November Issue 2009

By | Arts & Culture | Published 11 years ago

Ret. Group Captain Wasim Khan, Syed Hashim Raza, Begum Zubeida Rahimtoola, Princess Abida Sultan, Fatima Jinnah, Begum Shaista Ikramullah and Dr. Fatima Shah all have something in common. They all believed in Jinnah’s vision and dedicated their lives to the cause of Pakistan.

The Shanaakht Festival is currently celebrating the lives of these unique individuals through images from the vaults of The Citizens Archive of Pakistan and from other private collections.

Parvaz, a collection of photographs of life in the Pakistan Air Force during the 1940s and 1950s is curated by Zairah Maher. The first picture features Ret. Group Captain Wasim Khan as a young flying officer in his early 20s and as one moves on, they are treated to fascinating sepia pictures depicting life in the Air Force before and after partition. There are pictures of pre-partition Pakistani and Indian officers studying in British classrooms, squadrons consisting of Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs, and a bombed mess, occupied by a lone officer.

New Nation, New Freedom, New Responsibilities is an exhibit of photos of women who were instrumental in the building of the new nation of Pakistan. It is curated by Shahana Rajani. The exhibit features five women, Begum Zubeida Rahimtoola, Princess Abida Sultan, Fatima Jinnah, Begum Shaista Ikramullah and Dr. Fatima Shah. The exhibit highlights the lives and achievements of these women who did not believe that men were the only ones who could lead the new nation in those tough times. The most interesting of them is Princess Abida Sultan, the eldest daughter of Hamidullah Khan, the last nawab of the Bhopal state. In 1949, she gave up her rights to the throne and migrated to the newly formed state of Pakistan. There are pictures of her standing over a recently killed tiger, being part of the roller-skating hockey team and jumping a Skoda car from a ramp!

Hashim Raza: Life of an Extraordinary Pakistani is a tribute to one of the first civil servants of Pakistan and is curated by Amean J.

Syed Hashim Raza was the first administrator of Karachi and Pakistan’s most distinguished civil servant. He was extremely close to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammed Ali Jinnah and at his untimely death, decided his resting place. The exhibit features pictures depicting his life, family and his work.

Click on any photo to begin the slideshow.

Shanaakht exhibits mentioned in this interview:

PARVAZ
Photography Exhibition
A collection of photographs of life in the Pakistan Air Force during the 1940s and 1950s
Curated by Zairah Maher

NEW NATION. NEW FREEDOM. NEW RESPONSIBILITIES
Photography Exhibition
Images of women from the early decades of Pakistan — revolutionaries who played an instrumental role in the building of the new nation
Curated by Shahana Rajani

HASHIM RAZA: LIFE OF AN EXTRAORDINARY PAKISTANI
Photography Exhibition
A tribute to one of the first civil servants of Pakistan
Curated by Amean J

For more information visit CAP’s official website where you can find a full programme for this year’s festival. Go to citizensarchive.org and click on Shanaakht.
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