Our country Pakistan appeared on the world map in 1947, but the history of this land and people goes back 10,000 years. Powerful civilizations, including Mehrgarh, Harappa and Moenjodaro of the Indus Valley, and Gandhara have thrived in this land. Many layers of history are visible in the culture, religions, and languages that this land has seen over thousands of years. Multiculturalism and diversity continues to thrive in Pakistan today.
Pakistan, at its core, is a land of tolerance, compassion, and wisdom – a far cry from the troubled nation it has become in the eyes of the world today. By embracing our roots and our cultural heritage, we can bring to fore the same qualities that allowed great civilizations to grow, develop and thrive here, once upon a time.
All dynamic societies have a living, breathing culture that is constantly evolving. Culture shapes communities, even as it is itself being shaped by changing trends, demographics, technology, globalization, and adapting value systems.
To truly celebrate culture, one must embrace its constant evolution. Tradition must meet modernity, and to do this without a clash is the aim of every successful society of the world. As Pakistan evolves, so must its culture, while retaining its vibrancy and diversity.
Islamabad Art Festival is built upon the foundation of cultural diversity that is so deeply embedded in the land that is now Pakistan, and in the people that are now Pakistani. Art has the unique capability of enabling people to engage intimately with their natural and cultural heritage in a creative and critical manner. The spirit of creativity and innovation brings people together and strengthens society as a whole.
IAF-19 aims to bring artists from Pakistan and across the world together on one multi-disciplinary platform with a global outreach. At IAF-19, local artists will create, exhibit, and perform right alongside their foreign counterparts, and catapult Pakistani art to new heights worldwide. Emerging artists will have an opportunity to interact with established and highly-respected artists, and exhibit their work together on this collaborative platform. The aim of the festival is to celebrate diversity and creativity in all forms of visual and performing arts.
The thematic focus of IAF-19 is a “Dialogue between Tradition and Modernity”. This will be explored across cultures and identities in an inclusive way, thinking about both differences and similarities. IAF-19 will specifically probe the question of IDENTITY through the following manifestations of the main curatorial theme:
1. Indigenous vocabulary and contemporary expression.
2. Crush on modernity, affair with classicism and romance with romanticism.
3. Identity and contemporary challenges.
4. My tradition verses your modernity.