LAHORE: Lahore Biennale Foundation's (LBF) open discussion on ‘Art in Parks and Public Spaces’ at Bagh-e-Jinnah today attracted a number of musicians and artists who unanimously called for sharing their stories and ideas at forums held in public places.

The project Aao Sunayein Kahani (Stories we tell) is collaboration between Beachonhouse National University and Lahore Biennale Foundation with the support of Centre for Culture and Development.

Executive Director and co founder of the LBF Qudsia Rahim said that the idea behind the project and conducting these kinds of gatherings at the public places and parks was to create an environment where people narrate their stories and exchange ideas and learn from each other. “It was important to bridge the gap between art and social responsibility,” she was of the view.  

The gathering at Bagh-e-Jinnah was well attended by artists, musicians, students of different universities, visitors and people who come for walk in the park also showed keen interest in listening to and exchanging ideas on the importance of art at public spaces.

On the occasion, musicians Sajjad and Hafiz who teach group of 30 students at BNU told the gathering that after doing the project they found themselves ‘somewhere’  among the public. “Sharing our skills with aspirant students of music was an ‘amazing’ experience.

“Exchanging ideas between artists and common people at public spaces makes us more confident in presenting ourselves before the society,” they maintained.

National College of Arts Visual Arts Prof Farida Batool said that artists always made their work for the public which might not always be issue oriented or activism based art but only for the public. “The new types of designs these days made on the back of auto rickshaws these days is perfect example of public art,  which needed no direction or guidance. Rather the emergence of public art is purely from the minds of common people who want to express their feelings and emotion in the form of art.

“I with my fellow artists made Awami Art Collective and done public art projects like violence and kite-flying but you see these are the difficult things to speak about these days,” Farida opined.

Umar Hameed permanent faculty member in Visual Communication Design department BNU said that they were striving for equality among the people who come from different backgrounds but according to our experience verbally it is easy to say all are equal but practically it is the most difficult thing to proactive,” he said.  

Filmmaker Bilal Sami said being filmmaker whenever he makes films and documentaries he always keeps in mind that there should be something out of his film for the public and people. “There ought to be a message for the people in all my projects and I take pain to do so,” he explained.

The one and a half hour session was interactive and well attended. For the next six months, April through to September, Stories We Tell booths will be placed around the city, for a week each month, for the purpose of recording and spreading stories and conversations. A defining theme, which will change each month, that encapsulates a particular aspect of Lahore’s quintessential everyday will dictate not only the locations at which the booths will be placed but also the narrative theme of the stories being played and recorded.