Lahore Literary Festival in New York 2018: Lahore as Palimpsest



salam alikoum good morning to all of you here in the auditorium and all of you who are online i'm vishakha desai and I've had the great pleasure of being back at the institution that I was honored to have led and worked for 22 years but it's particularly special for me to be here this morning because it brings me back more as an art historian a scholar to focus on a subject that I began to explore as a graduate student or doctoral student many many decades ago you don't want to know how long but the reality is that this subject of Mughal aesthetic is something that really is not only important for us to think in the context of South Asia particularly also because importance of Lahore in that context but it's particularly important because how we think about that word so when I thought of the title with my friends especially Zahra and Marion who thought of this notion of Lahore as Palin pass that idea of Palin sassed is particularly relevant even when we think about the word Mughal because what does the word mean balance us is really about as Oxford English Dictionary defines it is about having something that has visible layers there are a parent even beneath the surface it's about layering it's about diversity out of which we understand both historically but also things that are alive multiple times all at the same time so one might think that the word Google in itself is also a palimpsest that it is that idea of multiple traditions coming together in a syncretic way that I feel is the best of the subcontinent so in that sense one might said the Mughal aesthetic also about the best of what South Asian culture has to offer to the world so what we gonna do is to really kind of focus in on the word Mughal often only implies for many people the idea of the patronage and often times it gets focused in on the religious identity of the patrons but we don't think about the aesthetic as it process how artists actually come together from diverse traditions to make something that's new and that's something we want to focus on because it's also about the practice and out of which new things are created so my three colleagues all of whom are wonderful accomplished are going to talk about this with you and with me we're going to try to make it as a conversation I will ask some questions but I've been promised for like 45 minutes although we start a little late so we will have also an opportunity for you to engage in the conversation towards the end so Marian let me start with you as a an our historian a fellow art historian to really talk to us about that idea of the Mughal aesthetic and that awesome we only think about it as the courts but how does it actually come to be and you've thought a lot about this so and we're gonna have some slides so that things will move around pay attention to that so take it away anymore okay so when we're talking about a mogul aesthetic and there is a very particular style which has emerged not only in painting which is we're going to we're going to be focusing on today but also in terms of other objects of material culture in terms of architecture as well and what really defines the Mogul aesthetic is the syncretic nature that nature this idea of layers that vishakha just mentioned because when the moguls come into being as a ruling entity as a courtly culture they themselves are coming from outside of South Asia they are coming from a Persia net tomorrow at Heritage which they then bring with them oh thank you very much they are also then once they're established as this ruling entity one of the things we have to keep in mind is that they are a religious minority just to bring religion into the picture ruling over a non-muslim majority the majority of the population the majority of the society they're ruling over within this new South Asian context are Hindi practitioners Jain practitioners police partition errs and so in order to rule in order to maintain their rule they have to interact with the society in such a way that it all comes together and one of the way this is done one of the ways in which this is done is through Akbar the third mogul Emperor bringing into the courtly hierarchy individuals from the Rajasthani courts so bringing in the Hindu nobility but when we turn to the artistic production when we're talking about the workshops it is artists from so many different backgrounds and so many different religious backgrounds backgrounds and training as well if I go forward for just one minute if you look at the top right top right left your left yeah top left this is an example of some of the tradition of the early Rajasthani painting which is being produced within South Asia prior to the Mughals coming into the region as a ruling entity and that is just one of the many traditions which then merges together to come and create what we call a mogul style we're talking about Persian painting we're talking about Rajasthani painting we're talking about Sultanate painting that's the thing I think people don't realize is that you also had Islamic tradition actually in India yes like nimit nama early 16th century long before Mughals were in yeah along with European tradition yes and Tibetan paintings so this is a cosmopolitan thing it's not just one particular I think one of the things which tends to be forgotten is that the moguls are not the first Islamic rulers in this agent it's gonna must impress in South Asia since 7-eleven with establishments of Arab settlements or in and around sin and then Islamists a ruling entity is there from the beginning of the 13th century and so there has been a tradition of this this rulership again but