For two days, March 16 and 17, Lahore will hold a multi-media interactive and immersive exhibit called Sheherzade: The Walled City Anthology, a project developed by the British Council Pakistan in collaboration with Numaish Karachi – Lahore, Walled City of Lahore Authority and Mad Lab (UK).
The featured works have been conceptualized and installed by architects, artists, craftsperson, designers and students from Pakistan and overseas.
In the heart of Lahore lies Androon Sheher, a walled city within the city, that has survived through the centuries. It has been besieged and liberated, razed and rebuilt by dynasties of rulers–the Hindus, Sikhs, Afghans, Mughals, the British Raj–and in the process each left their cultural imprint. With the arrival of modernity, urban forces pressed at its gates, threatening to envelop it. What has remained untouched, however, in its serpentine alleys, is an ancient past that none who enter can fail to see. This legacy has ensured the survival of Androon Sheher by giving it an enduring allure. Much like the legendary Sheherezade of Alif Laila or One Thousand and One Nights, the Walled City too has kept people captivated by eternally creating and unraveling stories in ransom for its life. Just as the twists and turns of Sheherezade’s storylines would surprise and delight her king, so too the labyrinthine alleys of the Walled City surprise and delight with each visual encounter: at one turn the narrow alley, at another the hidden haveli, opening eventually into a vibrant mazaar.
It is this spatial and mythic essence of Androon Sheher which inspires Sheherezade: The Walled City Anthology, an urban intervention that brings together architects, artists, computer scientists, craftspeople, designers, digital innovators and interdisciplinary teams. They have created projects that play on and invent from the materials, motifs and mysteries of the inner city in a conversation that fuses the digital realm with some of the more tangible aspects of its sacred heritage. Through interaction, engagement and community participation, Sheherezade seeks to draw people ‘born of the city’ into this historic space to explore and rediscover stories old and new.
The installations commence at the Delhi Darwaza and unfold along the Royal Trail to the Fort. Visitors emerge at Chowk Wazir Khan, the historic forecourt of the mosque commissioned during Emperor Shah Jahan’s reign in the 17th century and built by Hakim ‘Imuddin Ansari, better known as Wazir Khan. Lying at the confluence of the bazaars, this heritage site serves as the culminating hub for many of the projects. Other works unspool in the radial arteries leading off to Sabeel Walli Galli, Phullan Walli Galli (The Flower Alley), Galli Soorjan Singh and the Dina Nath Well. These spaces will be opened up for cultural production through transformative interventions that draw on the Androon Sheher’s narrative environment, sacred geometries, calligraphy, local industry and visual culture. The projects lie at the intersection of design, culture, science and technology and will unfold amidst live poetry and music, workshops and storytelling. Some works are inspired by the mosaics and floral frescoes adorning the mosque, while others extract from the dizzying juxtaposition of veined alleys telescoping out into moonlit courtyards.
Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/events/302809680430790/
Affan Baghpatti, Asa Calow, Noor Ali Chagani, Dan Hett, Sarah Khan, Arif Mahmood, Tahir Mahmood, Zahid Mayo, Humayun Memon, Taimur Khan Mumtaz, Sonya Murad, Sahar Musharaf, Shahzia Sikander, Naveen Syed, Rachael Turner, Imran Zafar, Raza Zahid
Kauser Ali, Muzammil Ashraf, A Hafeez, Shehzad Khaleel, Chaand and Suraj Khan, Zohaib Hassan Khan, Mian Miri Qawwal Party, Ustaad Jaggu Khan & Son, Muslim Shaggan, Khalid Usman
Student Participants | Habib University
Emad Bin Abid, Saman Gaziani, Nisa Hafeez, Fatima Hamdani, Hasan ul Haq, Aiman Hasan, Mehak Irshad, Furqan Karim, Luluwa Lokhandwala, Hamza Mansoor, Fatima Mashood, Muhammad Mehdi, Momina Qadri, Haya Danish Rafiq, Safa Shahzad, Saniya Shah Zaidi
Numaish Core Team
Misbah Azhar, Asmara Faiq, Umar Hameed, Tahera Hasan, Naiza Khan, Umair Afzar Khan, Zoha Jabbar, Tahir Mahmood, Mahim Maher, Meher Malik, Saadia Pathan, Ali Rizvi, Saima Zaidi