Posts tagged Pakistan

Drone art: Death on a canvas

A generation of Pakistani artists focuses on expressing life under daily violence. 

Karachi, Pakistan - Violence is part of daily life in Pakistan, where TV stations regularly ambush viewers with news on the latest bombings, and where sirens and screeching ambulances are often heard racing through the streets after attacks. These things no longer surprise anyone, nor does the constant sight of flashing television bulletins reporting how many have died after the latest drone strike. This is not to say that Pakistan’s 192 million people are apathetic - but most have found ways to block out the violence. Yet some Pakistani artists have not been able to tune out the din of drone-strike deaths, and have instead chosen to address the issue head-on in their work. This art has urgency, a sense of purpose with specific intent: To be part of the dialogue on national identity and the future of the country. Al Jazeera spoke with four prominent artists whose work chronicles drone attacks and the effects of violence on the Pakistani psyche.

(Images: The Streets are Rising by Naiza Khan/In This Landscape There is No Certainty by Naiza Khan)

Exhibition: CAPTIVATING CALLIGRAPHY
1 August - 20 August 2013

Bin Qullander, a young Pakistani quickly gaining international recognition, an exhibition of his work on show in Art Couture, Dubai

The exhibition celebrates the calligraphy of four well-known and emerging artists.

The Burka Avenger is an amazing action-comedy animated TV series that follows the adventures of the Burka Avenger and three young kids in the imaginary city of Halwapur as they fight the evil Baba Bandook and his henchmen.

The Burka Avenger is an amazing action-comedy animated TV series that follows the adventures of the Burka Avenger and three young kids in the imaginary city of Halwapur as they fight the evil Baba Bandook and his henchmen.

Karachi Literature Festival 2013
Launched in 2010, the annual Karachi Literature Festival is open to all and free. The first of its kind in Pakistan, it brings together and celebrates Pakistani and international authors writing in diverse languages. It features creative writing workshops, debates, discussions, lectures, mushairah, a book fair, book launches, readings, signings, and more. In 2013 the Festival moves to a new, more accessible venue in the heart of Karachi where, for the first time, a Children’s Literature Festival will be held in parallel under the Karachi Literature Festival umbrella.

Karachi Literature Festival 2013

Launched in 2010, the annual Karachi Literature Festival is open to all and free. The first of its kind in Pakistan, it brings together and celebrates Pakistani and international authors writing in diverse languages. It features creative writing workshops, debates, discussions, lectures, mushairah, a book fair, book launches, readings, signings, and more. In 2013 the Festival moves to a new, more accessible venue in the heart of Karachi where, for the first time, a Children’s Literature Festival will be held in parallel under the Karachi Literature Festival umbrella.

How It Happened by Shazaf Fatima Haider
Dadi, the imperious matriarch of the Bandian family in Karachi, swears by the virtues of arranged marriage. All her ancestors – including a dentally and optically challenged aunt – have been perfectly well-served by such arrangements. But her grandchildren are harder to please.
Haroon, the apple of her eye, has to suffer half a dozen candidates until he finds the perfect Shia-Syed girl of his dreams. But it is Zeba, his sister, who has the tougher time, as she is accosted by a bevy of suitors, including a potbellied cousin and a banker who reeks of sesame oil.
Told by the witty, hawk-eyed Saleha, the precocious youngest sibling, this is a romantic, amusing and utterly delightful story about how marriages are made and unmade—-not in heaven, but in the drawing room and over the phone.

How It Happened by Shazaf Fatima Haider

Dadi, the imperious matriarch of the Bandian family in Karachi, swears by the virtues of arranged marriage. All her ancestors – including a dentally and optically challenged aunt – have been perfectly well-served by such arrangements. But her grandchildren are harder to please.

Haroon, the apple of her eye, has to suffer half a dozen candidates until he finds the perfect Shia-Syed girl of his dreams. But it is Zeba, his sister, who has the tougher time, as she is accosted by a bevy of suitors, including a potbellied cousin and a banker who reeks of sesame oil.

Told by the witty, hawk-eyed Saleha, the precocious youngest sibling, this is a romantic, amusing and utterly delightful story about how marriages are made and unmade—-not in heaven, but in the drawing room and over the phone.

Watch the powerful and hard-hitting documentary that has given the issue of acid violence global attention. Channel 4 will be showing the film on 16th January 2013 at 10pm.
Directed by Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Saving Face profiles two survivors of acid violence in Pakistan. The film follows them as they try to come to terms with their attacks, rebuild their lives and bring the perpetrators to justice. Saving Face highlights the work of Dr Muhammad Ali Jawad, pioneering British Pakistani plastic surgeon who worked for Islamic Help to treat the two survivors who are the subject of the film.

Watch the powerful and hard-hitting documentary that has given the issue of acid violence global attention. Channel 4 will be showing the film on 16th January 2013 at 10pm.

Directed by Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Saving Face profiles two survivors of acid violence in Pakistan. The film follows them as they try to come to terms with their attacks, rebuild their lives and bring the perpetrators to justice. Saving Face highlights the work of Dr Muhammad Ali Jawad, pioneering British Pakistani plastic surgeon who worked for Islamic Help to treat the two survivors who are the subject of the film.

We are living in a very different situation compared to the past. Now, we are neither leftist nor rightist. We are just confused and we don’t know what to do. We are just trying to figure out who we are and we are in search of our own identity.

Art flourishes in a suppressed environment in a different way. I won’t say that art and literature flourishes only in a suppressed environment. All over the world, you can see resistance literature, whether it is Russia, France, Latin American countries or other suppressed nations, because now we live in a global village where censorship and iron curtain exist no more.

