Deeply engaged with the UK’s British Black Arts, Third Cinema and the post-Bandung decolonization, Tactical Video Movement, Zainub Verjee has been embedded in the early years of Vancouver’s photo-conceptualism movement as well as history of women’s labour in British Columbia. She co-founded the critically acclaimed In Visible Colours: An International Film/Video Festival & Symposium for Third World Women and Women of Colour (1989), a widely and critically recognized as a foundational film festival in Canada. As a result, she received the National Film Board Fellowship in 1992 as part of New Initiatives in Film for women of colour and aboriginal women.
As an internationalist, her work in video distribution/programming, curatorship, policy and administration has been consistent and contiguous with what might be termed a critical transversal aesthetic. She continues with her practice as a multidisciplinary artist and as a programmer/curator and her artworks have been shown at the Venice Biennale, Museum of Modern Art, NY, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland US, Centre d’Art Contemporain de Basse-Normandie, France, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, México, D. F. (Mexico City, Mexico), India, Art Gallery of Alberta, Embassy Culture House (London, ON), and resides in private and public collections (Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada).
A prescient provocateur, persuasive champion of arts and advocate for artists rights, Zainub Verjee has over four decades built a formidable reputation as an artist, writer, critic, cultural administrator and public intellectual in Canada and internationally. A firm believer of Art is a public good, she has contributed to international instruments of culture such as Status of the Artist and Cultural Diversity. She is engaged in a national campaign on Artists’ labour and income.
In 2020 she was honoured with the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts for Outstanding contribution.