The two-day Festival of Art and Literature, a project of Khayaal-Creative Network in collaboration with Lahore Arts Council, began on Saturday at Alhmara.
The purpose of organising the festival is to celebrate art and literature in Pakistan. This festival is being held on the same pattern as that of Lahore Literary Festival, which was held in February 2013. Throughout the day different panel discussions were held simultaneously in Alhamra Hall I and Alhamra Hall II. Many stalls showcasing traditional crafts, dresses and handmade souvenirs have been set up to give the venue a truly festive look.
To create perfect literary ambience playing of traditional musical instruments like sitar and tabla souds resonated across the venue. The first day of the festival was attended by a large number of scholars, writers, poets, journalists and students of various schools, colleges and universities.
The event kicked off with the inaugural session in which there was an introduction to Khayaal Creative Network by Ayesha Hussain and Syed Babar Ali. This was followed by the performance of Mekaal Hassan and Folk Ensemble. The panel discussions on the first day were based on art, literature and the revival of Pakistan cinemas. The panel discussions were followed by interactive question answer sessions in which the audiences actively participated.
The first session in Hall 1 was ‘Publsihing in Pakistan: Challenges and Solution’. Panelists included Ameena Saiyid, Neelam Hussain, Zaheer Salam, Ali Kamaran and Ayaaz Ahmed. The session was moderated by Nabiha Meher.
At the same time In Hall II the session was ‘The power of art and the limitations of writing on art’ in which Salima Hashmi, Mian Ikaz ul Hassan, Quddus Mirza, Farida Batool and Abduallah Qureshi spoke. This session was moderated by Laila Rehman.
The second session was ‘The road less travelled: wandering through Pakistan’. Panelists included Wajahat Malik, Salman Rashid, Tahir Jahangir while Masud Hassan was the moderator.
In Hall II, the session was of ‘Shrinking space for the performing arts in Pakistan’ in which Madeeha Gauhar, Sara Zaman, Zain Ahemed spoke and it was moderated by Omair Rana.
After a lunch break, the third session was of Mohsin Hamid with Mira Sethi about ‘English fiction and the Pakistani imagation. The session was the based on the novels of Moshin Hamid and his recent book.
‘Maazah Paray’ was the session in Hall II, in which Gul I Naukhaiz Akhtar, Dr Ashfaq, Ahmad Virk, Khalid Masood were in panel. The fourth session was based on the Manto’s life as ‘Main Manto’ in which Salman Shahid and Sarmad Khoosat gave reading about Manto. Sarmad Khoosat made a 20 minute presentation on Manto’s life and how he struggled and what people say about him.
Musharraf Ali Farooqi had a conversation with Dr Ali Mehdi Hashmi in his session ‘Micro Narratives.’
The fifth session was the discussion between Khalid Ahmed and Intizar Hussain on Literature and Culture. Feryal Ali Gauhar also had a session with Raza Rumi that was titled ‘UnCut.’
The last session of day 1 was on the revival of Pakistan cinema industry titled ‘Lights, Camera, Action’. The panelists were Vasay Chaudry, Jawed Sheikh, Kamran Lashari and Bilal Lashari. It was moderated by Shehnaz Sheikh. Shamon Abbasi came as a guest and first sat in the audience and later on joined the panel.