Reframing the Contexts for Pakistani Contemporary Art

  • Salima Hashmi
  • Farida Batool


Art, in our present understanding of the term, is always borne out of the desire to respond, articulate, and negotiate within religious and ritualistic practices and is an extension of daily life. The overall aesthetics was dictated by the essence of the region, and the need to be connected to the Greater Being through creativity. In the context of Pakistan, the discursive formations of art history were arrested by the state’s idea of modernising the nation soon after its inception and that dream could only be fulfilled if one was connected with the ‘linear’ history and development of the west. The questions that should have been part of the discourse remain unanswered even today in the face of much stronger and powerful art practices that have evolved over the last seven decades. The visually and materially innovative imagery continued to serve as defiance of the mainstream. The rich repository of the images became the documents of the time, recording what people did not dare to speak in public under many oppressive regimes. These are among the issues that this chapter attempts to address in a situation where contemporary art practices continue to evade a comprehensive scholarly study or even discursive articulation.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Salima Hashmi
    • 1
  • Farida Batool
    • 1
  1. 1.LahorePakistan

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