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December 17, 2018

Seminar celebrating country’s diversity concludes


December 17, 2018

Celebrating the country’s diverse culture and sharing experiences of folk storytelling, a two-day festival titled ‘Greatness in Diversity’ concluded in the city on Sunday.

Artists, cultural activists and writers associated with music, dance and drama attended the seminar and shared their experiences. The event was organised by the Interactive Resource Centre, a non-governmental organisation, with the support of the US Embassy in Pakistan.

Artist and author Dr Fouzia Saeed said the festival aimed to revitalise and strengthen the folk traditions with a series of training sessions conducted by culture and heritage management experts, practitioners and opinion makers.

“Such festivals enhance mutual bonding and the process of understanding as participants share the best available cultural practices,” she said. IRC head Waseem Ahmed welcomed the participants in his inaugurating remarks on the first day of the seminar, while Bushra Sadiq, an artist from Punjab, performed ‘Heer’.

In the session ‘Storytelling through Displays’, moderated by Dr Saeed, Dr Paul Taylor and Robert Ponssieion, two researchers from the National History Museum, Washington DC, participated via Skype and talked extensively on the importance of promoting museum culture across the world. They also shared details of their work on culture literature in Asia.

Brigadier Adnan Saleem, the Pakistan Army Museum’s director, also spoke about the history of the museum and its role in informing the new generation about the army’s history and sacrifices. The army museum has a vast collection of original relics, books, journals and documents, photographs and audiovisual materials.

Prominent writers Noorul Huda Shah and Niaz Nadeem were main speakers in ‘Storytelling through Mother Languages’, while Bhural Lal and Punnal Fariq performed in a session titled ‘Storytelling through Music’.

On Sunday, the second day of the festival, Samina Peerzada, prominent filmmaker and artist, was key speaker in the session titled ‘Storytelling through Films’. Other speakers were Khawaja Najamul Hasan, director and producer, Hassan Hayat, a documentary maker, and Risham Waseem, a documentary maker associated with the Maati TV initiative.

In the session ‘Storytelling through Theatre’, Khalid Ahmed, head of the National Academy of Performing Arts’ Theatre department, Shahid Nassem from AJOKA Threatre and the IRC’s Waseem were the main speakers. Akhter Dargahi, a Sindhi writer, Ishaq Samijo, head of Sindh University’s Sindhiology Department, Asim Nawaz Tiwana, secretary of the Gilgit-Baltistan Culture and Tourism department and cultural activist Raees Akhter were also among speakers in various sessions.

Later in the evening, Khumariyaan, a Peshawar and Islamabad-based music quartet, enthralled the audience with its performance.

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