Standing Against Stereotypes – The Young Artists of Pakistan

Standing Against Stereotypes - The Young Artists of Pakistan
Standing Against Stereotypes – The Young Artists of Pakistan

Regardless of the infamous terror and bomb threats, the youngsters of Pakistan, Lahore, continue to express, and voice their freedom of speech. The city of Lahore, which is the capital of Pakistan for more than a century, has attracted people from around the world. Matthieu Paley is one of those people, a French photographer who has spent most of his years’ trekking and exploring the country’s beautiful religion which is given the name of “The Cultural Heart of Pakistan”.

Creative Arts in Ancient Pakistan

Lahore was mainly created to be a part of Muslim cultures and minorities. In the year of 1875, when Pakistan was still under the control of the British nation, a man named John Lockwood Kipling opened a western school for the creative arts. The building created by Kipling was not only a school but also a museum that attracted a lot of tourists and students. Kipling was the school/museum’s first principal and curator. His main jobs were to showcase, preserve and present music, architecture, crafts that are native to the region of Punjab. Kipling’s son, Rudyard Kipling had also contributed to his father’s legacy by writing a novel set to be in the colonial side of Lahore named ‘Kim’. Both the National College of Arts and the Lahore Museum have carried out the same goals since they first started.

Divulging into The Artistic Side of Pakistan Today

Matthieu Paley, the French photographer, visited the college and introduced himself to a few students that were currently studying in NCA. Together with the students, he discussed how they find exciting ways to express their feelings and emotion through the art they produced. They explained what it actually symbolises to them and often described art as giving them a sense of freedom in their confusing world. They dig into historical information and religious studies and portray their artwork accordingly. Surprisingly during Matthieu’s stay in Lahore, there was a bomb attack in the city which really scared the photographer. However, the citizens of the town were relatively calm during this attack as they don’t fear these continuous threats and attacks because that is what is expected of them by their attackers so that they can force and blackmail the city of Lahore abide by their demands and wills. It is a real wonder that art not only exists but thrives in such conditions.

The Young Artists

Several youngsters are making a difference in the art world of Pakistan today. Ismet is a young woman that resides in ‘Harsukh’ which means ‘divine peace’ where the community host different types of musicians, yoga instructors, artists, dancers and poets. These entertainers perform and showcase their talents, including Ismet, whose ability is to dance a kind of dance called ‘Kathak’ which was taught to her by her mother. A student from the south of Asia, Daniyal Shah’s talents and creativity are based on mixing and matching two pieces of music together with an electronic jam to create his very own Electronic Dance Music, which he likes to call EDM. Two friends Shahzaib Khan and Ishmael Rizwan allow Matthieu to take a picture of them in a pose at NCA. Ishmael celebrates her achievement of becoming a president for the arts at her school. Ishmael is a design pupil that dyed her hair red and also said that she does get a certain number of questionable stares made towards her on the streets, but she couldn’t care any less. These students have achieved so much in their life at the school NCA and the museum of Lahore and will continue to strive towards their goals.