Sheyda Aisha Khaymaz (Turkey/USA) is an artist, curator, poet, and PhD candidate in Art History at The University of Texas at Austin, specialising in modern and contemporary art from the north of Africa. Their doctoral dissertation, ‘Indigenous Presentness: Translocal Politics of Amazigh Art and Resistance’, focuses on the manifold expressions of indigeneity and Indigenous philosophies in art and explores the nexus between Amazigh artistic expression and sovereignty movements across the Indigenous territories known as Tamazgha. The project theorises the innovative artistic forms that emerged in the region after the 1960s, particularly sign- and script-based abstraction, a form deeply rooted in ancient practices like tattooing and rock-engraving, as a mode of decolonising praxis.

As a Brooks Fellow in partnership with Tate and Delfina Foundation, Sheyda will engage in various curatorial activities, including undertaking research that will contribute to forthcoming exhibitions and displays, shaping future acquisition strategies, and producing written content and interpretations. Sheyda will utilise Tate’s resources to establish connections between their ongoing doctoral project and the museum’s holdings, with a particular emphasis on modernist art from the north of Africa.

Sheyda is the 2023 recipient of the Rhonda A. Saad Prize for Best Paper in Modern and Contemporary Arab Art, awarded by the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey (AMCA), and the 2022 Mark Tessler Graduate Student Prize Award, awarded for the best paper by the American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS). In 2023, they completed a curatorial research fellowship at the Modern and Contemporary Art Department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. They are a founding member of the curatorial collective and independent press Lungs Project, which has been operating since 2016 between the UK and the USA, promoting a cross-disciplinary dialogue among early-career artists and writers.

Sheyda was born in Istanbul, Turkey, and is currently based in Austin, Texas, USA.


The Brooks International Fellowship Programme




Summer 2024 & Autumn 2024


Please note all residents’ biographies are accurate at the time of their residency.