British Council Pakistan partners with PoliNations and Yousuf Bashir Qureshi Studios Institute

Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) British Council is partnering with PoliNations on the Pakistan-UK New Perspectives Season to mark the 75th anniversary of Pakistan. The partnership seeks to create an artistic response to the themes of PoliNations, including celebrating diversity and the cross-pollination of culture, exploring the influence of journeys along the silk road and the history of tea.

New Perspectives showcases the cultural wealth and contemporary creativity of both countries, facilitating professional collaboration for culture, creative and education sectors, with a focus on a shared future through building lasting partnerships.

Created and produced by Trigger Collective, PoliNations is part of the UK-wide UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK. This project will culminate in the Birmingham 2022 Festival and will be open to all through free events across multiple art forms. The festival will celebrate the beauty, colour, and diversity that makes up British horticulture and culture. Up-and-coming and renowned artists from Birmingham and beyond will perform under the shelter of giant architectural trees and surrounded by thousands of colourful plants.

In June PoliNations’ costume designer Joey A Frenette travelled to Pakistan to collaborate with renowned Pakistan based designers Yousuf Bashir Qureshi and Riffat Aliani during a residency in Karachi to design and create costumes influenced by the journey of tea, for special performances as part of the PoliNations programme in Birmingham in 2022.

In collaboration with Yousuf Bashir Qureshi Studios Institute, the designers showcased their work at The PoliNations Pakistan Costume Show on Saturday 18th June at the Commune Artist Colony, Karachi.

Distinguished sitar player Rakae Jamil, who has been commissioned to write and record two new compositions responding to the themes surrounding tea and the tulip, also gave a soulful performance.

PoliNations Creative Director and Artistic Director of Trigger, Angie Bual said: “We’re so excited by the creative opportunity and collaboration this partnership provides. Exploring, celebrating and learning from the diversity and creativity across our cultures is at the heart of what PoliNations is – so being part of this season and collaborating with such talented Pakistan based creatives through the programme is a really exciting opportunity for us.

Laila Jamil, Director Arts, British Council Pakistan said: “The British Council is very pleased to have enabled this cultural exchange programme between UK and Pakistani artists. It’s exciting to have collaborative projects for fashion and music under the PK-UK Season. This is a great programme for learning and future collaboration in the arts.”

After this event, the costumes are being transported to Birmingham to be showcased in a spectacular fashion by renowned dancers for a special series of performances at the festival.