NON-FICTION: CONVERSATIONS ON CULTURE – Journal

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From the original national program to 18th Amendment, from Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan to the structure of the cricket team

Every issue that comes up can plunge Pakistan into a crisis of the soul which has triggered fundamental debates over the nation’s teleology, identity,  and the trajectory of our lives.

A look at Pakistan’s Culture, Society, Identity, Diaspora

An essay collection edited by the poet as well as Irfan Ahmad Khan and Harris Khalique is an exciting addition. It has a self-decribing title, the volume contains 7 essays on subjects that range from censorship, film music, programming, and poetry. They all provide a long-term perspective to examine how the past and political events have changed Pakistani culture.

Contributors are from different disciplines

Development, media, academia gender studies, development – and essay have a distinct and distinctive voice. Essays vary from an academic perspective to anecdotes or historical tales to personal reflections The readers are  avoiding the expectations of  standard volume. The book must be viewed as opportunity for participation in an ongoing conversation. Writers are able to communicate with one another through their writing as well as through the contributions of like-minded people seeking to stimulate one another.

Despite this it is characterized by a clear goal statement with editors calling it to tackle the subject of culture, society and identity, as well as the diaspora in a progressive way. Even though it’s a collection about cultural issues, the flag of political activism is raised at the beginning and is carried throughout the entire collection. Given Pakistan’s deprivation of spaces for dialogue and critical thinking, as well as the lack of cultural reflection The volume appears to attempt to intervene – it’s a political issue.

When read together and the essays will explore the question about who we are and what brought us to be the way we are. The filmmaker and journalist Hasan Zaidi’s first essay lays the foundations by exploring attempts for defining Pakistani culture. The essay relates the Faiz Culture report that reveals the conflict between the state and art throughout Pakistan’s history and concluding that the binaries used for categorizing culture are not adequate.

The book’s mix of perspectives expands the concept of culture. It also serves as an affirmation that the formation of culture is not an organic process. In fact, it is influenced by the political and societal constraints of the creative economy. Salman Asif’s article on Religious Minorities is a must-read that demonstrates how the exclusive and inclusive portrayals reflect the issues faced by industry and are influenced by the past as well as political events. In instance, Asif demonstrates the effects on  Khalistan movement about the celluloid representations from people from the Sikh community.

This is the case is the same in Pakistan. Mahmood’s piece, in actual is the book’s anchor by clearly describing the ways in which “ideological exclusion” happens in Pakistan and explains the reasons why the government imposes drastic restrictions on academic debates and the debates that need an article. The essay could have been better positioned in the middle of the volume in order to frame the other pieces.

Some essays demanded more thorough editing, mostly by way of more clear framing and arguments. Actor and academic Navid Shahzad’s which compares Nazim Hikmet with Faiz Ahmed Faiz and analyzes the use of their respective native poetics starts with a historical overview – starting with Adam as well as Eve! It is interesting to read the biographical information and the powerful poetry of these poets However, one has to wonder what the basis of Shahzad’s argument.

In the same way, Zahida’s timeline of the way religion took on an important functional and conceptual role for the Pakistani state, which began around the 7th century and the advent of Islam as a review helpful for those lacking an understanding of the history, but also requires an enlightened analysis. thesis that guides readers throughout the chronology.

Personal stories and spiritual insights, as well as the fragments of time that can confuse the analysis are vital for those not familiar with these discussions and will make the book more easily accessible. It is also informative. In the end, it could be detrimental to the book if it was solely used by scholars of the progressive school. In actuality, a version of the book is accessible in Urdu translation, under the name Pakistan Ehd-iHaazir Mein.

In its current form, the book is a reflection of the contemporary or vernacular cultural zeitgeist that is prevalent in Pakistan. The necessity to blend the politics of Pakistan with critique of culture and art as well as the diverse range of contributors, from practitioners to as well as an think tank within the United States; the urge to collect this information in an edited volume taking thoughts from city living spaces or Twitter feeds an actual book shape These are powerful reflections on the state of culture and discourse in Pakistan and its enduring through thin and thick and not as a stand-alone entity or in a state of turmoil however, as part of a growing tradition.

It’s an interesting reflection on the current state of our culture that a number of essays – like Shahzad’s essay on Faiz as well as Asif’s essay on Minorities in Cinema – list the various awards and acknowledgement that Pakistani cultural artifacts and producers has received.

A desire to reclaim and define our culture evaluates the cultural output against external factors and seeks to validate rather than creating an idiom within which Pakistan’s production of culture can be evaluated. It would be great to see a follow-up volume Khan and Khalique tackle this issue.

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