combined with the society that is they're living in synchronicity you know is the Friday that's why I think that what people don't understand is that what is unique about Akbar it's the way he goes about doing it and that changes the equation yes from other rulers and that changes what happens after yeah right so he marries into the Rajput know exactly so the princesses which he marinates they convert through Assam their families do not we've got extended they still continue to worship this dictatorship exactly and one of the other things which expert says in order to help promote this totality of the court is when he is commissioning manuscripts when the nobility are commissioning manuscripts in Illustrated imagery it's not just for them it's for this kind of wider audience so for example if we look to be to your right he Commission's Illustrated versions of hey my devotional scripts Ramaiah absolutely exactly in order to make their scope wider and so we have at the courts these very many different entities and just as you mentioned as well Europeans are coming to the court and there's visual material from your coming to the court and one of the things which distinguishes mobile painting in the mobile painting style from the other courts in in South Asia the other Muslim courts as well is this coming together of these different traditions because the style of Mughal painting is completely unique at the time in which it is created and of course I'm biased but I think it is one of the most beautiful styles of yeah I couldn't agree with you more but I think that one of the things that happens at the time of partition is who claims distribution and how does it get and how right so part of it is that while the process is one thing it begins to now get separated out so one of the things that Shazia I was really interested in is that when I went to Pakistan in the early 1990s and to be at NCA but also having met our good friend Halima Hashmi to recognize that actually NCA was one of the only places in South Asia where there was actually an academic way of looking at miniatures or court paintings in general and you were right there along with some of your other colleagues and friends who then now have become big stars on the global stage including yourself so talk a little bit about NCA that notion of certain claiming of the Mughal tradition as more for Pakistan but also what was happening in and CA at the time well I started in fear in the 1986-87 session now you have to understand that a very different time right from the recent years of of getting miniature getting a global stage right it is also the hours period so there's a lot of kind of a stagnancy in terms of thought in a little bit of concern mother you should look at the South Asian heritage in any particular way or not right the shifts are chain the days are shift going on but I think that's a very young person one want one is gravitating towards the Liberals faces towards where there's going to be some kind of a space for expression thought discussion so NCA becomes emerges in conversation that that's a place so I was studying mathematics I can I'd call it for women and then decided to go to NCA because of that not in pursuit of militarily yeah so there's a progressive space and therefore would be comfortable so in that respect gravitation towards miniature is an anomaly because globally and in general abstract expressionism in american european canon of painting is prevalent and this is pre-internet and one has yet to travel to India either it's not like you're saturated in the tourist industry with the Kitsch production of the visuals like there's handful of books but I think I was interested in this devotion to tradition and the definition of what exactly is tradition like who gets to define what is tradition in terms of the scale of define ability right like even now tradition can be very easily replaced with history so this idea can be manipulated for other reasons polarizing of sorts I think is problematic but at the same time it takes years and time and experience to to then understand that there is a link to the past but at that time it's more like oh how can you be bold what is an avant-garde how do you make a mark so then it's pitted against this idea of the tradition but at that time of course you know we all understand and we know that the history that the miniature painting was not yet the way it has become it was not that type of the international space of discussion and production but what I'm also interested is in patronage so there is a lack of patronage in da guys also right so you know so Bashir of course is teaching so but is the portrait on your right yeah but there's a good idea she has that's one example of the portrait of I think they play doctor the painter but you know inserting portraiture was enough nothing new like sacred Allah like and hadith Sharif like people had been doing that so I think my early work which is in I think 88 or something one of the if more about okay how do you do live sketches so that's probably that's that's a friend of mine but it was also like this idea of the woman where she's always awaiting so what is the article night kind of a tradition yeah yeah so I was coming to NC are also having been part of audit foundation la lorac was a big mentor before I joined in the in fact in school I I worked with her at Seymour Foundation so one grasp is like the desire to anything through art is coming also from the exposure to the movements that are happening as a you've talked about is that how much actually going towards a miniature painting was in itself an act of resistance since the predominant form is of modernist abstraction