British Council launched an exhibition called ‘Creative Cities in Pakistan’ which focusses on five cities with thriving creative communities, that were rich in arts and crafts, as well as history and culture. Taking place at the British Council Spring Garden office London, the exhibition will run until May 26, a press release received here from London said.
The exhibition was based on the Creative Cities in Pakistan research report which attempts to identify programmes that would help these ‘creative cities’ to become thriving economies. It includes cultural and traditional artefacts from Multan, Peshawar, Gilgit/Hunza, Quetta and Hyderabad such as carpets, instruments, jewellery, shoes, music, film and television clips and more.
The launch event was hosted by Christopher Rodrigues, British Council Chair while it was also attended by the dignitaries at the ceremony included, Kamran Lashari, Director General of the Lahore Walled City Project, Rosemary Hilhorst, Country Director British Council Pakistan and Rachel Harris, Creative Producer, Festival Development at the Southbank Centre, Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner to the UK, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri and Political Secretary Dr Hassan Rabbani.
Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner to the UK, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri quoted that the government and the creative sector in Pakistan were increasingly recognising the importance of the creative economy as a generator of jobs, wealth and cultural engagement.
As result, he said these industries now form an integral part of Pakistan’s current economic revival. The growth in arts and cultural sector also provides excellent opportunities for the youth of the country in terms of employment, skills and avenues for entrepreneurship.
“We believe that the exhibition and the report will not only show the richness and diversity of the Pakistan’s creative industries but also shed light on the immense opportunities presented by this sector” he added. Kamran Lashari, Director General of the Lahore Walled City Project said this was a very good initiative undertaken by the British Council in projecting Pakistan’s culture in the UK.
“We need to improve the livelihood of local artisans by enhancing their skills and arranging a network of support systems, which can make their traditional skills sustainable.”
Rosemary Hilhorst, Country Director, British Council in Pakistan said, “I believed said that the arts and cultural sector not only has the potential to contribute in solving Pakistan’s social and economic challenges, it also presents itself as an opportunity to help improve its international image”.
The report was a starting point for the British Council to connect institutions and individuals from the UK and Pakistan to co- create cultural sustainability for the citizens and local creative communities of these cities through timely interventions and programmes.
The Creative Cities in Pakistan research report deliberately moved beyond the major metropolises in Pakistan (Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Karachi and Lahore) to identify five second tier cities.
Often overlooked, these five cities have rich historical, traditional and cultural roots – but traditional crafts and art forms were increasingly not seen as a viable option to provide sustainable income stream as a result traditional skills were at risk. Creative Cities in Pakistan explores various interventions and programmes and their implementation which could benefit these cities.
The interventions and programmes recommended in the report would give opportunities to local artisans to receive the support and recognition they require to continue working arts and cultural sector.