Conference 2015

PEOPLES HISTORY OF PAKISTAN

1. Social, Economic and Political History

2. History of Arts, Architecture and Urbanism

3. History of Cultures in Pakistan

 

The THAAP Series of Conferences began, in 2010, with “Historiography of Architecture in Pakistan and the Region”. That conference was the first tentative testing of the young scholars in Pakistan who responded, and have continued to respond magnificently. The conference has grown in spread and depth; celebrated scholars along with a large number of young enthusiastic entrants to fields gave a unique color from which all benefitted.  It is time to revisit the opportunities, issues and problems of writing history in general and Pakistan in particular.

 

The somewhat insecure state of Pakistan reacts with suspicion and repression to any deviation from the official narrative, which time and again has proven to be insufficient, selective and even inaccurate. The variety of cultures and people of Pakistan just cannot be fitted into one mold. They all have their own genuine worldviews and aspirations which are as valid as any. Understanding ourselves, our neighbors, and our neighbors’ neighbors is the only sure means of promoting harmony and tolerance. The best way to learn is to learn from each other.

 

 

CONFERENCE BRIEF

SIXTH INTERNATIONAL THAAP CONFERENCE 2015

Conference Theme:

People’s History of Pakistan

Held on November 06-08, 2015 at 43-G, Gulberg-III, Lahore

 

Abstracts Received:

117

 

Papers Presented:

26

 

Publication:

The peer-reviewed research journal ‘People’s History of Pakistan’ was published in Nov 2016. Prof. Pervaiz Vandal is the Editor.

 

Additional Information:

Sixth International THAAP Conference was held in collaboration with HEC, Kinnaird College for Women, Global Arts Limited and THAAP in which scholars from Bangladesh, India, Germany, UK, USA and Pakistan presented their papers.

A 3 day conference with several events in conjunction was held as follows:

 

- THAAP International Photography Exhibition 2015 in collaboration with The Citizens Archive of Pakistan and Global Arts Limited at 43-G, Gulberg-III, Lahore.

- THAAP International Film Screening 2015 in collaboration with PILAC, Olomopolo Media, Geo Films and Global Arts Limited at PILAC Auditorium.

- THAAP Student Jamboree in collaboration with Lok Rahs and Global Arts Limited at 43-G, Gulberg-III. Events included a photowalk and singing.

- THAAP National Performing Arts Festival in collaboration with The Lahore Arts Council and Global Arts Limited at Alhamra Cultural Complex, Gaddafi.

Closing Session at 43-G, Gulberg-III, Lahore and Dinner sponsored by Mr. Shamim ul Haq.

 

List of Paper Readers

Bangladesh

1.  Md. Towhidul Islam

Programme Officer-M&E, Water Aid Bangladesh  Political Organism of Pakistan: Examination of Political Structure of Local Bodies in Pakistan

 

Germany

2.  Helena Cermeño Mediavilla

Junior Researcher / PhD Scholar, Centre for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn “Lahore, Reimagining the Urban: Past and Present ‘Imageabilities’ of the City”

 

3.  Prof. Jürgen Wasim Frembgen, PhD

Senior Curator, Museum Fünf Kontinente and

Professor, Institute of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Munich

Till Passow

Film Director in co-operation with  Goethe Institutes Knotted Images: Lest we forget. Rugs from the war in Afghanistan

 

4.  Tanzia Islam

PhD Scholar, Department of Architecture & Building History, Technical University of Berlin, Berlin

 

Sahjabin Kabir

Co-founder and Senior Researcher, Avantgardes Research Institute, Bangladesh

 

Mehreen Mustafa

Architect and

Lecturer, School of Architecture, Design and Urbanism, University of Culture and Art, Lahore The Isolated Communities of South Asia, An Outcome of the Political Mapping from Indian

Subcontinent

 

India

5.  Mandakini Sharma

PhD Scholar, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee

 

Prof. Ila Gupta, PhD

Professor and Head, Department of Architecture and Planning and

Joint Faculty in HSS, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee

 

Prof. P. Jha

Professor, Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee  Amrita Sher-Gill's Paintings: A Cultural Evaluation

 

6.  Prof. Pran Neville

Author and Scholar Early Portrayal of Punjabi Women

 

Pakistan

7.  Aftab Ahmad

Program Manager, Idara Baraye Taleem-o-Taraqi (IBT), Bahrain, Swat

 

Mujahid Torwali

Language Researcher, Idara Baraye Taleem-o-Taraqi (IBT), Bahrain, Swat Peoples’ Stories During the Rule of Last Wali of Swat (1949—1969)

 