oil painting and things of that sort of course but it's not fully accessible right right because we're not yet at a point where their books and discussions on on Pakistani painters etc it's pretty lukewarm this is also when things are just beginning germinating right but it seems to me that it has had to do with and see a leadership yeah who actually thought that we should bring Bashir in the kind of thing that didn't happen in India Bashir starts I think he starts in 1982 two years he graduates in 1970s and in freedom in I think he was already he was the only person after shapes which Allah okay passes in 1989 so he he's the successor then he the the curriculum and a degree associated with miniature painting gets into place I seen 1982 I join in 86 so I do remember but she was saying that in the very beginning he had to fought for that space and often students which were failing elsewhere were sent to him so there was this story weren't good enough then you could go there hi do you know which I can't understand I think because of course that Casey can I'd call it also you took the elective of Persian because it was an easy way or accounting mentality which I unfortunately it at having in that period of like convent education or the was the last subject range like address right so so there is this period to understand in terms of where the cultural value lies well I think that's where the issue of tradition and whose tradition where does he get placed is it in contrast to some other dominant thought is such an important one and so I want to go to you Sarah thanks Sarah is burning with the question I know you have which it has nothing to do with what I'm meant to be talking about it's quite alright um what is your question so my question is actually has to do with to Shazia and it kind of links a little bit with what I want to sort of explore in terms of tradition but sort of the nca tradition with mobile managers and what what that particular reading of sort of when you make a contemporary miniature what is this sort of teak on that tradition how ironic is it or an ironic and also I find it exciting that you mentioned it by sheer but I wondered if there were other teachers as well for instance somebody who's now getting a lot of recognition is the whole run Huck who has who has a very what it seems like from the outside to me being Indian is like it seems as if the horrid Huck has a particular take on tradition within that Mughal school which is a little bit ironic and I wondered whether you would agree with that yeah yeah exploring yeah yeah we understood I mean I think of who else act as more like Swami nothing in the area which is kind of has to do with recognizing that it shouldn't be only in the Western context that you explore something yeah my question on it I mean sort of a postmodern irony of kind of quoting something slightly sometimes out of context like the introduction of the kind of solutions were self-conscious way of of quotation like something that you do a lot which is that dialogue between figuration and abstraction and you know what we'll do is come back to that question because we're going to look at some of shots yes pictures Oh afterwards sorry so I'm back to my own subjects there you go no no that's not the reason but it's just because we will have time and I'm also mindful of our time too so Zahra the thing that I think is quite interesting in contrast to what happens at NCA yeah is that in the Indian context there's lots of debates going on about this new nation yeah where is the role of art who has a claim to it is it gonna be kind of neo nationalists coming out of entirely out of tradition or something different yeah and obviously the thing that you're preoccupied with these days because of the exhibition – is the progressives yeah the very notion of the word progressive of yes this contested we won't go there yeah yeah but it seems to me that in India while there isn't an equivalent of Bashir in any school Baroda or anywhere except a little bit at Shantiniketan yeah so talk to us a bit about the progressives and how they're looking at and I would use not just Mughal but the painting tradition generally pre-modern painting tradition which is also the case at what happens at NCA – people are not making it the station this is Mughal this is not I'm not looking at something you know like if you think of a basilica and Aika is a very much out of a non Muslim tradition but it doesn't really matter for artists so talk to us about what with the progressives and at that moment of new country that's now you nation rather that's being formed well okay so they're two things that I kind of want to stress with the progressives and that is this is the this is the progressive artist group which is a very specific entity which is how I'm using the term here and this is not progressives broadly speaking not addressing that broadly speaking and the fact that they used the term progressive artist group to define themselves in 1947 there were six of them so that Sousa ara scene and God no gaudy and Bakri and a lot of these Bahrain gaudy an era a sort of tend to get left out especially Guardian Bakri and so the sidelines because the others become so famous and then there's a second wave that kind of joins them in the 50s but the most famous of this lot and the the the the people who kind of tend to define the group are Hussein Sousa Raza in in in different terms ensues a very much sort of Deeks the mantle of being the the person who does the most writing on the group bosses everybody around and writes on why they call themselves progressives and after they form a 1947 Post in in Independence and post partition