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Silencing and Un-silencing at the Venice Biennale

The arrival of Freedom Boat— flying maritime flags specially created by artists Nicole Eisenman and Rosalind Nashashibi with artists, curators, filmmakers and writers as passengers— docked near Giardini, and then engaged all those present with reading in support of Palestine. Not only was…

National Narrative, Erasure and Twenty Third March

The boundary wall of Press Club was covered with larger-than-life portraits of iconic women of Pakistan (2016). This gesture of acknowledgement commissioned by the I Am Karachi campaign was painted by truck artists from the urban art collective, Phool Pati.…

Documenta: Will It Brave the Storm

The controversy that began with Documenta 15 has become much worse during the planning of Documenta 16 and now threatens the very life of this Kassel based, prestigious art forum. I remember my first Documenta, it was truly impressive with…

An Artist’s Legacy of Generosity

The news of Tariq Javed’s passing away was sudden and took many of us back to memories of him as a painter and ceramist, and above all as a magnanimous spirit who brought people together and helped the nascent careers…

The International Award for Public Art: A Dialogue between the Concerned

Steadily Public Art is attracting artists and communities that understand the importance of inclusivity and the need for larger dialogues through art. Getting traction on all continents it has proven itself to be a space-making practice that unites, amplifies and…

Who will tell the Palestinian Truth?

We deserve a better death. Our bodies are disfigured and twisted, embroidered with bullets and shrapnel. - Musab Abo Toha, from his collection ‘Save Gaza’. Like a puzzle, each verse of this poem fits together to tell the brutal history…

Interface with Creative Conversations: A Re-reading of Ustad Allah Baksh

Allah Baksh occupied the same historical moment of change as the renowned Chughtai, but carved out a different trajectory. A re-reading of his practice unveils a dynamic interface with diverse creative conversations of early twentieth century. The Ustad was born…

Placemaking for the Subaltern

Shahzia Sikander’s recent installation of sculptures titled Hawah …to breathe, air, life, stands in Madison Square Park (Witness) and the Supreme Court (NOW) in New York— with this comes the honor of being the first artist of Pakistani origin to…

Between Erasure and Nostalgia

Many questions about Karachi were left unanswered as I grew up between erasure and nostalgia in this city. The colonial built heritage with its linear history echoed the imperialist narrative which for decades became the only truth we knew. It…

The Forgotten Genealogies of Craft

As a keen observer of art history and the ruptures created by colonization, I have found artisanal practices as an important part of the cultural continuum that exists independent of Eurocentric art history. The assimilation of influences embedded in crafts…

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