8.  Aisha Asim Imdad

Associate Professor, CIIT Islamabad Truck Art: A Story in Motion

 

9.  Amin Muhammad Valliani, PhD

Senior faculty, Ismaili Tariqah and Religious Education Board (ITREB), Karachi Inner Structure of the Ismaili Community

 

10.  Asif Nazir

M. Phil, University of Gujrat

Email: asifnazir40@gmail.com Historical Background Of Ansaris: A Case Study Of District Kasur

 

11.  Hanif ur Rehman, PhD

Lecturer, History Department , University of Peshawar

 

Jamshed Khan

Visiting Research Scholar, SOAS , University of London Irony of History: Pakhtunistan, Bacha Khan and Afghanistan

 

12.  Humera Naz, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of History (General), University of Karachi Woman and History: A critical appraisal of the chronicles of medieval Sindh

 

13.  Husain Abdul Rehman

Development Communication Specialist, Public Sector Organisation Voyage to Waziristan (FATA)

 

14.  Kanwal Khalid, PhD

Assistant Professor, College of Art and Design, Punjab University, Lahore 19th Century Painters of Lahore Tell the Story Behind

 

15.  Khataumal Lohano, MBBS

Mithi, Tharparkar  Life of the Meek: shall they inherit the earth?

 

16.  M. Ahsan Shakoor

Post grad. student, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad Basant and Pehalwani: Dying Cultural Traditions Of Punjab

(A Case Study Of Lahore)

 

17.  Prof. Noman Ahmed, PhD

Professor and Chair, Department of Architecture and Planning, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi The Story of Contestation of Space in Karachi in the Backdrop of Safety and Security Issues

 

18.  Qaisar Abbas

Assistant Professor, School of Culture and Languages, University of Culture and Art, Lahore and

Project Coordinator, THAAP, Lahore

 

Ghiasuddin Pir

Lecturer, School of Culture and Languages, University of Culture and Art, Lahore History Of The Invisible

 

19.  Raza Naeem

Assistant Professor, School of Governance and Society, University of Management and Technology, Lahore People’s Poetry as People’s History: The Role of Habib Jalib

 

20.  Riaz Ahmed Shaikh, PhD

Head of Social Sciences and Associate Professor, SZABIST, Karachi Peasants uprising in East Bengal / East Pakistan (1946 – 50)

 

21.  Saba Samee

Archaeologist of Buildings/ Conservation Architect and Associate Professor, School of Culture and Languages, University of Culture and Art, Lahore People’s History through ‘Trees’

 

22.  Sadia Pasha Kamran

PhD Scholar, University of the Punjab and Visiting Assistant Professor, Kinnaird College and Beaconhouse National University Popular Culture of Cynicism and its Aesthetic Demonstrations in Pakistan

 

23.  Umair Ghani

Freelance Photographer, Lahore Archaeology of Nostalgia: Present History of Pakistani People through Photographs

United Kingdom

 

24.  Prof. David Cotterrell

Professor of Fine Art, Sheffield Hallam University Empathy and Risk

 

United States of America

25.  Meher Ali

Student, Department of History,

Brown University The Hidden Left: Communist Activity in Pakistan, 1948-1954

 

26.  Samina Iqbal

PhD Scholar and  Graduate Teaching Assistant, Art History Department

Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond, VA  Reconsidering Modern Art of Pakistan: Sheikh Safdar Ali

 

 

CONFERENCE REPORT

As Nelson Mandela said, “Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world". At THAAP we can clearly see both. A vision of providing people of varied professional backgrounds especially youth with a platform to come forth and share their thoughts, a vision of promoting our culture, knowing our history, a vision of interconnectedness and integration of knowledge with a belief that there is no better way to learn, then to learn from each other. This year’s theme, “People’s History of Pakistan” had a series of monthly talks at its background which set the tone for this 6th International THAAP Conference 2015.

 

The Inaugural Session of the Conference began with the welcome address by Prof. Sajida Haider Vandal, an educationist, architect & CEO of THAAP. She explained that the Conference has been organized by THAAP in collaboration with Kinnaird College for Women University, Lahore together with the support of Higher Education Commission, Islamabad and Global Arts Limited. She thanked the guests for their active participation in the Conference and explained that THAAP is a not for profit registered organization founded in 2006 which has various subsets including THAAP Talks which are organized on monthly basis culminating into THAAP Conference at the end of each year, THAAP Publications that takes out peer reviewed Journals based on the papers presented at the Conference and THAAP Crafts that brings livelihood to rural population and the poor. She also explained about the initiative of an upcoming university by the name of University of Culture and Art that would play a pivotal role in laying the foundations of the future generations.

