habiba insaf

Habiba Insaf is an art historian and museum educator from India. She is a doctoral student at Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage (CARMAH), Humboldt University, Berlin. Her research looks at the politics of display and interpretation of Indian objects in Berlin Museums.

After graduating from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, she did her Masters in Arts and Aesthetics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. She has held fellowships and awards of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Singapore International Foundation and the Prince Claus Fund. She has been invited to speak at the Jaipur Literature Festival, Humboldt Forum, Berlin and Ashoka university, Haryana and has written, among other things, reviews on modern and contemporary art, and essays on popular culture, museums and decolonisation.

She has been an integral part of a premier Delhi based culture organisation, Flow India, where she was in-charge of creating enquiry-based arts learning experiences for young learners. She has consulted museums such as The National Museum, Delhi, and Museum for Art and Photography, Bengaluru, and schools ranging from top boarding schools such as Mayo College in Ajmer, Rajasthan to affordable private schools such as Bal Bharati School, Rewa, Madhya Pradesh. She has also curated museum walks centred on themes such as gender, love and aesthetics.

She has lived and worked in the cosmopolitan environs of Mumbai, Delhi and Berlin as well as in the hinterlands of Koraput, Odisha and Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan.

Master in Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi (2014)

Bachelor in Psychology, St Xavier’s College, Mumbai (2010)

Berlin, Germany

Honours and Recognition

Logo for Gerda Henkel Stiftung foundation

PhD Scholarship, Gerda Henkel Stiftung, 2021

Gerda Henkel awards well qualified researchers whose study achievements and exam performances show them to be especially gifted and whose Ph.D. theses can be expected to yield well above-average results

Arts For Good Fellow, Singapore International Foundation, 2019

The Arts for Good Fellowship is an international fellowship organised annually to grow the Arts for Good ecosystem, by fostering a community of practice of cross-sector professionals such as artists, art administrators and programmers that harnesses the power of arts and culture to create positive social change.

German Chancellor Fellow, Alexander Von Humboldt Stiftung (2018)

During the course of my fellowship, I will be researching how museums in Germany are using active learning strategies and innovative programmes to create a positive, engaging experience among children (age 7- 11 years) and teenagers (age 12-18 years) and how some of these can be relevant for museums in India.

I am working with Dr Cornelia Dümcke, Director of Culture Concepts in Berlin on my research project .

Contemporary Take, Beyond Cultural Heritage, The Prince Claus Fund and the British Council (2017)

As a part of the Flow India Team, I planned and conceived the award- winning project Culture Connectors, a rich media and immersive VR experience aimed to leverage the power of new media and technology to make heritage accessible and engaging for young learners across India.

Moving beyond facts and mere appreciation of the past, Culture Connectors redefines engagement with heritage by allowing learners to make personal connections, gain a bigger picture of the past and the present to understand continuity and change.