Archive for December, 2013

Teaching Pakistani History / Teaching Pakistanis History

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Monday, 30th December 2013 | 7:00 pm

Join us at T2F for a panel discussion on contested histories featuring Akbar Zaidi, Sarah Ansari, Syed Jaffer Ahmed, Nasreen Afzal, and Zahra Sabri.

Pakistani history has been a contentious topic, especially in Pakistan, where different sets of narratives give differing accounts of what Pakistani history is, and hence, how one imagines Pakistan. Given the eventual partition of British India into two states, some historians have claimed that Pakistan was ‘created’ in 712 AD when an Arab invader came to an area which is now part of Pakistan. This event is incorrectly seen as the beginning of Muslim contact with what is now called South Asia, yet it supports one of the many official narratives of when Muslim ‘consciousness’ and identity were created in this region.

Pak StudiesOther competing narratives still in the official domain, look to the Delhi Sultanate, or the Mughal Empire, or events in the nineteenth century and 1857, crystallising into a separate Muslim identity, which inevitably led to the creation of Pakistan. The question, when was Pakistan ‘created’, is one which simply works around a Muslims-are-different-from-Hindus discourse, culminating in a separate homeland. As a consequence, ‘Pakistani’ history then ignores the history of the people who live in what was Pakistan prior to 1971 and what it is today. Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, and the history of the people of Pakistan is dominated by a north Indian (largely Hindustani) Muslim history, and that too only of kings and their courts. Once politics began to dominate undivided India in the twentieth century, the Pakistan ‘freedom movement’ of course – and not the movement for independence from British colonialism for all Indian peoples – shaped this discourse more teleologically.

The problems of teaching history to Pakistanis by trained historians in Pakistan has given rise to a different set of issues. While some academics claim that the state of social sciences in Pakistan has been dismal, the state of History in Pakistan has been particularly so. Interestingly, some decades ago, some Pakistani historians were highly respected scholars doing archival research, but today, the absence of professional historians, with little research being done, and hence few conferences or seminars or academic journals, exacerbates the problem, with non-historians now teaching History. Moreover, since the propaganda of the Pakistan ‘ideology’ and the ‘freedom movement’ constitute what pass for History in/of Pakistan, teaching history is not considered a priority.

Moderators

S Akbar Zaidi teaches Colonial History at Columbia University and is about to teach a course on Pakistan’s History at the IBA, University of Karachi next month.

Zahra Sabri is a doctoral candidate in South Asian History, and has taught at the Pakistan Study Centre, University of Karachi.

Panelists

Sarah Ansari is Professor of History at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research focuses on the parts of South Asia that today comprise Pakistan, in particular the province of Sindh. She has written on historical topics ranging from the British annexation of Sindh in 1843, the role of local religious leaders or Pirs during the colonial period, Partition and its aftermath, women in the 1950s, and citizenship and the state.

Syed Jaffar Ahmed is director of the Pakistan Study Centre, University of Karachi. He teaches Government and Politics in Pakistan, and has written on constitutional and political issues, as well as history and literature. One of his latest publications is Challenges of History Writing in South Asia, an edited volume in honour of Mubarak Ali.

Nasreen Afzal is Assistant Professor of General History, University of Karachi. Her research focuses on Sindh’s maritime trade history, and politics in Sindh during the colonial period. She edits the Journal of History and Social Sciences started recently by her department.

Date: Monday, 30th December, 2013
Time: 7:00 pm
Suggested Donation: Anything you like. Please support our vision of intellectual poverty alleviation by donating generously.
Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
Address | Map

Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.


Cinema for Change: Girl Rising

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Friday, 27th December 2013 | 7:00 pm

Around the world, millions of girls face barriers to education that boys do not. And yet, when you educate a girl, you can break cycles of poverty in just one generation. Girl Rising is a groundbreaking feature film about the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to transform societies. The film presents the remarkable stories of nine girls around the world, told by celebrated writers and narrated by Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Selena Gomez and other renowned actors.

Girl Rising

Girl Rising is also a movement for girls’ education that PeaceNiche and Radio1FM91 are proud to support.

Investing in girls is not just right, it’s smart. Join us at T2F to find out how educating girls can change the world and learn how you can make a difference.

Director: Richard E. Robbins
Running Time: 101 minutes
Genre: Documentary

Girl Rising has been brought to Pakistan through the support of 10×10 – Girl Rising under its Community Initiative Pilot as an independent undertaking led by Roohi Abdullah.

Date: Friday, 27th December, 2013
Time: 7:00 pm
Suggested Donation: Anything you like. Please support our vision of intellectual poverty alleviation by donating generously.
Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
Address | Map

Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.


Seven Years in China: A Talk by Adil Husain

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Thursday, 26th December 2013 | 7:00 pm

Join us at T2F for a talk and presentation by Adil Husain as he shares his experience of living in China for over seven years, his journey as an entrepreneur, and how Pakistan is really perceived by its closest ally.

