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Comparative Cultures

Subgroup: 

Cultures

The   Comparative Cultures Subgroup through its sessions- trips, presentations,   dialogue- attempts an exploration, understanding and appreciation of diverse   cultures. It draws upon social & aesthetic themes to understand how   social identities, actions, and desires are produced and practiced and the   forms that permeate everyday experience: subcultures, popular media   (television, film, the internet), and a range of performance practices—dance,   music, sports, and fashion.

Coordinator: Safa Baig

Co-coordinator: Jahandad Khan, Aimon Fatima

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Subgroup Programmes: 

Comparative Cultures - 'PUNJABI FOLKLORE': RAJA RASALU

Comparative Cultures - 'PUNJABI FOLKLORE': RAJA RASALU

Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Raja Rasalu, is a cultural icon in Punjabi folklore. The King famous for slaying giants left a legacy which continues to resonate and inspire, transcending the boundaries of time.

With the help of visual aids, the illustrative story- telling session will cover this iconic Punjabi folklore in depth through multiple lenses!

The programme will touch upon the circumstances of his birth, his initial explorations, betrayal by his friends, giant-hunting adventures, his journey into mysticism, his journey to the City of King Sarkap. It will also explore themes of femininity in Punjabi lore, with the story of Raja Rasalu and the Seventy Fair Maidens, and the traditional game of 'Chaupur', which he played with the King of Sarkap!

We will dive into influences: historical, regional and religious alike, where necessary, to add context to these exciting folktales, and discuss how these stories, or the morals they encompass within, are relevant in modern times!

  • The Presenter- Komal Salman is the Founder of Folkloristan, a digital storytelling platform working to leverage technology to preserve Pakistan's intangible cultural heritage, primarily focusing on local oral tradition. Along with retellings, translations, illustrations, and relevant research, Folkloristan also collects and curates folklore from across the country.
Comparative Cultures - CELEBRATING DIVERSITY- A VERY SPECIAL "CULINARY" EXPERIENCE WITH VISITING SIKH HERITAGE TOUR PARTICIPANTS!

Comparative Cultures - CELEBRATING DIVERSITY- A VERY SPECIAL "CULINARY" EXPERIENCE WITH VISITING SIKH HERITAGE TOUR PARTICIPANTS!

Wednesday, 7 February 2024

An opportunity to explore and celebrate the diversity of history and culture!

A group of Sikh physicians from the United States are visiting Pakistan for a Sikh Heritage Tour of Northwest Punjab. It includes individuals whose parents migrated from present day Pakistan in the events leading to partition. The participants will indulge in a 'culinary' activity where the restaurant's chefs will help them prepare everyday Pakistani cuisine!

Comparative Cultures- 'KOOCHI NOMADS OF AFGHANISTAN'- The LARGEST MIGRATORY PEOPLE ON EARTH

Comparative Cultures- 'KOOCHI NOMADS OF AFGHANISTAN'- The LARGEST MIGRATORY PEOPLE ON EARTH

Saturday, 16 December 2023

Documentary/ Presentation/Conversation

The Koochi nomads of Afghanistan belong to the Ghalji Tribe who are the largest migratory people on the planet, numbering about 2.5 Million. They traverse within Afghanistan-from North to South and in and out of Pakistan- on a seasonal basis, looking for greener pastures where they can feed their livestock, which are mostly goats and sheep.

A very conservative society, they maintain a safe distance from interference by the locals, and shun photography very strictly, especially of their women folk.This centuries old culture maybe coming to an end, because of the construction of fences and blockage of movement of these tribes…

Between 2006 -2008, approximately 100,000 nomads were included in a survey/research which covered the entire borderline with Afghanistan -between Pishin (Baluchistan) and up to the Mohmand tribal agency, in the KP province.

The producer/scriptwriter of this documentary Abid Zareef Khan- President & CEOof his NGO the Zareef Khan Foundation (ZKF) had the fortunate opportunity to film this century’s old culture of survival and existence- The information has been tabulated scientifically, and is in possession of the NGO-ZKF.

Comparative Cultures - 'WICKETS & WHISTLES': EXPLORING PAKISTAN'S CRICKET HERITAGE & IDENTITY

Comparative Cultures - 'WICKETS & WHISTLES': EXPLORING PAKISTAN'S CRICKET HERITAGE & IDENTITY

Monday, 13 November 2023

Cricket is the most played, watched, and admired sport in Pakistan. It isn't just a game, it's the beating heart of the nation!

Played in bustling streets and buzzing bazaars for over seventy years, the journey of Pakistani cricket weaves a colorful tapestry of Pakistan's story. The cricket team serves as a symbol of pride, transcending cultural and ethnic boundaries to bring people together...

Hasan and Safa, cricket enthusiasts- hailing from Islamabad- believe that no other sphere of life articulates Pakistan’s history, culture and society more precisely than cricket. Their presentation-reflecting how cricket mirrors culture- explores the history of cricket, from its humble origins to match-fixing controversies, and Pakistan’s unique contributions to the sport.

 

Special Programme: Comparative Cultures/Art -  TRANSBORDER FEMINIST ART

Special Programme: Comparative Cultures/Art - TRANSBORDER FEMINIST ART

Saturday, 20 May 2023

'The way in which international media frames certain ideas affects public perception , and relates to the struggle to deal effectively with a diversity of experiences and perspectives of Muslim women across borders...'

