Event Details

In the face of global pandemic, it is also time of juncture for us to rethink how we treat our identity as a global citizen, and how do we define our home and the family members. In our global village where countries and citizens are getting more inter-connected, and product exchanges are being more frequent, Vishakha N. Desai explores the significance of living globally in her latest book, World as Family: A Journey of Multi-Rooted Belongings.

The book reveals her story from growing up in India to arriving in the United States as a 17-year-old exchange student and her subsequent career as a dancer, curator, institutional leader and teacher. Join us on July 23 for a conversation with Vishakha N. Desai to embark on a journey of remaking "Home" in the World.


  • Vishakha Desai

    Vishakha Desai

    Dr. Vishakha N. Desai currently serves as President Emeritus of Asia Society and Senior Advisor for Global Affairs to President, Chair of the Committee on Global Thought, and is Senior Research Scholar in Global Studies at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. Prior to joining Columbia, Dr. Desai held a variety of positions at the Asia Society from 1990 to 2012, initially as the Director of the Asia Society Museum and for the last eight years as President and CEO. A noted scholar of South Asian Art and history, Dr. Desai is well known for her leadership in presenting contemporary Asian art to American audiences and in developing innovative approaches to the relationship between culture and foreign policy in India, China and other Asian countries. In addition to several publications, Dr. Desai is also a frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines in both the US and Asia, and her forthcoming memoir, World as Family: A Journey of Multi-Rooted Belonging, is published by Columbia University press in May 2021.

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  • Suhanya Raffel

    Suhanya Raffel


    Ms Suhanya Raffel leads and oversees all of M+'s activities, including collections building, exhibitions, research, programming, institutional collaborations, and operations. She joined the WKCDA in November 2016 as Executive Director, M+. She was appointed Museum Director, M+, in January 2019.

    Previously, Ms Raffel was Deputy Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. Before that she worked at the Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, where she held many senior curatorial positions, including Acting Director and Deputy Director of Curatorial. At the Queensland Art Gallery, she was instrumental in building the contemporary Asia Pacific collection and led its Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (2002–2012). Ms Raffel is currently a trustee of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust and the Lunuganga Trust in Sri Lanka, a member of the Board of the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM) and a member of BIZOT group. She was made a Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government in 2020.

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