Culture and Art a Marker of The Working Class

 Culture and Art a Marker of The Working Class“Due to the institutionalised bias 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,” wrote Sara Kazmi in her paper presented on the second day of the Trust for History Arts and Architecture Pakistan conference here on Saturday.

Delegates from Bangladesh, Belgium, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, India, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and various cities of Pakistan took part in the conference.

The fourth paper of the day was presented by Sara Kazmi, titled Left Wing Cultural Politics in Pakistan Punjab: 1960s to the Present.

Kazmi’s paper commented on linguistic movements and their links ethnic nationalism and politics of identity.

The third session was chaired by Christoph B Spreng, a member of the Council of Foundation, Caux-Initiatives of Change based in Switzerland.

The first paper of the session was titled Mohanas of Manchar Lake and Indigenous Cultural Tradition Pushed to the Edge Dr Anila Naeem.

It analysed the cultural and historical significance of Manchar Lake’s community of Mohanna boat dwellers and the need for awareness on the plight of the indigenous community and its dying culture

The second paper by Dr Khataumal titled Tharparker- A District on the Margins focused on the Tharparker arid zone on the south-east of Sindh and focused on the population, lifestyle and livestock of the community.

The third paper was presented by Ulka Anjaria titled, Realism and Resistance in South Asian Literature.

Her paper argued understanding the role of literature in political resistance movements requires a complex theory of what literary realism is and how it works.

Spreng’s paper titled Dialogue – Ways to Move from Polarisation and Participation highlighted the accumulation of unresolved issues in matters of diversity and migration over the last several years that led to high levels of human rights infringements in Europe.

Asiya Sadiq Polak paper titled Public Space Making –A Basis for Promoting an Equitable Mainstream Pakistani Culture, Art and Architecture said making public spaces was crucial for an equitable mainstream Pakistani culture, art and architecture which would provide the common grounds for cultural interaction, intellectual exchange and social inclusion of all classes.

“In today’s globalised world of emergent markets, achieving sustainable societies is the biggest challenge,” she wrote. “In Pakistan, mainstream plans and projects are inaccessible to the marginalized. To break the cycle of ignorance and mistrust, the substantial contribution of the poor must be acknowledged in the economy, history and cultural layers of the society.”

The fifth session of the conference was chaired by Pran Neville.  The seventh paper was presented by Tariq Rehman.

His paper was titled Language on Wheels: Writings on Pakistani Trucks as a Window into Popular Worldview.

The eight paper was presented by Asna Mubashra, titled Ralli: A Legendary Folklore Nurtured by the Marginalised.

The ninth paper was read by Melanie Dissanayake, from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.
Her paper was titled Cultural Changes and Commercial Challenges: The Traditional Potter Community in Sri Lanka.  Her paper explored a potter’s village and explained how change in cultural practices affected these societies, products, production processes and their responses to commercial challenges.

The conference has been organised by THAAP in collaboration with the UET and HEC.

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