Cities I Called Home/ Aligarh, number 1 of 5 from the portfolio Cities I Called Home

Zarina, Indian, 1937 - 2020



Woodcut and text printed in black on handmade Nepalese paper and mounted on Arches cover buff paper

Edition 12/25

Image: 16 × 12 11/16 in. (40.6 × 32.2 cm)

Sheet: 25 7/8 × 19 3/4 in. (65.8 × 50.2 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the Evelyn A. and William B. Jaffe 2015 Fund



Place Made: India, South Asia, Asia


21st century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


Signed, in graphite, lower right: Zarina 2010; numbered, in graphite, lower left: 12/25, inscribed, in graphite, lower center: Cities I called home / Aligarh


First and last within a series, these two prints tell the story of a life through place. Zarina was born in Aligarh but fled as a child from violence related to the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. She married an Indian diplomat, moving from city to city until his death, after which she settled in New York. This series, made while residing alone in New York City, reflects on her wandering life.

Appearing at first like minimalist cartographical explorations, these works gradually reveal themselves as personal portraits of place. They hold subtle details uncovering relationships between displacement of time, place, and longing. The small square in the print of Aligarh marks the location of Zarina’s childhood house. The script in the corner of each image is in her native Urdu, a language that came to represent a time and place to which she could never truly return.

Of her transitions of place, Zarina said, "Home has become another foreign place." How might interpreting life as a series of destinations change the way one moves through the world?

From the 2022 exhibition A Space for Dialogue 108, Journeys Beyond: Faces and Forms of Pilgrimage, curated by Emily Charland '19, Erbe Intern

Course History

WRIT 5.30, Representing Immigrants, Melissa Zeiger, Fall 2020

Music 3.07, The Minimalist Impulse, Victoria Aschheim - OPEN HOURS, Winter 2023

Music 3.07, The Minimalist Impulse, Victoria Aschheim - OPEN HOURS 1, Winter 2023

Geography 29.01, Global Cities, Erin Collins, Spring 2023

Exhibition History

A Space for Dialogue 108, Journeys Beyond: Faces and Forms of Pilgrimage, Alvin P. Gutman Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover New Hampshire, August 27 - October 22, 2022.


Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, New York; sold to present collection, 2019.

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