Posts Tagged ‘Arts’

BNU’s lavish plans for an art school

Under the aegis of Vice Chancellor, Sartaj Aziz, Beaconhouse National University (BNU) has unveiled first signs of construction at its new campus located on Raiwind Road. The current premises of the City Campus are quite compact and needed a larger space badly.

BNU New Campus Location - Source:

BNU New Campus Location - Source:

According to a Daily Times report, BNU is going to spend a massive Rs1.2 billion at the new site, out of which, a major chunk will be raised through donations. Designed by Nayyar Ali Dada and already constructed is the Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts, named after the mother of prominent industrialist and donor, Mr. Hussain Dawood.

Renowned artist and Dean of School of Visual Arts at BNU, Ms. Salima Hashmi said that classes will begin at the school’s new premises from September this year while rest of the construction will end within 12 to 13 months. BNU is currently offering degrees and courses in architecture, digital photography, visual arts, textile & jewellery design, sculpture and painting while it plans to add more programs after the expansion of its facilities.

How we are Losing our Cultural Identity

Yesterday, I went through an appeal for donations in Dawn by Hassan Zaidi, the founder of KaraFilm. Mr. Zaidi has been instrumental in bringing international spotlight and global taste to Karachi in the form of Pakistan’s largest film festival which grew bigger and better each year until two years back. The security situation in Karachi had resulted in postponement of the event for two consecutive years while 2009 brought with it the worst of economic recessions to blame.

KaraFilm is not alone here; in Lahore, Peer Festivals’ much celebrated World Performing Arts Festival was blatantly sabotaged in 2008 when suspected blasts occurred at the venue of the event.

But the question is, is the security situation or availability of corporate sponsorships to be blamed alone? Isn’t our love for arts, culture, literature and our own aesthetic identity fading away. What was the last time you went out alone, or with your friends or family to an art exhibition, a lok virsa show or to any of the Alhamra concerts on ethnic music?

If we look around our immediate surroundings, and closely observe our collective pshyche, it would not be worng to say that we are rapidly loosing the artistic thought, the softer brain and the very essence of cultural identity. Today, the only entertainment considered entertainment is a Bollywood movie screening (at cinema or at home), a ‘western’ rock concert or in majority of the public’s case; cheap and vulgar theatre.

We may not realize this now, but in due time this realization will come and hit us hard when the damage to our unique cultural identity and the youth’s attitude towards it will be irreparable. And that would happen even without the help of extremist ideologies whether they be from the mullahs or the government.

We’ll lose it and never know when it happened unless our common perspective towards arts and culture changes; unless parents don’t feel undermined of their investment in children who opt for arts; unless we change our attitudes towards everything local and unless we do not support the only catalysts of revival i.e. our local artistes, the lok-musicians, the artisans and the craftsmen of our rich cultural heritage that spans over more than a couple of thousand years as well as welcoming and embracing international flavors in contemporary arts, theatre, music and film.

25th World Performing Arts Festival @ Al-Hamra

Al-Hamra Lahore 2008

Al-Hamra Lahore 2008

The 25th World Performing Arts Festival will kick off at the Alhamra Cultural Complex on November 13 and would host drama, puppetry and music performances from 300 foreign delegates and 500 local artistes from across the country. The 10-day long festival  has brought together 16,000 artistes from 85 countries that would allow the locals to experience a variety of art forms.

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