An endeavour to revive dying arts at Alhamra Cultural Complex

A three-day (April 20-22) multi-featured All Pakistan Cultural Festival highlighting various aspects of art such as films, theatre and music will open at Alhamra Cultural Complex, Qadhafi Stadium, on Friday (tomorrow).

Artistes from all five provinces would participate in this cultural activity featuring artisans, magic and puppet shows, traditional wedding songs exclusively for women and by women artistes, performance of amateur singers, that of regional dances and traditional food stalls.

The festival, which has been organised by the Punjab government, City District Government and Lahore Arts Council, would be spread over three venues — Alhamra Cultural Complex as the prime happening spot, Punjab Institute for Language Art and Culture for the film screenings and Minar-i-Pakistan to cater big crowds amidst singing performances by eminent singers from different provinces.

LAC Deputy Director (Programmes) Chaudhry Asif explaining the basic idea behind the festival told Dawn: “The festival is the initiative of the Punjab government to promote nationalism and revive dying arts through artisans and highlighting the heritage and culture of Pakistan”.

Preparations are in full swing for the festival at Alhamra Cultural Complex, the inaugural site of the festival which is being decorated. Still floats, makeshift stage arrangements for different performances, stalls for artisan arriving in Lahore from all over Pakistan are being set up at the Cultural Complex. Sound system and speakers are being installed for the music and other shows; regretfully sound system has always been taken on rent because LAC despite being the prime arts council of the country does not have its own sound system.

‘The artisans at work’ portion at the Cultural Complex will feature different dying arts. Such artisans have been chosen by the council who have credible work to their credit in such arts like an artisan, Rasheed, who is a Pride of performance in Camel Bone work, would arrive from Multan. The other cities and provinces from where artisans would participate are DG Khan, Bahawalpur, Silanwali, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Kashmir. The dying arts practiced by the artisans are Camel Skin work, blue pottery, block printing, Sindhi Ajrak, Kashmiri handmade Shawls, stone carving, Kashmiri Namda, embroidered Shawls and motikars and a number of others.

Singers from all provinces are participating in the festival. They would perform on both venues at Alhamra Cultural Complex and Minar-i-Pakistan. The prominent singers include Hamid Ali Khan, Shazia Manzoor, Humera Arshad, Fakhir, Shazia Khushk from Sindh, Akhtar Chinar Zehri from KP, Fariha Pervaiz, Sain Zahoor and a number of comedians.

The films will be screened at Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture. The films include Heer Ranjha, (Punjabi), Yousaf Khan Sher Bano, (Pushto) Kartar Singh (Urdu), Umer Marvi,(Sindhi), Mirza Jutt (Punjabi) and Zartaja (Pushto).

The students of Lahore Arts Council music classes would also perform on the occasion. During their performances amateur singers from the public would also be invited to perform on stage.


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