Toronto based visual artist and curator Iman Aziz Bhatti will share her experiences on how Muslim Pakistani women represent their identity and culture across borders through contemporary art, theory and criticism; and how visual arts is giving them agency to represent themselves while challenging the normalization of stereotypical ideas and realities put forward by media.

Iman Azizi Bhatti graduated in Fine Art and in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from Ontario College of Art & Design University. Her practice explores themes of identity, gender roles, orientalism and resistance to emphasize how exposure to images shapes perception, particularly that of South Asian women.

Comparative Cultures - SECRET OR SURVIVAL: DECODING 'HIJRA FARSI' IN PAKISTAN

Comparative Cultures - SECRET OR SURVIVAL: DECODING 'HIJRA FARSI' IN PAKISTAN

Saturday, 4 March 2023

A presentation

'Hijra Farsi'- a secret language historically used by transgenders in Pakistan, has been practised for ages in the larger region of South and Far East Asia. The language is used for expressing concepts, ideas and references unique to the community, that is why they see it as a tool of survival rather than communication. However, its secrecy has been compromised because of social media or direct interaction with transgenders.

The presenter-Tayyaba Rafiq- has spent almost two years observing the transgender community in Lahore, Kasur, Multan, Faisalabad, Karachi, Quetta, and Islamabad. She questions if the language should be documented for safeguarding or kept veiled to protect the concerns of the community.

With an M-Phil (Linguistics) from Beaconhouse National University (BNU) and an Honours degree in English Language and Linguistics,she is passionate for the preservation of the endangered mother tongue (Punjabi), and writes, advocates and researches themes that centre around her interests. Currently she is documenting the language of the Gypsy community in Kasur.

Comparative Cultures - THE INDUS SAGA

Comparative Cultures - THE INDUS SAGA

Sunday, 12 February 2023

‘Sindhu’ to ‘Indus’ – the mother, the nurturer- a magnetic calling for millions over millennia. Not just a river, she has been home to societies and cultures for over 7000 plus years.The first step is recognizing heritage at a deeper, more profound, celebratory, soulful architectonic conversation …

Over refreshments of artisanal vegan snacks created by Chef Hamza Azim, spend a Sunday afternoon understanding the mystique of the River Indus. The Indus River Valley Institute (IRVI)invites you to a presentation/get-together on the enigmatic River Indus, with architect/cultural anthropologist Zain Mustafa through his body of work!

The Indus River Valley Institute (IRVI), Pakistan’s first Culture & Heritage think Tank for research & Development, set up in 2022 in an idyllic rural earth based setting- on the outskirts of Islamabad- aims to bring the language of an erudite cultural identity to a singular space, with dialogues, data, research, collaborations, curated courses and residency programs, reclaiming the lost 12 nation family members of the bioregional Indus lineage. A blood line history that has been often forgotten or marginalized…

 

Comparative Cultures - RAFTING THE MIGHTY INDUS: A VISUAL JOURNEY

Comparative Cultures - RAFTING THE MIGHTY INDUS: A VISUAL JOURNEY

Friday, 9 December 2022

Multimedia presentation/ Conversation

In Pakistan, the Indus is known by many names: the Father of the Rivers, the Blue Water, the Lion River... Ancient civilizations thrived around it, shrines to Sufi and Hindu saints dot its banks, and its waters irrigate the crops that feed Pakistan's 220 million people...

In 2022, Pakistani film maker and explorer Wajahat Malik led 'Expedition Indus', a six-member team that rafted the entire course of the river in Pakistan. For over 40 days, they moved through gorges of glacial melt, met fishermen who live on boats and got lost in some of the hundreds of miles of irrigation canals that branch off the river!

We will share - through the presentation- the incredible, occasionally harrowing, but always dramatic journey!

Comparative Cultures - ART BEHIND BARS

Comparative Cultures - ART BEHIND BARS

Saturday, 18 June 2022

Why do prisoners produce art?

Studio, canvas, paints, brushes, sculptures come into our minds when we think of “Art”. To write, to paint, to make art of any kind may be a great and true adventure, but this is not the case with ‘Prison Art’ which has almost nothing to do with the conventional aesthetic value that is usually associated with Art…

Believing that art must never stop at the level of pleasing eyes, Shakeel Ahmad, co-founder Aman Chaupal and an Anthropologist from Kasur will share his ethnographic work on prison art in Punjab. Besides attempting to answer the question ‘Why do prisoners produce art?’ the discussion will include various samples of artifacts/artworks, process methods and approach of art creation, finally utility, and significance of prison Art within and outside the prison.

The presentation will be bi-lingual followed by Q&A session.

Comparative Cultures -  ONE FRAME AT A TIME...

Comparative Cultures - ONE FRAME AT A TIME...

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

Join us for a very special presentation comprising comparative cultures/photography & history...a journey through time, preserving history & exploring Pakistan's coming of age through visual storytelling!

Zaidis Photographers is a fourth generation Photography business established in 1904 at Allahbad and Benaras in India.The studio on the Mall in Lahore has been there since 1930 and has photographed more than half a million people to date.

The studio hosts an extensive archive of negatives that capture Lahore's vibrant history. Working actively on preserving this legacy for future generations, Shahid Zaidi, the studio's owner, and his team have painstakingly created digital versions of the images that his father started capturing at his studio in Lahore, almost 92 years ago!

His eventual aim is to to put the complete collection online.

And yes... its quite possible that some of us may find our very own ancestors represented in this fabulous collection of images, from the pre/post Partition decades!

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