Arts Journalism Grant 2023


The SAF Arts Journalism Grant seeks to provide support worth 1 lakh to an early- or mid-career journalist/reporter in an effort to develop a body of reportage around creative communities/ practices in the subcontinent. Situated as we are within an ecosystem that is more saturated with initiatives for critical and curatorial writing, this Grant hopes to address a seeming lacuna in opportunities for accessible arts journalism, to drive greater interest and public stakeholdership in the arts. The awardee will be chosen from a pool of candidates nominated by the Jury.


9 months


1 participant


Chinki Sinha

Chinki Sinha is a writer and a traveller. Her journeys sometimes end in transit zones or nowhere at all. In order to write, one must make the journey into the dark. It is the process of climbing back out of the trenches that can be translated into words. Sinha completed her master’s in journalism from Syracuse University and has done a fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. She worked in a newspaper in New York and then joined the Indian Express in Delhi. Currently the editor of Outlook magazine, she has written for BBC, Al Jazeera, Elle Magazine, and several other publications. She writes on everything that is worth writing about.

Gautam Pemmaraju

Gautam Pemmaraju is a Mumbai based writer, researcher & filmmaker who works in the areas of history, literature and art. With special interests in early 20th century anti-colonialism and the cultural history of the Deccan, he has also published extensively on sonic culture and sound art.

Meera Menezes
Meera Menezes is an art writer and independent curator. She has written extensively on modern and contemporary Indian art over the past three decades and is the author of V.S. Gaitonde: Sonata of Solitude. She writes for the arts magazine, Art India, is a regular contributor to the international arts publication Artforum and has contributed to Art Asia Pacific, The Hindu, Mint, Take on Art, The Indian Quarterly, The Wire, Firstpost and Critical Collective among others. Her most recent curatorial projects include Legal Alien (2022), Yuva Sumbhava (2022) and Phantom Limb (2019) as well as Shadow Lines: Experiments with Light, Line and Liminality (2019), which brought together several generations of Indian artists exploring abstraction. Menezes has done her Masters in German Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, and has worked as a TV-journalist and producer at the South Asia Bureau of ARD, Germany’s largest public service broadcaster, for over a decade. 
Trisha Gupta
Trisha Gupta is a writer and cultural commentator with over sixteen years of experience, and Professor of Practice at the OP Jindal Global University.  
She studied history at the University of Delhi and anthropology at Cambridge and Columbia. After stints at Time Out Delhi, Tehelka and the book review journal Biblio, she turned freelance in 2010. Since then, she has written on books, art, film and cultural life for a range of publications including Caravan, Open, Indian Express, India Today, Mint Lounge, Firstpost, Scroll, Wire, Smithsonian Magazine and Asymptote. She has also been a regular columnist for Sunday Guardian, Firstpost, Hindu Business Line, The Voice of Fashion and Mumbai Mirror.
She was part of the Programme Team for the 2022 Dharamshala International Film Festival, and curates the Goethe Kino film series at Delhi’s Max Mueller Bhavan. Her published writing from 2007 is archived on her blog ‘Chhotahazri’ <>. She lives in Delhi and as much as she can, offline.


Benita Fernando

Benita Fernando is an independent journalist based out of Mumbai. She reports and comments on the visual arts, design, and visual culture, and is committed to making arts coverage more accessible to a wider readership. She has previously worked with The Indian Express, Mint Lounge and Sunday Mid-day. She often geeks out on urban history and heritage, fantasy literature and period dramas.

The first story by our SAF Arts Journalism Grantee Benita Fernando traces the origins of botanical art in India, focussing on contemporary practitioners, such as Alisha Dutt Islam, Ravi Jambhekar, Malini Saigal, Nirupa Rao and Laila Vaziralli. The article explores the ways in which contemporary botanical artists celebrate our local flora, the science behind the art, and how they contend with modern techniques, such as photography or film, which are routinely used to document and survey the natural world.

This essay looks at the craft practice of Mata ni Pachedi practised by the nomadic Vaghri community of Gujarat. As of last year, the Sabarmati has been identified as the second most polluted river in the country and the change in the Ph value of its water has affected the natural dyeing and washing processes associated with Mata ni Pachedi. The story aims to tell the changes that have occurred in an artistic community and their relationship with the river.

All 2019 Grants