By the mid-1980s, Araeen has begun to develop a new, synthetic approach to share his concerns about art and life. Gone were the self-portraits, and the array of sources used in the works had widened considerably. Araeen had come to a place in his practice where the formal language of minimalism reinforced the political message relayed through documentary images. This expansion happened in parallel to other activities that served to turn Araeen into a crucial figure in cultural politics of the 1980s. The artist curated several exhibitions including the ground-breaking ‘The Other Story’ at the Hayward Gallery in London, and started ‘Third Text’, the first magazine to become an important platform for artists, writers, thinkers and activists interested in postcolonial theory and non-Western art.