Aside

Installing, well past the cut-off hour… my very own

11 May

Installing, well past the cut-off hour…

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my very own helping hand in the earlier days of installation.

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Studio practice

11 May

Lead up to the final MA show, long, tiring and exhausting work hours in the studio but hopefully it will be totally worth it.Image

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on the set- filming Needled.

11 May
Organic sculpture

Organic sculpture

The celebrity super star of needled ^

Editing, the toughest part after light set-up.

 

Unfortunately, because of bad sound this film needs to be re-shot. What an absolute battle it is to find a pomegranate in the month of May!

on the set- filming Needled.

Digital drawings 2010

28 Dec

Digital drawings 2010.

Digital drawings 2010

28 Dec


Pomegranate

28 Dec

Hello all, for some research i need anything and everything you might know about pomegranates (urdu: annar). Myths, superstitions, stories, idioms, muhavaray, whatever you can provide will be much appreciated.

Shift towards the Pakistani.

21 Apr

What is the identity of a Pakistani? Quite a common question with Pakistanis these days; one may be asked this, or often like i did, one may just wonder themselves. I was recently asked this again, and I replied instantly, with out a moments hesitation but as I answered I felt my confidence waver, for a moment, just a moment, i felt stumped, wondering if my answer was complete enough even though as far as I was concerned I had resolved this question for myself a few years ago when I dealt with it in my thesis. Better think again.

My thesis went full circle when trying to discover what identity for Pakistanis meant. This question had driven me mad for the longest time, dealing with our heavy baggage of a colonial past, Partition and consequently migration from India, and the split in Pakhtunistan. It was pressing enough for me to tackle with it in my thesis, and after much research and heart ache (caused by painful tutorials) I decided that our baggage was indeed our identity, the diversity in people and culture that it presented us with was our identity and that it should be celebrated, our history made us rich in culture and tradition if anything at all.

However, recently I read an article by Kamila Shamsie that seemed to be celebrating and yearning an era bygone. The culture that she referred to with such nostalgia was one that my generation has not experienced; the 70’s that she spoke about so fondly, that were rudely interrupted by Zia’s regime are inconsequential for me. She wrote very convincingly about Nazia and Zoheb Hasan, about how they transformed the pop culture scene for the youth  back then, about how they brought ‘cool’ to Pakistani culture, so much so that I actually went online to watch the much hyped ‘disco dewane’ video.

Boy, was I disappointed. Not because of the tacky dance moves and dated clothes. Mind you, I am huge fan, love Nazia and Zoheb, and even though i have never first hand experienced their coming of age, the hype that Kamila Shamsie managed to create in her article, lingered around in my childhood days, they are an icon of the past, that some how bring out respect in me.  To come back to the point, I was disappointed because what she was raving about in her article is some what still happening: Our desire to become one with the west; to adopt their culture, language and dress, because we seem to have an inferiority complex of some sort and nothing hard core ethnic, local or Pakistani is ever good enough. That is what Nazia and Zoheb were doing in their video; aping the west. Tat iwhat got the approval of the impressionable minds of the youth of the early 80’s. This complex, not limited to0 just clothes, still continues; if you are well versed in english or can speak it well, you will get respect.

But times are changing, if you can speak good urdu, you will get respect. Thats the change now. Thats our identity. The youth of the 80’s might have been trying to keep up with the culture of post partition british influenced Pakistan. But the youth today, to some extent, searches for a Pakistani identity, questioning their past, owning today and in the process forming their identity, a Pakistani identity.

This is not limited to just language. Its evident in clothes and culture and tradition too. Media explains this point best. For me the Olper advertisements on tv with their focus on family life, religious ceremonies and traditional activities exemplify this.

Its normally not possible to see a phenomena happen if you are encompassed by it. However, I beleive my understanding of this situation comes from my brother who has just returned to Pakistan after ten years. He remembers Pakistan as he left it. He has come back to a different culture where people speak urdu and are proud of their pakistani heritage. He calls me a wannabe Pakistani! He says I am ‘trying to hard to be a Pakistani’ . Thats a bit difficult if you are born and raised here.

As far as I am concerned the search for Pakistan now is being a Pakistani.