You know what was more happening than the Lux Style Awards this year? All the stuff that happened before and after.
aazia Ejaz, noted artist, and Madame Noorjehan’s daughter, if that matters to you, taught printmaking at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. In printmaking, the artist found a rhythm and joy that was evident, specially in the disappointment that was visible whenever she had to work with students who just did not get her chosen medium.
To these students, Ejaz, who was fiery in her passion for art, would say: just get the technicalities right. This meant, if you weren’t a gifted printmaker, as long as you got paper, alignment, and borders right, on which you could print your terrible art, you would at least pass the class with the lowest grade possible. Ejaz’s less-than-stellar students – myself included – found the tactic to work in the printmaking studio, in the other studio arts, and if one is to be painfully honest, ‘just get the technicalities right’ works for life at large too.
So here’s the thing: so much has been said about the Lux Style Awards that just took place in Lahore over a week ago, that maybe there’s nothing to add, but what’s getting buried under the fallout of the events at the show, is that the LSAs did not get the technicalities right.
Is the fact that there were three nominations for one artist in a music category, and no nominations for women musicians overall when the first list of nominees released a bit stupefying? Yes. When multiple noms for one person go in, and not because a nonpartisan jury selected them, it is a little irregular.
As the country’s only award show that nominates actors across television channels, and across production houses, letting the public nominate and award film and TV actors instead of a jury is a disservice to the industry.
Was it a little bewildering that one nomination, despite scandal surrounding the nominee, was allowed to go through? That this nomination went through on top of the nomination(s) for the artist who has divided a whole nation in opinion over allegations of sexual misconduct? Brands are notoriously conscious of how they come across to audience and consumer, of establishing and maintaining social equity. Let’s leave aside this particular brand, under that particular parent company – how does any global corporate organization, which has always tried to put their best foot forward, is ostensibly aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals put forward by the United Nations a few years ago, entertain situations that could be damaging to their public perception?
If we narrow our vision, it certainly seems irregular that the nomination process this year was what it was. As the country’s only award show that nominates actors across television channels, and across production houses, letting the public nominate and award film and TV actors instead of a jury is a disservice to the industry.
So yes, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and Maheen Khan are justified in returning their LSAs. Yes, star power eluded the LSAs this year.
Yes, when you choose the people you work with, you’re making a statement about what and who you are allied with. But when the whole show is set up around awarding the best, and that is left up to luck, chance, and bots, then we’ve got bad news: you had one job, and you didn’t get the technicalities right.