which is kind of important he is very kind of unsure of how that term relates to a Marxist tradition of working and what he wants is that he says we've used this term progressive but but I think this is a waste of a very stupid term because I'm you know we're no longer Marxist and that's just boring and what we eyes about an investigation of form but this form becomes I think important to remember increasingly political but it's a particular version of of often Indian nation that that they are sort of thinking around and it's Bombay it's it's kind of Bombay centric in the sense that this definition of the nation in India is very cosmopolitan it's all about syncretic mixing of traditions in a way you could say if Lahore is the problem says exactly yeah and it's the port city so in some ways are closer to perhaps even Karachi in in that kind of deliberately sort of mixing things up and it's got an angle to tradition and what's they often been forgotten when when you are looking at this group is that you know they have a slogan which is like the new art for the new India well right but this newness actually does not throw out tradition at all and that's different from what most people think of recives because of rasa shocking later on yeah yeah because it has a because of Susana who is so dismissive about the past supposedly but then all of these guys so while we don't have a sort of Bashir type figure the the person who is getting a lot of attention now like absolutely now because he's never really been looked at much is somebody called professor Jagannath ifasi and this guy is teaching Bihari painting and you can see his work on the left I think that one the message and he sort of absorbing Bihari painting into his work and he's a teacher to the first the first wave of progressives as well as great tunnels under which is you can see that and I mean you can see the parallels really strongly and if you know about guys only now you think of him purely in abstraction and so this particular period of caitanya is is is kind of completely forgotten so we get into this whole dialogue of what is modern and what is new and totally forget that actually the roots of the the new in these storms is actually looking at all the traditions and it is looking at the Mughal but with a very specific definition of even the kind of mogul that's being looked at because I mean this is something Vishakha and I were talking a lot about whether they should eat whether Pahari paint can even be called lead mobile style which I only not a good idea according to this I guess the reason for those of us who are in in traditional history you would say late mughal means really late mughal yeah meaning delhi coming on oh yeah that milieu yeah a hearty picture is influenced yeah but you do not see all it really but the point that's not for all of you to be but the reality being is that what we're really talking about is the syncretic tradition and these things going to now yeah and then the naming yeah should be something that actually doesn't close discussion yeah but naming is something that helps you understand better these are what you're looking at and that's why we're saying even at NC a the thing that was very interesting to me is that visual images from all sorts began to be available and that's when we can come back to Rogers work that it is no longer about whether this is a mughal motif and motif is one thing style is another so when you look at the idea is a big picture that just go back one more the previous one or you could talk about this is fine so I think this notion of progressives also making a complete break yeah is actually no I'm just sure work that's the idea no no so go ahead and you're next yeah so this is um and I think part of the reason that you know I'm quite interested in looking at these kind of influences is because you kind of get an idea of the sort of India that they're concealing off and if you think about it Hussein's family left for Pakistan he didn't seem with Raza whose brother was a painter as well and this but a villa whole art circle and the sort of were in contact with each other but apparently the fact that they were in these two nations meant that was quite a lot of friction between them because of there's those who chose not to go those who chose not to go and rasa gets increasingly difficult to define in in sort of Islamic terms and he wants to do that he wants to get away from from being you know the resident Muslim artist who didn't leave and the same thing happens with rescission um who then you know as we all know they Hussein is then forced forced to leave India and he goes into exile because of the Hindu right sort of starts it I think that a lot of this discussion that you're getting at what is so important is that they're artists who refuse to be defined by their religious identity yes but the world around them says yeah at one point or another yeah that's what it's about and that's exactly where the Hussein issue later on comes in yeah so I think that we want to really stay with that idea of how artists look at form whether it's the same looking at maturely picture or you have another image as well yeah Francesca later on why shouldn't I exactly but the frustration of categories where is obviously one understands that it's going to always happen right it's how the work navigates right and I think in we have to talk about capital like money like a bad fellow with art patronage you Upsilon up without talking about these things you don't necessarily talk about how somebody gets more tension but it is not right and therefore there is something about intention where the artist creates something and then there is