THAAP Event Continues to Highlight Art

THAAP Event Continues to Highlight Art

The 5th International THAAP Conference 2014 continues as paper presentations, Sufi poetry rendition, film screening and photography exhibition by professionals and students were held on its second day on Saturday.
Christoph B Spreng, of the Caux Foundation, Switzerland, chaired the first session on Saturday during which Prof Dr Anila Naeem, co-chairperson of Department of Architecture and Planning, NED University, presented her paper titled ‘Mohanas of Manchar Lake: An Indigenous Cultural Tradition Pushed to the Edge’. The paper presented an analysis of secondary sources seeking to develop a narrative that reflected on the invaluable cultural, historical significance of Indus River/Manchar Lake’s community of ‘Mohanna’ boat dwellers and highlighted the need to raise awareness on the plight of this indigenous community along its dying material culture.
Ghiasuddin Pir read out Dr Khatau Mal’s paper titled ‘Tharparkar- A District on the Margins’ that focused on Tharparker arid zone in Sindh Province being marginalised by elaborating on its population, lifestyle of people, child labour and livestock.
Presenting her paper titled ‘Realism and Resistance in South Asian Literature’, Dr Ulka Anjaria, a faculty of Brandeis University, Massachusetts, United States, argued that understanding the role of literature in political resistance movements requires a complex theory of what literary realism is and how it works.
THAAP CEO Prof Sajida Haider Vandal chaired the second session during which Sara Kazmi presented her paper titled ‘Left Wing Cultural Politics in Pakistan Punjab: 1960s to the Present’. She said that most of the literature on linguistic movements in South Asia links them to ethnic nationalism and narrowly defined politics of identity. Due to institutionalised biases towards English and Urdu, the Punjabi language and its associated culture and art remain a marker of the working class, shunned by the upwardly mobile middle class and the elite.
Christoph B Spreng also presented his paper titled ‘Dialogue-Ways to Move from Polarization and Participation’ that highlighted the accumulation of unresolved issues in matters of diversity and migration over the last several years leading to a high level of human rights infringements in European countries.
In her paper titled ‘Public Space Making a Basis for Promoting an Equitable Mainstream Pakistani Culture, Art and Architecture Including the Marginalised and the Poor in the Society Creating Common Grounds’, Asiya Sadiq Polak emphasised that public space was making it crucial for an equitable mainstream Pakistani culture, art and architecture which would then provide common grounds for cultural interaction, intellectual exchange and social inclusion of all classes supporting the making of a sustainable Pakistani society.
Indian writer Prof Pran Nevile, the author of Lahore – A Sentimental Journey, chaired the third session during which Prof Dr Tariq Rehman presented his paper titled ‘Language on Wheels: Writings on Pakistani Trucks as a Window into Popular Worldview’. The researcher drew analyses of writings on truck art with a view to understand how they are written and what conventions govern their location on the body of the truck. The author argued that these writings symbolise a worldview which values romantic poetry concerning love and beauty.
In her paper titled ‘Ralli: A Legendary Folklore Nurtured by Marginalised’, Asna Mubashra reviewed the unique textile artwork of traditional ralli, a unique delight for the eyes made at the homes of poor from recycled.
The author hoped that knowledge of ralli quilts of Punjab would bring into limelight this silent yet strapping art conceptualised and practiced by the poor.
Melanie Dissanayake, a lecturer and co-coordinator at Departments of Integrated Design and Architecture, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, presented her paper titled ‘Cultural Changes and Commercial Challenges: The Traditional Potter Community in Sri Lanka’. She focused on exploring in-depth case study of a potter’s village and explained how change of cultural practices has affected these societies, products, production processes and their responses to commercial challenges.
Meanwhile, the THAAP international photography exhibition also kicked off at the School of Architecture and Design, University of Engineering and Technology (UET), where 45 participants, including some from foreign countries, showcased 103 photographs.
In the following film screening event, 10 short films relating to the theme of “Culture, Art and Architecture of the Marginalised and the Poor” were shown.
UET Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Zubair A Khan, UET School of Architecture and Planning Chairperson Prof Dr Neelum Naz, delegates from different countries and a large number of students were also present.

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