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Capsule
The one, to whom clay spoke … Memories of Sheherezade Alam

In the last decade Sheherezade Alam (1948 – 2022) was like a clay sufi, using mitti as a lens to talk about life and living. To her the clay welded the past to the present in a vast timeless embrace…

Listening to a City

While clearing space on my laptop I came across images of Kathmandu and with them came memories of this city that I was introduced to via art. Ten years ago I was invited to The Kathmandu Art Festival which offered…

Art Within Paradise

As I stood within the Summer Palace (Lahore), a stunning visual connection began to emerge between the arabesque of the fading Mughal frescos and contemporary calligraphy on display— this aesthetic arc effortlessly spanned over half a millennium. The site of…

Linking Culture with Development

The countries from the Asia- Pacific Region that participated in the recent online UNESCO Regional Consultation Mondiacult 2022 were mostly born in the last eighty years. These relatively young nations, many independent after centuries of colonialism, have been reclaiming their…

Rabia Zuberi – A Legacy of Enablement and Resolve

A question I have often asked myself: what made Rabia Zuberi, a young woman in the 1960s, commit all her energies to building an art institution? To undertake such an ambitious project thereby leaving her no time to raise a…

Communicating the National Narrative

Walking through the pavilions at EXPO 22, one could see many carefully selected layers of identity: history, innovation, national resources and culture; all woven into a visitor experience that spoke of both a nation’s self- perception and the image it…

Coding the Classical

The word code is acquiring a new meaning for me; and as it shifts from generic associations like Morse code and dress code, in recent months it has been all about digital application: the building blocks of art work. Technology…

Asymmetrical Architecture of Concerns and Creativity

Critics and historians seldom know what to do with art practices that evolve along an unpredictable trajectory. They are difficult to pigeonhole and discuss in relationship to established frameworks. The discourse around such art practices, however challenging, can also be…

Complicated Respect: BM Beyond the Obvious

It was a strange co-incidence, that the day Bashir Mirza died I had called him up but got no response. He had been unwell for a few weeks and I was hoping he was better and I would get to…

Exhibitions that Decolonize: Disrupting the Passive Museum

Recently in my research on decolonization I came across two museum projects that show an institutional commitment to revisiting the dark recesses of colonial history. In 2019 Manchester Museum, UK, commemorated hundred years since the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (1919) that…

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