reception yeah how is it received in what circles is it we see and who gets to decide where it's Rossio and then injected a populist right yes which is area which i think is very strategy in terms of his trajectory yeah and it's also I think it's it's also interesting that early Hussein is very different from theory I mean my personal favorite is is his fifties yeah possibilities are saying maybe we make $71 close yeah and that's it right um as far as I'm concerned and this is the period of Hussein where he's drawing most from partially painting and you can actually see that and so while it is true that they you know artists get from everywhere isn't it interesting that it should be um an Indian artist who is a practicing Muslim at this point um and perhaps like throughout um is not looking at earlier styles but he's specifically looking at Marshall II um and they are and the bits of bascially that also like you can you can make a connection with giant painting so it's a deliberately syncretic right vision of India as it were that is a chance to me that one of the things about progressives exactly is it's in the milieu of what is the idea of India exactly and yet with the intellectuals aggressive writers group progressive visual groups and but I think that there is something about the freedom of artists on the one hand yeah and then the idea of a culture or a nation yeah that they want yeah propagate yes is another that is the consciousness right yes interesting isn't it because you have those ideas which you know the artists are engaging with but then as artists you're always thinking about aesthetic and the aesthetic that you want to get across and I think it's quite interesting then with something like the Vaishali painting like the Bihari painting it's got such a specific aesthetic to it which differentiates it from the earlier you know goggle materials some of the other Rajasthani coins as well so it's a very it is a conscious choice is about that's exactly it's a very conscious choice that these individuals are using when they you know when they're picking what they want to tell people from and draw from and I presume it's happening you know with the contemporary artists as well the the source is that they're drawing from and you know when we look at the motion audience imagery we're going to see the difference you know that it can be one way is right to that jazz yet but I think that the issue you're raising that's really important is that sometimes it's very conscious selection for some reason other times it may be and I think she'll say I want you to kind of talk about it sometimes it may not be a conscious in the sense of content but conscious in terms of form and how you navigate the specific intent and meaning versus interest in a form so for example because so might look at an African piece not necessarily there is any other political consciousness but there is something about that form that really appealed to him for where you want to get at so talk a bit about your work as yeah obviously one is looking aesthetically at the forms but one is very aware of the political environment is images what happened it upside down there you go maybe there was a visual link even a so yeah the Mogul and that's specially the del bars which again is problematic because it's a cliche place but I think at the same time what I was interested in when I started to sort of misplace chronologically data is also to how to bring this idea of justice you know justice in terms of all of this in terms of history writing in terms of assigning value in terms of political identities india-pakistan make growing up in Pakistan in a different generation you're not that aware of what's going on in here right at some level you are but you cannot just say that it's all internal it's because not it is it not and some at some point in space you have to take ownership of the difference of the separate histories and at the same time of course I always felt very strongly that as anybody we have the right to all the various his layers of history how does histories get written and who gets right now is obviously debatable right so here I think it's the the element of the women you know Laura my work is informed by feminists here is whether it's Fatima Manisha Helen to sue it was bringing together this idea that how does a woman's voice emerge within a perhaps the patriarchal symbolic space and and then when the body I at this I think this was one of the early ventures into a kinetic painting early in the 2000s before even HD is developed where the bodies are left aside and a segment of the body like the hair and the hairline is left go back to the image just before it seemed to me one of the things interesting about this particular image at the forms and gestures you take come so much out of actually the gopis and the creators yeah the kind of images that are much was seen in the Rajput tradition what is your character exactly right right so if we start focusing too much on the go P we're gonna go no exactly but no right that's why I'm that's exactly why I wanted to get at it is that it is actually not about the religious or the content it's a form if it's a form but at the same time it has its history and time in a place right what I was interested in investigating is that when you share where you're taking the information belong and yet suspend that idea you know clarity and – of a transparent process night does that element have the ability to propel forward forward life and I think and not get stuck and not get is only in the originating where this functions as a particle system so when we when when I do large-scale works now you know multi the multimedia