. We were aware that we were neither grassroots nor establishment – merely a servicing station for oppressed peoples on their way to liberation. We’d put the gas in their tanks.

-A. Sivanandan, Race and Resistance

Nothing embodies our philosophy better than words of writer and thinker A.Sivanandan.

The Polis Project brings together Research, Reportage and Resistance to produce and give visibility to bodies of work that have a direct impact on public discourse. We are a collective of scholars, artists, activists whose practice, research and work aim at having an impact beyond the sphere of specialized discussions.

Our interests focus on issues of violence, occupation, post-colony, self-determination and the future trajectories of war. By making public interventions and opening a public space of debate and dissent, we hope to nurture and cultivate intellectual, artistic and political resistance.

The collective has different souls and plays multiple roles – as artists, scholars, dissidents and activists we produce and publish research, commentary and analysis on issues of war, conflict, militarization and transformation of occupied spaces. This analysis takes a variety of forms such as lectures, teach-in, essays, exhibitions, podcasts/videocasts and visual essays.

We are currently working on various projects including our lecture series Dissent in Dangerous Times; an open source database on Political violence in South Asia and its effects on justice, and a symposium on Decolonizing Photography.

If you have any questions, would like to collaborate with us on any of our projects, propose new projects we can work on, or would like to find out more about our work, you can email us at info (at)