Diana Campbell Betancourt
Chief Curator of the Dhaka Art Summit
Diana Campbell Betancourt is a Princeton educated American curator who has been working in South and Southeast Asia since 2010, primarily in India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. She is committed to fostering a transnational art world, and her plural and long-range vision address the concerns of underrepresented regions and artists alongside the more established in manifold forums. While she was born in Los Angeles, her maternal family being indigenous CHamoru from the island of Guam, her heritage inspires her curatorial practice which seeks to amplify the reach of indigenous voices.
Since 2013, she has served as the Founding Artistic Director of Dhaka-based Samdani Art Foundation, Bangladesh, and Chief Curator of the Dhaka Art Summit, leading the critically acclaimed 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020 editions and envisioning the upcoming 2023 edition. Campbell has developed the Dhaka Art Summit into a leading research and exhibitions platform for art and its relationship to South Asia, bringing together artists, architects, curators, and writers from across South Asia through a largely commission-based model where new work and exhibitions are born in Bangladesh, also adding a scholarly element to the platform with a think tank connecting modern art histories in and across Africa, South and Southeast Asia in collaboration with the Getty Foundation, Cornell University Center for Comparative Modernities, the Asia Art Archive, and the Samdani Art Foundation. In addition to her exhibition-making practice, Campbell is responsible for developing the Samdani Art Foundation collection and drives its international collaborations ahead of opening the foundation’s permanent home and the community-based residency programme at Srihatta, the Samdani Art Centre, and Sculpture Park in Sylhet. Building upon this experience – she is curating DesertX 2023 in the Coachella Valley, linking creativity at climate extremes of drought and flood.
Concurrent to her work in Bangladesh from 2016 to 2018, Campbell was also the Founding Artistic Director of Bellas Artes Projects in the Philippines, a non-profit international residency and exhibition programme with sites in Manila and Bataan, and curated Frieze Projects in London for the 2018 and 2019 editions of the fair. She chairs the board of the Mumbai Art Room and is an advisor to AFIELD, a global network of socially engaged artistic practices. She is currently leading the international activities of the EDI Global Forum for Education and Integration which is an initiative of the Morra Greco Foundation in Naples in partnership with the Campania Region of Italy to develop transcultural mediation tools to increase accessibility, diversity, and inclusion, and sustainability in art education. Her writing has been published by Mousse, Frieze, Art in America, and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) among others.