this is this functions as a particle system like and when it's coded and written in millions it can be fluid and studied like but I'm not interested in changing its inherent shape and form so the idea is that a rigid element it can be fluid but at the same time without sacrificing its differently so it's not about homogenous this is really stead of rewriting it I mean what's so interesting is that initially receive and I saw this title blah Horace Palin says yeah Balam says my god you know big word but it keeps coming back what is it it's a better layers with chances apparent meaning apparent in all of those layers a little bit of like the female narrative is free to take to create its own history right so in that sense the Bears are there but the fluidity is very feminine it's not all very specific it's not like this so not like this right but you put these things into play as it were and so we did write two hundred thousand and one so I was doing that exhibition with you and my number eleven half price and then the show was postponed by month I got my paintings back so I was able to keep working on them I know of course typical of Shazia it's never finished until finished and I said please just leave it alone put it up right but here also it's about power high hierarchies it's also about the dynamic within which how do you weave the multiplicity in compelling space right you know at the end of the day the painting has to exist as an object – it's a place it right exactly so how do you keep some sort of historic sense in addition to the party the precision is is a very functional main element precision of of iconography and precision of language and stylization how do you keep the narrative open-ended right so that 20 years later it still is people are still able to engage it that's a tough one well I think it's quite interesting is that as you know as an art historian and you know focusing on the 17th century in particular I look at your work and I see I see all those layers and I see the elements just from a stylistic point of view a formal point of view which I can identify as Mogul as Rajasthani as mihari but they're all you know that the idea of the layering and seeing it all as one unit so despite that idea of having that multiplicity at all it all melts together and that what you just mentioned about the fact that you know in 20 years time it's still making sense I it works it works in that way I mean in a strange way it brings us right back to the early mughal tradition just arbitrarily exactly taking photoshop like a layer right and putting elements right yeah right it is really about intent there's an intention you know that's I think that is the pursuit like creative pursuit all artists exactly this filter for truth might speak to speed through the world to speak to the world and we don't give that agency to the original court artists but they too ultimately our face we are contemporary at that that nine and they're faced with that page and say how to make a hole with Mansoor and cassia and whoever coming in together four people working together with very different traditions they're making a whole you doing it all by yourself interesting and Shana go ahead no no I'm just gonna just finish that because we are gonna come to an end and I want to very quickly open it up to the floor so now this the piece that I showed is ducking right you know it's a manuscript a philadelphia items so my interpretation is of the of the Kootenay is great but then Duncan manuscript in Dakini or Thule also exemplifies a very plural especially in Deccan so what I'm interested in is the provenance like how does a lot of this truncated art form get to where it is now does it get into the storage and so the institution write that history is very powerful because it it clearly shares like power hierarchies and who gets to buy in you know and it's like what happens within so those are topic yeah right but that that idea of of violence inherent in it but at the same time it is all indicative of like a time that is you know know like we have to have many more discoveries way to even open up the discourse no I think the problem is that right now we're in a time where oftentimes as discourses are getting limited or narrower yeah and how do you keep that open which is exactly what the intent of the Lauer literary festival is and why we're all here so with that floor is open please identify yourself and we have very little time so we just take one or two questions and then we'll have to bring it to a close so let's take do questions all at the same time and I can't quite see you so raise your hand ah there's a hand right here so we'll take two questions and another hand over there and we'll take that so we'll take both questions the same time hi my name is name I'm a public librarian from Lahore I have been in the West for the almost 25 years and what I find as a founding institution in any given culture is the institution of public libraries which creates some depth in perception and understanding of the world I mean Moghuls a great architecture but they didn't believe in perhaps the idea of public education or public libraries and that is something which is absent and the effects of that can be seen all over the Islamic world the rise in tribalism yesterday there was an article by Mosul high made that if the world wants to learn about the dangers of tribalism they should look at Pakistan and I mean even in the United States a Noam Chomsky has written a book called spectacular achievements of propaganda the question is is there any hope to come out of tribalism with the help of art given the prevailing situation of political and religious