 

Prof. Pervaiz Vandal, an architect, educationist & THAAP Conference Convener was the keynote speaker of the event and explained that THAAP has played a pivotal role in improving the state of education along with promoting socio-economic & cultural development in Pakistan. He added that for this year’s conference 120 abstracts were submitted from around the world out of which 40 were selected by the Paper Selection Committee but due to visa issues some paper presenters especially the Indian delegates could not make it to Pakistan.

 

Right Reverend Dr. John Alexandar Malik was the Guest of Honor of the event. He appreciated THAAP’s efforts in providing a platform to people from various professional backgrounds. Prof. Dr. Mohammad Nizamuddin, Chairman HEC Punjab was the Chief Guest of the event and congratulated THAAP on consistently organizing successful Conferences since 2010. He wished all the success to THAAP for its future endeavors. The Session was concluded with the inauguration of THAAP Photography Exhibition on the same theme of the conference.

 

First Session was chaired by Dr. Mubarak Ali, an eminent historian, activist and scholar of Pakistan. 1st paper of the Conference was presented by Ms. Meher Ali. Her paper titled “The Hidden Left: Communist Activity and Influence in Pakistan’s Early Years” focused on the historical writing on Pakistan’s earliest years that have long been dominated by nationalist narratives and has often limited the space for alternative viewpoints. 2nd paper of the Conference was by Dr. Hanif ur Rehman and Mr. Jamshed Khan, read by Ms. Zainab Fatima. Their paper was titled, “Irony of History: Pakhtunistan, Bacha Khan and Afghanistan”. 3rd paper of the session was presented by Dr. Riaz Ahmed Shaikh. His paper titled “Peasants uprising in East Bengal / East Pakistan (1946 – 50)”, while focusing on the people’s history of East Pakistan, discussed an important chapter of East Bengal’s peasant’s struggle for their legitimate rights. 4th paper of the session was by Mr. Towhid ul Islam which was read by Sultan Syed Bukhari and was titled “Political organism of Pakistan: examination of political structure of local bodies in Pakistan”. The paper focused on different forms of political systems that have been exercised in Pakistan and examined the original structure of Pakistan’s democracy.

 

Second Session was chaired by Architect Ahmed Pervaiz Mirza and the 5th paper of the Conference was presented by Ms, Samina Iqbal titled “Sheikh Safdar Ali and the Emergence of Modern Avant-Garde Art in Pakistan”. Paper highlighted the works of Sheikh Safdar Ali: within the framework of Modern art in the newly established Pakistan. 6th paper of the Conference was presented by Dr. Kanwal Khalid on “19th Century Painters of Lahore Tell the Story Behind”. The paper presented a research on three paintings to represent the contemporary events of the troubled period of Sikh Rule, which have now become a history. 7th paper was presented by Ms. Aisha Asim Imdad titled “Truck Art: A Story in Motion”. The paper explored the colorful art on the trucks and analyzed the decorative elements & ideas that these flamboyant images portray from the view point of the people who create them. 8th paper was presented by Sadia Pasha Kamran, titled “Popular Culture of Cynicism and its Aesthetic Demonstrations in Pakistan”. This study investigated various features that promote the culture of cynicism, mockery and satire in Pakistan. The delegation then moved to “Gallery 39K” where the art work titled “Is Saye Kay Parcham Talay” was put on display, curated by Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Mr. Abdullah Qureshi.

 

On Day-02 of the Conference, Mr. Muhammad Owais Rana from “Citizens Archive of Pakistan” highlighted the importance of archiving history with alternate methods. He shared the photographic & oral recordings of experiences of people at the time of partition. Third Session of the Conference was chaired by Mr. Mushtaq Soofi and the 1st paper of the session titled “People’s Poetry as People’s History: The Role and Contributions of Habib Jalib and Sibte Hasan” was presented by Mr. Raza Naeem. The 2nd paper was presented by Mr. Umair Ghani titled “Archaeology of Nostalgia: Present History of Pakistani People through Photographs”. His paper elaborated that “The eyes only see what the mind registers” and in absence of reliable photographic images, the journey into the heart of any culture and its custodians fails to capture countless noteworthy details.

 

Fourth Session of the Conference was chaired by Prof. Dr. Gulzar Haider and the 3rd paper of the day was presented by Prof. Dr. Anwar Shaheen and Mr. Sajjad Zaheer titled “Migration among the Hindus of Sindh in the Historical Context” with special reference to their movement in space and in the temporal context. 4th paper was presented by Dr. Humera Naz from Karachi. The title of her paper was “Woman and History: A Critical Appraisal of the Chronicles of Medieval Sindh”. Her paper elucidated that the Sindhi folklore provides an insightful view about the customs and traditions prevailing in medieval Sindh. 5th paper was presented by Dr. Khataumal Lohano. The paper was titled “Life of the Meek: Shall they Inherit the Earth?” which highlighted the trials, tribulations and struggles of those who are 'otherised' with the help of life histories of three denizens of Tharparkar.

