he British Council partnered with the Lahore Biennale Foundation for the Virtual Museum project at the National College of Arts earlier this month, marking the 75th anniversary of Pakistan’s independence by way of a “digital platform for artists, academics and creative practitioners to re-examine our shared cultural language and artistic legacy”.
A collaborative experiment with the aim of knowledge creation and dissemination, the project invited a diverse group of artists to examine 75 years of Pakistan’s rich, multifaceted history and culture post-independence through a creative lens and “engage in new forms of museum making” through a venture that overcomes physical boundaries and functions as an enduring online resource.
The curators for the museum – Ali Usman Qasmi, Farida Batool, Masooma Syed, Sarmad Sultan Khoosat, Sarah Zaman, and Tanvir Hasan – all responded to a different aspect of our country’s history, legacy, and contribution.
Qudsia Rahim, the executive director of LBF called the project “a unique form of archiving, knowledge making, and exhibition discourse in response to the global socio-cultural changes in museum practice and public perception,” while Kate Joyce, Business Director Cultural Engagement, British Council South Asia, described the initiative as “an innovative way to use art and heritage in community building in an inclusive and impactful way”, adding that she looks forward to “many young artists and curators contributing to this space and meaningfully sharing ideas that pave the way for an inclusive and sustainable future”.
The recent tragic floods in the country have also been addressed by the LBF. The organization is “working on an extensive plan to support the flood victims”. Among its efforts is the Art for Life initiative which hopes to build a nationwide arts alliance that will develop and sell art and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as part of its flood relief efforts.
The likes of Farida Batool, Salima Hashmi, Imran Qureshi, Masooma Syed, and Sarmad Khoosat have already committed to donate to the cause.