Urdu poet, senior journalist and anchorperson Nasira Zuberi
Between Clay and Dust By Musharraf Ali Farooqi nominated for the The Man Asian Literary Prize

Between Clay and Dust By Musharraf Ali Farooqi nominated for the The Man Asian Literary Prize

Thinner Than Skin By Uzma Aslam Khan nominated for the The Man Asian Literary Prize

Thinner Than Skin By Uzma Aslam Khan nominated for the The Man Asian Literary Prize

TIME PERSON OF THE YEAR 2012
Runner-Up: Malala Yousafzai, the Fighter
“This is Malala, I understand that what happened was tragic, but you need to stay strong. You cannot give up.” 
(Photo Credit: ASIM HAFEEZ)

TIME PERSON OF THE YEAR 2012

Runner-Up: Malala Yousafzai, the Fighter

“This is Malala, I understand that what happened was tragic, but you need to stay strong. You cannot give up.” 

(Photo Credit: ASIM HAFEEZ)

Muftah launched in May 2010 to provide incisive analysis on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) that eschewed Western obsessions with terrorism, oil, and Islamism and, instead, highlighted issues and concerns that mattered to the region’s people.
While we believe this work is crucial to improving foreign policy toward MENA, we also aim to move beyond the policymaking community to reach a broader audience in the MENA region and English-speaking world interested in understanding, supporting, or participating in the indigenous, grassroots efforts currently underway to transform regional countries. Our analytical focus also extends to Afghanistan and Pakistan, countries facing similar dynamics in the midst of rapid political and social change.

Muftah launched in May 2010 to provide incisive analysis on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) that eschewed Western obsessions with terrorism, oil, and Islamism and, instead, highlighted issues and concerns that mattered to the region’s people.

While we believe this work is crucial to improving foreign policy toward MENA, we also aim to move beyond the policymaking community to reach a broader audience in the MENA region and English-speaking world interested in understanding, supporting, or participating in the indigenous, grassroots efforts currently underway to transform regional countries. Our analytical focus also extends to Afghanistan and Pakistan, countries facing similar dynamics in the midst of rapid political and social change.

Pakistan Future Leaders Conference 2012

Over the weekend Oxford University’s Pakistan Society hosted the yearly Pakistan Future Leaders Conference. It is evident that new thinking is required to tackle the challenges facing Pakistan, which makes it all the more disappointing when rehashed thinking is presented to tackle the problems facing Pakistan. It is quite evident that Pakistan needs to invest in developing its vast youth resource, just as it is evident that Pakistan’s military holds too much power, and its policies have damaged the country. These quite vague and generalised statements don’t illuminate the problem or how to treat the problem. Simply saying we need civilian government does not articulate how this will solve Pakistan’s problems. 

Much hope is being placed in Imran Khan’s party, PTI, and a number of prominent politicians have come over to his party from all major parties in Pakistan. This is quite a significant development, and Imran Khan could be a real political player in Pakistan’s next elections. The problem however is that the people of Pakistan will soon again be disappointed because Imran Khan’s party manifests the same thinking, which culminated in the global financial crisis. This is not original thinking. 

Karachi Literature Festival 2012
"They are renaissance men. They are boulevardiers. They are three young Pakistani men in New York City at the turn-of-the-millennium: AC, a gangsta rap spouting academic; Jimbo, a hulking Pushtun deejay from the streets of Jersey City; and Chuck,a wide-eyed, off-the-boat kid, searching for himself and the American Dream. In a city where origins matter less than the talent for self invention, the three Metrostanis have the guts to claim the place as their own.
But when they embark on a road-trip to the hinterland weeks after 9/11 in search of the Shaman, a Gatsbyesque compatriot who seemingly disappears into thin air, things go horribly wrong. Suddenly, they find themselves in a changed, charged America.
Rollicking, bittersweet and sharply observed, Home Boy is at once an immigrant’s tale, a mystery, a story of love and loss as well as a unique meditation on Americana and notions of collective identity. It announces the debut of an original, electrifying voice in contemporary fiction.”

"They are renaissance men. They are boulevardiers. They are three young Pakistani men in New York City at the turn-of-the-millennium: AC, a gangsta rap spouting academic; Jimbo, a hulking Pushtun deejay from the streets of Jersey City; and Chuck,a wide-eyed, off-the-boat kid, searching for himself and the American Dream. In a city where origins matter less than the talent for self invention, the three Metrostanis have the guts to claim the place as their own.

But when they embark on a road-trip to the hinterland weeks after 9/11 in search of the Shaman, a Gatsbyesque compatriot who seemingly disappears into thin air, things go horribly wrong. Suddenly, they find themselves in a changed, charged America.

Rollicking, bittersweet and sharply observed, Home Boy is at once an immigrant’s tale, a mystery, a story of love and loss as well as a unique meditation on Americana and notions of collective identity. It announces the debut of an original, electrifying voice in contemporary fiction.”

ISLAMABAD FASHION WEEK

Vice.com, the controversial online magazine has produced a short documentary on fashion week in Pakistan. The reality of life for most of the Pakistani elite is far removed from the death and destruction that has afflicted Pakistan for the past ten years. The documentary explores a world that is not often seen by the outside world. It is a world far removed from the political intrigues surrounding the country’s military and intelligence agency ISI who are accused of playing a double game with the West according to a two part documentary by the BBC. The disconnection between the Pakistani elite and the rest of society does not bode well, and the struggle within Pakistan is potentially going to reach a tipping point, just as we have seen with the Arab uprisings.