 

Fifth Session of the Conference was chaired by Prof. Dr. Rahat Naveed and the 6th paper of the day was presented by Ms. Saba Samee. Her paper was titled “People’s History through Trees” which highlighted trees as being a vital element in the survival of human kind and as survivors of development, trees in Lahore tell the story of the city and hint towards the historicity of various areas. 7th paper was presented by Prof. Pran Neville, an eminent author and scholar titled “Early Portrayal of Punjabi Women”. His paper reviewed that women of the sub-continent have always been considered among the most beautiful in the world and their charms have been celebrated by poets and bards down the ages. 8th paper of the day was presented by Mr. Muhammad Ahsan Shakoor. His paper was titled “Basant and Pehalwani: Dying Cultural Traditions of Punjab (A Case Study of Lahore)”. 9th paper was presented by Mr. Asif Nazir from Faisalabad, titled “Historical Background of Ansaris: A Case Study of City Kasur”. The paper explained the caste system in Kasur with historical background of Ansaris. The delegation then moved to Kinnaird College for Women University for a Cultural Evening followed by dinner.

 

Sixth Session on the Day-03 of the Conference today, was chaired by Prof. Irshad Burney, an architect and educationist. 1st paper of the session was presented by Ms. Tanzia Islam, Sahjabin Kabir and Mehreen Mustafa titled “The Isolated Communities of South Asia: An Outcome of the Political Mapping from Indian Subcontinent”. The paper discussed the architectural seclusion of the marginalized communities in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. 2nd paper was presented by Ms. Helena Mediavilla. Her paper was titled “Lahore’s Cityscapes: Reimagining the Urban. Past and Present Imageabilities of the City”.  3rd paper of the session titled “The Story of Contestation of Space in Karachi in the Backdrop of Safety and Security Issues” was presented by Prof. Dr. Noman Ahmed. His paper presented the findings and analysis of the transformation of urban public spaces in Karachi with a focus on safety and security issues as observed during the recent history of the city.

 

Seventh Session of the Conference was chaired by Prof. Pran Neville and 4th paper of the day was presented by Dr. Amin Muhammad Valliani, titled “Inner Structure of the Ismaili Community”. The paper elaborated that after the creation of Pakistan, the Ismailis felt hard-pressed about their role and underwent a process of modernization and social change bringing progress and coherence to the entire community. 5th paper of the day was presented by Ms. Mandakini Sharma (Read by Ms. Sana Mubeen). Her paper was titled “Amrita Sher-Gill’s Paintings: A Cultural Evaluation” highlighting her paintings to have a cultural variation inclined towards the folk and rural culture of India. 6th paper was by Mr. Qaisar Abbas and Mr. Ghiasuddin Pir titled “History of the Invisible”. Their paper narrated the Hijra’s heroic struggle for survival in hostile socio-religeo-political environment.

 

Eighth Session of the Conference was chaired by Prof. Dr. Nauman Ahmed and 7th paper of the day was presented by Husain Abdul Rehman Qazi titled “Voyage to Waziristan (FATA)”. The research paper explored Waziristan through the eyes of a traveler who ventures on frequent journeys to the erstwhile ‘area of the outlawed’ The Gomal Pass. 8th paper of the day was presented by Mr. Mujahid Torwali and Mr. Aftab Ahmad titled “Peoples’ Stories during the Rule of Last Wali of Swat (1949—1969)”. 9th paper of the day was presented by Prof. David Cotterrell titled “Empathy and Risk”. His paper explored the contradictory nature of mutually exclusive versions of truth, the way in which risk can be a catalyst to the creation of partial truths and the possibility of the loss of pluralist narratives as communities and individuals are denied access to each other’s vantage points. 10th paper of the day was presented by “Prof. Dr. Jürgen Frembgen and Till Passow” titled “Knotted Images: Lest we forget. Rugs from the war in Afghanistan”. The paper elaborated that the innovation of designing and producing “War Rugs” took place in the region northwest of Herat and spread to other parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

 

THAAP Conference this year as well, put forth quality research papers allowing a proactive discourse on the same in which participants from varied professional backgrounds and delegates from Bangladesh, Germany, India, UK, US and from various cities of Pakistan participated.

Report by: Sahar Saqlain

Joint Secretary to THAAP

Rapporteur General THAAP Conference 2015