propaganda in Pakistan or in the Islamic world great so we'll take that and then there's a hand up there my question is for Shazia seconder and this is more of a private question rather than working with bashir sahib I'm also an alumni of MCA annoying Bashir Sahab he was a quite a traditionalist as you know and I've spent hours with him and he was a wonderful person but I'm sure it must be a head-butting session you know when you were there because looking at your work which is pretty progressive to me and what Bashir Saab does you know is more traditional and his personality was also as a person he was a very traditional person so tell me about your uphill battle a battle with him okay let's take the first question how do we get beyond tribalism and a weirdest culture fit into that well it's a very I mean it's it's a huge question and it's a very hard question because you can't I mean we you know we're at this amazing event held in its iterations in three different countries other festivals like this take place there is an awareness I think there is a global awareness of the importance of of culture and history and the the idea of libraries as you mentioned in in the promotion of you know maybe it's a bit silly to say but you know the idea of global harmony like we we know that the importance of culture gets portrayed in these ways the current political climate globally in the Islamic world as you said it and even in this content even in this cut no god yeah it's tense to put it mildly and and there is a drive by certain factions to destroy cultural heritage to minimize the importance of culture from an academic point of view the funding cuts you know to two departments there needs to be there needs to be more of an emphasis on on how we can use this cultural past and this historical past to learn lessons and and move forward the point you made about the I think you said that libraries in the Islamic worlds have not been there historically that's not true there have been incredible library support locally for the arts whether it's in LA or New York you know we are waiting in the sea right I mean I think that the real question that you're raising is that a number of philosophers have written about that is that it's exactly when borders begin to break as in globalization is when balkanization also occurs people one hold on to the smaller and smaller units and people who are threatened by the first will push this what that means that all of us who really believe that is not where we want to be we got to fight and it is now an urgent act of resistance and creating an alternative way which is about palimpsest it is about layering it is about not using cultural history for narrow vision and narrow interpretation that's a big task but it is urgent because everywhere the pressures are huge and you write about that and it's not just I feel like you're incorrect me for a long but I feel like your question was stressing this within a context of the Islamic world which is really I mean unfair because if you just look at what's happening in India now you know and say it's almost like the attack at some level is to culture itself right if the the fact that we're in a way not allowed to have a space for discussion and that these things can be talked about it's just not one narrow definition which fits into one line let's not just think well the last word goes to Utah visa Vee always is problematic because it does it does attack women it always is interested in taking ownership of women's bodies so in that respect of course think you have seen current movements that have emerged there's there's far more voices from that space globally so we need to support that to wait and and in terms of like I think the Horde the Horde biennial was a good example because I think they did raise a level of interest locally within the government to help support so they were able to see what the potential at the potential not is here so a lot of those shifts have to happen locally too which will which gives out a very different message to everybody there as well as outward and those that type of internal dismantling has to happen by a collective space so the you'll yes question we will answer I think in that sense Bashir has a function but she was responsible to put into place a curriculum for the traditional miniature painting so he feels really does I felt he that was his responsibility so he could only you know explore so much that was not his role in terms of how one navigates that situation as a young artist is very different from how one evolves over time but even at that time learning the craft and the skills was never problematic I was eager to learn but I was also being nurtured and fostered by many other teacher uses illusions and histories and literature's and poetry and so and all of that allows you to know in how much of of the mix is essential it doesn't put you in and print imprisons you I think it's a not alone you're not one yeah so so I I felt I had the frustration of course of like making a painting that can take a year if it is obviously there and at some point quite unrealistic if you if you ask me like how how does that move forward in in the way things function in the time and space that we are in but at the same time it allows you to confinement allows you to imagine freedom and if it's not that it'll be another thing so it's it's a it that premises is continuous I think for me so I think we have come to the end of the program but I hope that you do think about these words like palimpsests the reality hole and the parts and flexibility please join me in thanking our panel [Applause]

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