British Council partners with Art South Asia Project for Mastering Art & Research in Pakistan

Pakistan (Muhammad Yasir) British Council is partnering with Art South Asia Project (ASAP) and COMO Museum for a one day symposium of events, “Mastering Art and Research in Pakistan”, as part of its Pakistan/UK: New Perspectives Season, marking the 75th anniversary of Pakistan. The event aims to facilitate three research and professional development projects between Pakistan and the UK in 2022. The symposium consists of three workshops and panel discussion by project leaders, held at COMO Museum, Lahore.

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.

The three workshops hosted were “Challenges of Research” by Dr. Samina Iqbal and Professor Salima Hashmi, “Museums and the Self: Memories, Identities and Stories” by Sophia Balagamwala and Dr. Shaila Bhatti, and “ASAP presents Art Murmur: Professional Development in the Visual Arts” by Ambereen Siddiqui.

Nour Aslam, Executive Director ASAP said, “Art South Asia Project is excited to be partnering with the British Council Pakistan to present Mastering Art & Research in Pakistan with COMO Museum, Lahore. We are extremely grateful to Seher Tareen, Founder of COMO Museum, Lahore, for hosting ASAP’s first in person event in South Asia. Thanks to the partnership with the British Council, we have identified the urgent need for artists and academics within Pakistan to be able to collaborate on research and knowledge sharing. This is attested to by the popularity of the workshops and panel discussion for this event. We hope these workshops will produce ongoing partnerships amongst the participants with and without ASAP’s facilitation.”

Following the workshops, a panel discussion was organized, rounding off the day with a discussion between each of the project leaders in the talk, “From Art School to Research: A Guide Towards Navigating Through the Arts.” In conversation with the ASAP team, each project leader discussed how to best approach a career in the field of modern and contemporary South Asian art, helping to map out clear paths for artistic practitioners, whose interests lean more towards research, curating and other roles, rather than solely becoming a visual artist.

Mariya Afzal, Director Pakistan/UK New Perspectives, British Council Pakistan said, “The British Council is pleased to be part of this research and capacity building initiative with Arts South Asia Project. Through this work we aimed to give young artists, curators and researches the opportunity to identify and subsequently fill gaps in research in the arts, something which is not commonly available to them. This is also a great occasion for them to form linkages with their peers in the UK, learning from and sharing knowledge and ideas from the best in the field, locally and globally.

Mastering Art and Research in Pakistan will help build innovative partnerships in the field of art between Pakistan and UK.