China is the subject of much attention and fascination in Pakistan, but a very limited number of people from Pakistan have ever visited, and even fewer have lived there long-term.

Shanghai Skyline

Adil HusainAdil Husain, an entrepreneur, has lived in China since 2006 and made it his home as well as the global headquarters of his business.

Adil will share some quick facts about China’s economy, culture, scale, and future trajectory, and will also present a personal narrative of what took him to China. He will share his experience of starting and running a business there, as well as raising a family and navigating the day to day challenges and opportunities that the country presents. Adil will also talk about the perceptions of Pakistan that he has encountered in China and what, if anything, Pakistanis can do to leverage the ‘special relationship’ between the two countries.

Date: Thursday, 26th December, 2013
Time: 7:00 pm
Suggested Donation: Anything you like. Please support our vision of intellectual poverty alleviation by donating generously.
Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
Address | Map

Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.


Flight: An Exhibition of Works by Nazar Saeed

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Flight: Nazar Saeed


Keeping Tradition Alive: Qavvaali Featuring Ghayoor Moiz Qavvaal & Brothers

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Tuesday, 24th December 2013 | 7:00 pm

Join us at T2F for an acoustic qavvaali mehfil by Ghayoor Moiz Qavvaal & Brothers.

Ghayoor Moiz Qavvaal & Brothers belong to the 800 year old “Qavvaal Bachon Ka Gharana” of Delhi. They are the sons of Fareed Ayaz and grandsons of the inimitable Munshi Raziuddin.

Moiz Ghayoor & Brothers

Date: Tuesday, 24th December, 2013
Time: 7:00 pm
Entry: Rs. 350
Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
Address | Map

Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.


Bunny-Cycle: A Night of Indie Music

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Sunday, 22nd December 2013 | 6:00 pm

Bunny-Cycle

Date: Sunday, 22nd December, 2013
Time: 6:00 pm
Entry: Rs. 300
Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
Address | Map

Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.


Morris Mata: A Documentary by Taqi Shaheen

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Thursday, 19th December 2013 | 7:00 pm

Join us at T2F for the screening of Morris Mata, followed by a conversation with filmmaker, Taqi Shaheen.

Morris Mata is the story of a little car which helped shape Pakistan’s social history and consumer culture. The documentary also features people who have had a lifelong association with this little car in Pakistan.

Duration: 32 minutes
Language: Urdu with English Subtitles

About the Filmmaker

Taqi Shaheen is a filmmaker and visual artist based in Pakistan. His work crosses mediums and defies genre distinctions to fashion witty and curious observations of contemporary Pakistani culture and its urban landscapes.

Morris Mata Documentary

Date: Thursday, 19th December, 2013
Time: 7:00 pm
Suggested Donation: Anything you like. Please support our vision of intellectual poverty alleviation by donating generously.
Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
Address | Map

Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.


Fakir Diaries: Entanglements of Place and Authority in Sehwan Sharīf

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Thursday, 12th December 2013 | 7:00 pm

Join us at T2F for a talk by anthroplogist and artist, Omar Kasmani, as he explores questions of gender, space and embodiment among the fakirs of Sehwan Sharīf.

Best described as a ‘religious crossing space’, Sehwan Sharīf, in Sindh, Pakistan reveals an aggregation of historical claims and imaginations. Its present day character draws from its patron saint, the thirteenth century mystic and wanderer Lāl Shahbāz Qalandar (d. 1274). However, the making of a saint is not independent of the making of saintly places. An ‘architecture of sainthood’ enshrines the holy through creating new linkages between the image of the Sufi, the body of the saint, and especially the persons and sites where it can be accessed.

Omar Kasmani

Drawing from one year of field research among fakirs, this talk by Omar Kasmani situates a similar conversation between bodies and places. Fakir ideas of place and authority surface in the overlay of self-representations and bodily difference, in engagements of material space with dialogical dream-space, suggesting in the person of the fakir crossings of space, body and spiritual authority.

About the Speaker

Anthropologist and artist, Omar Kasmani is a doctoral candidate in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Freie Universität, Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies. His work, both artistic and academic, lies at the intersection of gender, body, and queer subjectivities. His research project explores questions of gender, space and embodiment with regard to self-representations among female, male and khadŗā (also hijra; transgender) fakirs in Sehwan Sharīf, Sindh, Pakistan. Kasmani is also associated with Mission Interdisciplinaire Francaise du Sindh (MIFS).

Date: Thursday, 12th December, 2013
Time: 7:00 pm
Suggested Donation: Anything you like. Please support our vision of intellectual poverty alleviation by donating generously.
Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
Address | Map

Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.


5000 Ki Deevar: End of Season Affordable Art Sale

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

5000 Ki Deevar


Faraar

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

written by Raania Azam Khan Durrani

I found creative freedom at Faraar.

