IS AAJ MEIN KAL: AURTOON KE TEREEQ

IN THE PRESENT LIES THE PAST: FEMINIST EXCAVATIONS

A MULTIDIMENSIONAL EXHIBITION SHOWCASING WOMEN’S CREATIVITY AND RESISTANCE FROM 2006 TO 2020 WITH SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON THE 1980s AND 1990s

 THE EXHIBITION

 The ASR Resource Centre exhibited a part of its archival collection from the 26th of January to the 25th of February 2020 as a collateral site of the Lahore Biennale 2020 and subsequently at the Alhamra Art Gallery. These exhibits were curated on the premise that Archival her/his stories and subaltern narratives/articulations and creativities are an integral part of what has been, what is, and what will be, since her/history itself is a telling and a retelling of the stories of collective and individual experiences and consciousness. While three galleries showcased feminist art, other aspects included women’s creativity in poetry, literature, theatre, music, and the women’s movement which were integral to the narrative. The purpose was not an ‘artistic’ endeavor but a highlighting of women’s agency and expression regardless of the genre they choose to express themselves in.  

GALLERIES

  1. Milestones/Sang e Meel: Women’s Movement Archives 1906 to 2020
  2. Portrait Gallery: Women dancers, Singers and Actors
  3.  The Art of Naqashi
  4. Poster Exhibition: From the Women’s Action Forum, Lahore, and the ASR Resource Centre Collections
  5.  Women’s Action Forum, Lahore: A Herstory in Movement
  6.  The Evolution of Video Production: From the ASR Archives
  7.  In Her Own Write: Feminists in Print.
  8.  In Retrospect: The ASR Resource Centre
  9.  A Making of Meaning: Feminist Art
  10.  I Resist Therefore I am: Feminist Creativities: Art, Music, Theatre, Poetry

 INTEREST AND FEEDBACK

While the ASR exhibition which was held in the ASR office was not within the locations of the main Biennale exhibits, the response was much more than anticipated. It had over 3500 visitors of which about 2000 were faculty and students from various public and private schools, colleges and universities. There was a wide representation of artists; curators; art promoters; gallery owners; art teachers; researchers; singers; theater and film actors; dancers; film makers; cultural activists; women’s rights activists and art and museum aficionados. The exhibition was moved to the Al Hamra Cultural Centre for the 8th of March where over 500 people visited the exhibition.

The comments pages indicate some of the feedback especially from students although the exhibition received high praise from art historians, curators and artists. The visitors also gave comments on exhibition through their social media accounts. An article “The Subaltern Herstory” by Sehr Jalil was written in The News. The Curator of the South Asian Collection at the Tate Modern wrote that this should be a permanent exhibition while a British Art historian wrote that this was the best exhibition on the women’s movement that she had seen anywhere in the world!

Subsequently ASR has been asked to take the exhibition to Karachi, Hyderabad, Islamabad and Quetta while festival organizers in London and New York have raised the possibility of having a slide presentation running with literature and art festivals.