Lipika on Thu, 9 Apr 2009 22:27:23 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-nl] Shanaakht (Identity) Festival afgelast!

Shanaakht Festival Cancellation
On the opening day (08 April 2009) of the Shanaakht festival (Karachi) after we had finished one session each, with two teams, of City Ragas, a controversy erupted at one of the art exhibits. One piece of work which showed photoshopped images of politicians superimposed on an old family portrait was enough to turn some visitors from a student group (at universities) associated with the Pakistan People's Party to try to shut down the festival. It showed Benazir sitting in General Zia's lap, her father in the arms of General Ayub and a third General, Yahya, is being held fondly aparently by a judge[?]. It is sad that this large public festival being held with government support has been allowed to be impaired because of such behaviour and intolerance. The party cannot control itself. The controversy got deeper today as the compromise reached yesterday to take out the particular art-piece from the exhibition, broke down and the festival is not being held on its second day.

Shanaakht is an annual festival, it aims to bring together art, theatre, film, prose, oral storytelling, and poetry that documents Pakistan's history - particularly the experience of Partition - and our national identity.

A glimpse of the festival's opening before it was disruptedPhotos/Eefa Khalid

The image that led to the ransacking of the Shanaakht Festival
Yesterday a group of Peoples Student Federation ransacked the Shanaakht Festival at the Art Council over an image of Benazir Bhutto sitting on lap of Zia-ul-Haq.

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