November Issue 2009

By | Arts & Culture | Published 15 years ago

The idea of a festival dedicated to better understanding ourselves resonated with thousands of Pakistanis when it was launched in 2007. That year over 4,000 people attended the Shanaakht Festival. This month, Shanaakht returns to the country’s most diverse and dynamic city to resume its exploration of the Pakistani identity.

The three-day event, from November 9-11, promises to be even more enriching than the inaugural gathering. Organised by the not-for-profit Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP), the festival incorporates photo and art exhibitions, puppet shows, games, theatre, documentaries, book readings and what CAP calls the Oral History Project.

The Oral History Project (OHP) was launched in 2008 “to record the personal stories of the partition generation of Pakistan.” It is the cornerstone of CAP’s work that “aims to strengthen civil society” and give reign to the “creativity of Pakistanis, allowing them to express and explore their heritage and history.” The OHP includes first-person accounts (now preserved via audio recordings), maps, film and photographs that together will create CAP’s Living History Museum. Elements of the ever-growing project will be displayed at Shanaakht 2009, and every night for an hour, people who lived through the country’s early years will narrate their experiences.

With a diverse range of daily events for children and adults that are educational, entertaining and eye-opening — and free to all members of the public — the Shanaakht Festival promises to be social gathering with the power to inspire, and perhaps even unite, a troubled and confused nation.

Mark your calendars

When: November 9, 10, 11
Open to schools from 9 a.m. — 1 p.m. daily.

Open to the public from 3 p.m. — 9 p.m. daily.

Entry is free. Please note: some events have limited seating and require passes to be picked up in advance.

Click play to view this promo by CAP:

Keep coming back to Newsline‘s Shanaakht page where you’ll find more info on the festival, including stories and interviews with participants and organisers. Newsline: an official media partner for Shanaakht Festival 2009.

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