Naveed Aman Khan
Pakistan National Council of Arts with the collaboration of Cultural Section of Chinese Embassy Islamabad successfully organized an international seminar on the topic of ”Art and Culture Enabling Creative Economy “in PNCA on February 26. Experts, researchers and scholars from Pakistan and China actively participated in the seminar. Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Sartaj Aziz and Federal Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Mohtarma Maryam Orangzeb also honored the seminar with their presence and inputs. Pakistan and China are vigilantly enhancing momentum of development. Visionary honorable Chinese President Xi Chin Ping has decided to energise diverse art and culture of China and Pakistan. Chinese Ambassador His Excellency Yao Jing, Cultural Councillor You Yi and Director General PNCA Syed Jamal Shah are working hard as a team for the implementation of grand design of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’s multidimensional and diverse art and culture concerned aspects with their immense zeal and fervour. This seminar was part of CPEC Cultural Caravan Festival where creative and cultural industries experts highlighted the contribution of culture and development to the economy, livelihood and sustainability of the country and the region. The seminar provided policy-makers with an introduction to some of the key measures, policy and regulatory frameworks to be implemented in order to benefit from the opportunities presented by the creative economy.
Sartaj Aziz, speaking at the seminar, said that “Creative Economy is one of the most rapidly growing industries in the world. Elderly Sartaj Aziz talked about “CPEC and the Opportunities for Mutual Cultural Exchange”. Cultural Councilor China Embassy honorable You Yi threw light on “The potential of trade and cooperation in Creative and Cultural Industries between Pakistan and China”. Creative and Cultural Industries open great avenues for the trade and cooperation between China and Pakistan. Pakistan has rich cultural heritage and tradition of local artisans producing traditional handicrafts which in turn provide great economic and trade opportunities. Exploring the potential for this trade between China and Pakistan provides yet another opportunity for leveraging this creative activity into lasting and sustainable employment.
Dr. Salman Asif, Advisor to UNESCO, highlighted “Leveraging on Youth Bulge”: A Case For Unlocking Creative-Cultural Economy Potential in Pakistan – Claiming Creative Spaces From Whirlwinds. Ahmad Salim, archivist and researcher, talked about Chinese Literature in Urdu; New Economic Prospects. The paper read by him is based on the need for translations in the current day and age. Dr. Maryam Rab from British Council talked about “Creative Cities in Pakistan”. Her paper seems exploring what sorts of intervention could be successful in supporting artisans and artistic communities and in empowering them. Dr. Nadeem Omer Tarar talked on the topic of “The Perils and Promise of Creative Economy in Pakistan after CPEC”. He said that the Chinese creative industries are advance in terms of technology and industrial production than ours.
Dr. Sajida Haider Vandal talked about “ CPEC, Creative Economy and Cultural Multiplicity”. The CPEC, a dedicated network of roads, railways and technology-based communication connecting China to the rest of the world reminds us of another network of the Ancient and Medieval times.Prof. Dr. Wang Shan told “How to release Non-American Movies in China?”. She informed that Chinese film market has experienced rapid growth since 2012. Its annual box office has increased from USD 2.8 b in 2012 to USD 9.2 b in 2017, more than tripled. The CPEC Cultural Caravan has successfully explored the possibilities of a deeper and more focused cultural relationship between Pakistan and China.
Yasmin Lari, the first female architect of Pakistan, discussed “Dealing with Societal Inequalities and Social Justice through Heritage Inspired Cultural Products”. Her paper was based on approaches that address issues of social justice and inequalities. Prof. Ijaz Khan was of the view to “Creative Economy and Developing Countries with reference Pakistan”. Creative Economy refers to ‘marriage of Arts, Heritage, Poetry, Music, Paintings, Architecture, Dance and related with economy made possible through modern communication technology. Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro shared his words on “Heritage as conduit for religious tolerance in Pakistan”. He told that there are many places in Pakistan, which are syncretic in nature where Muslim and Hindus worship together in shared space and at the other Muslim and Sikhs venerate the saints equally.
Dr. Dushka H Saiyid talked about “The Development of the Creative and Cultural Industries Along the CPEC”. The CPEC presents the creative and cultural industries with both challenges and opportunities.
Naeem Safi let the audience know “Noah’s Ark: Culture as the Answer to Contemporary Challenges”. He told that the inhabitants of this planet are facing unprecedented challenges. While in his paper, the writer tried to focus on “CPEC and its influence on Art and Culture “. He said to me art and culture are the references and true pictures of any nation or society. Ours is a diverse art and culture. After joining hands on CPEC both Pakistani and Chinese nations are coming closer to each other for the first time since independence. Both the great nations have been enjoying strong bilateral political and diplomatic relationship since long but people-to-people contact between the two nations started because of economic factor of CPEC. Now both the nations are also interacting. This way they will come to know about each other. Thus, art and culture of both of the nations will be introduced and this is how both the nations will learn a lot from each other.
Very successfully Cultural Councillor Chinese Embassy honorable You Yi and DG PNCA Syed Jamal Shah have converted PNCA into a hub of cultural engagements and more so a colourful result oriented successful think tank. Their team work has won laurels at every front and level in a very short span of time.
— The writer is political analyst based in Islamabad.