I stumbled upon PeaceNiche few years ago, at a time when creativity seemed bound by red tape and repetition. As the visual art coordinator at PeaceNiche, I am blessed to work with some of the bravest, sharpest and most sensitive people in the country. At PeaceNiche and at Faraar; our playground for creative expression, we are not afraid to explore energies and take chances. Faraar is not just a gallery, but a multi faceted, multi dimensional space that welcomes and serves positivity and honest efforts. Faraar thrives on the energy, zest and professionalism of the artists that are drawn to it. Art is ageless, and it has no bounds. Faraar has always and continues to welcome those who convey and emote through their work, young and old, emerging or established, painter or potter, our doors are open to creators who wish to share.

It has been quite a journey so far, filled with excitement, sweat and smiles. In 2010 the team at PeaceNiche began questioning the art norms in the city. Who are we as an art space? Where do we stand amidst the crowd of commercial galleries and the high-end arts? What can we do for artists? What is it that defines us best and our beliefs of giving back to the community? These are the questions we asked each other. The same year we decided to make some changes and steered away, if only for a while, from solo art showcases. Why make it formal and exclusive, when we can really reach out and have some more fun? That year sitting in ‘The room that houses the crazy ones’, ‘Jumma Hafta Art Bazaar’ was born, it was not a version of the ‘Art Lootmar’, that Faraar had been hosting, but rather a renewed and more directed offspring of it.

It was young; it was just an idea at the time. I hand picked fourteen artists, mostly painters and potters, we set up shops and we sold work. It was simply satisfying, as the curator to see artists becoming a team and help sell each others works, discussing the art making process, making plans, drinking tea, understanding who we all are as artists. It could not end there. A few months later Jumma Hafta Art Bazaar 2, which by now had become JHAB 2 was in its developing stages.

jhab 2 - 3

The team sat down on the round ‘Pakistan Cables’ appropriated conference table and decided to initiate the ‘PeaceNiche Public Art Project’. We simply wished to cultivate a new audience for the arts. Make art available and accessible to all. The stunning Sabeen Mahmud drafted a stellar document, and the process began. At JHAB 2 we hosted and collaborated with over ninety visual artists, craftspeople and performance artists. The three-day event tested our mettle. It was spread out in two spaces, namely the gallery, the plot next door and pretty much on the street too. I would specially like to thank and mention the truck artists, painters, the Overload band and young students who all came forth and supported the cause, they all believed in the making of a new viewership, and despite our very limited funds worked with us, generously engaging with the crowds, mentoring, teaching and being joyous.

Soon after Faraar hosted the ‘Pyaar Pop-Up Shop’ in early 2013. That was an idea born on the closing night of JHAB 2, we wanted to do something ‘Rangeen’, something ‘Shouqeen’, and so we did.

JHAB 3 took place this summer, a different taste, but the same goal. This time around over 30 visual artists and craftspeople took over the gallery space and set up shops. Yes, I agree it was crowded, a bit crazy even, but it worked. We were not able to use the plot but we did use the ‘Utility Store’ shutters across from us, for street screenings titled ‘ Shutter Down’, an idea first explored by Insiya Syed at JHAB2. This time we screened video documentation of performance art shows by Amin Gulgee, and the sultry and racy ‘Behind the scenes’ of the music video ‘My Punjabi Love for You’ by Adnan Malik Productions. JHAB 3 also hosted street screenings by the ‘Tentative Collective’. Yes, on the closing night of ‘JHAB 3’ new plans were born again, the plan was to mix it up.

Imran

In October we had a show titled ‘Hero-Worship’ dedicated to Pakistani Cricketing stars. The artist, Shanzay Subzwari, is still a student at art school, and worked for several months, producing work, making decisions and learning from doing.

The Faraar Gallery has hosted some wonderful artists this year including Taqi Shaheen who showed his ‘Dhandli’ series in July 2013, Tahir Bhatti who makes fine ink drawings of women and their auras, Craftsmen Jani Soomro and Abdul Majid Soomro of Sindh, JP Chohan, chauffer in the day, artist by night, Raam Laal who made incredibly bright parrots of found objects for the Pyaar Shop – and my personal favourite Pervez Rana, master cinema painter who has painted vivid portraits of luscious icons, my favourite was his Frida, which I now proudly own.

Here we are again, thinking forward, shall we mix it up again? Yes we must. So this year look out for some exciting new projects at the Faraar Gallery at PeaceNiche.

Currently, Faraar is hosting the ‘Paanch Hazaar ki Deevar’, a selection of work all to be sold at Rs.5000/- each, this is also a part of the PeaceNiche Public Art Project.

Following that, Faraar will bring you works of two eclectic and very enthusiastic painters, Nazr-ul-Islam from Hyderabad, and Sarah Bakhtiyar of Karachi. Do follow our facebook page for details.

Bring us your best energy, bring us your ideas, come be free at Faraar.

NOTE: The Faraar Gallery welcomes artists/craftspeople to share their links with the curator at raania@peaceniche.com, please note we DO NOT accept attachments only links. Once reviewed, shortlisted artists are contacted for upcoming opportunities. As per policy Faraar does not exhibit calligraphic/religiously inclined work. The gallery charges a 30% facilitation fee on all sales.