Artistic expressions of women from minority communities
LAHORE: An exhibition featuring artworks by women from minority communities titled ‘The Making of Meaning’, opened at Zahoorul Akhalq Gallery, National College of Arts, on Tuesday.
A good number of art fanciers, students from different art institutions and other guests attended the exhibition.
The show aims at contributing towards elimination of persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan and to create a conducive environment for these communities to exercise human rights without any discrimination or threat of faith-based discrimination or violence.
It was organised by the Faiz Foundation Trust (FFT), in collaboration with the NCA.
The exhibition was inaugurated by Stavros Lambrinidis, EU Special Representative for Human Rights. It’s a traveling exhibition and after Lahore it would also be held at Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta.
Saleema Hashmi of FFT, told the media the Trust was one of the six partners, executing an EU-funded project ‘Freedom of Religion and Belief in Pakistan’. Ms Hashmi said under the project, FFT would hold four art exhibitions by women from religious minorities in all the provincial headquarters.
She said the notion was to share visual experiences imbued in both religious and cultural signifier. In order to widen the group to avoid any undertones of ‘ghettoisation’, four women artists from majority (Muslim) community whose works address issues affecting the minorities are also included. The objective is to create a harmonious aesthetic dialogue.
The participating artists and artisans created artworks involving a variety of materials, mediums and processes, both two dimensional and three dimensional.
It features works by 11 artists and 10 artisans, including Manisha Jiani, Anushka Rustomji Musa, Nida Ramzan, Ghufrana Ghazal Naqvi, Rehana Latif, Seema Nusrat, Karen Frank, Nilofer Sohail, Zainab Siddiqui, Shakila Haider and Gopa Trivedi.
The majority of these artists and artisans belong to Christian, Hindu, Parsi, Hazara, Sikh and Ismaili communities.
It is accompanied by a poster-cum-catalogue show, including artists’ biographical information and statements.
The collaborations with artisans also seek to erase difference between fine art and craft practiced by women. The exhibition had on display installations, miniature, sculpture and other artworks.
An installation based on conversation by an artist through internet with Sikh community in Peshawar was appreciated a lot.
The exhibition was to continue till Nov 4, but given the interest it generated, it is expected to be extended till Nov 6.