Who We Are

The Al-Zulaij Collective is an association of scholars and professionals, who believe that Goa’s complex history and cultural encounters do not easily fit into the mainstream imagination of the territory. Goa has been a part of many ‘worlds’, but the Al-Zulaij Collective finds that many of those culturally enriching encounters are now being deliberately forgotten. This is what we hope to rectify. Between us, we bring together diverse voices on Goa, and varied capacities to articulate issues about Goa, and to look at the world from the perspective of Goa.

What We Do

Thus far we have interacted in the Goan public sphere through regular op-eds in the local media as well as articles in the Indian press and have been invited for speaking engagements, book commissions, and hosting workshops and seminars on Goan politics, caste society, history, theater and performance, literature, law, gender, human rights, architectural history, and urban design. Besides, members of The Al-Zulaij Collective have also offered guided tours that allow a critical insight to various spaces, events, practices, and monuments in Goa.

Upcoming Events

  • R. Benedito Ferrão to participate in "Story as Salve: Arab America Writes its own Healing" November 18, 2017 at 8:30 am – 10:30 am
  • Goa / Portugal / Mozambique: The Many Lives of Vamona Navelcar, a Retrospective December 7, 2017 at 12:30 am – January 13, 2018 at 1:30 am Fundacao Oriente, Mala, Altinho, Panjim, Goa 403001, India

Our Name

Our name captures the complexity that we strive to bear witness to. The Arabic root for the Iberian art form of azulejos (or painted tiles), the name Al-Zulaij intends to draw attention to Goa’s Islamicate and other pasts, and historic location in the Indian Ocean world. Indeed, this name draws attention to the fact that the Portuguese presence in Goa was much more than as the carrier of Western European Christian civilization. The azulejo ideally represents our imagination of the Goan polity, which is not a monolith, but composed of pieces that come together to produce an articulate whole.