KARACHI: Alliance Française de Karachi (AFK) was the venue where karachiites converged to celebrate Pakistan’s first Night of Ideas (La Nuit des Idées) titled Facing the Present.
Every year, on the last Thursday in January, cities around the world celebrate the Night of Ideas bringing together prominent French and international thinkers to debate the major challenges of our time. The event celebrates freedom of ideas, thinking, expression and knowledge by conferences, seminars, forums, and roundtables, screenings and artistic performances inspired by a common theme.
The Citizens Archive of Pakistan and their Oral History Project team brought a unique story sharing experience connecting AFK to Peeru’s Café and NCA students in Lahore through an immersive audiovisual technology “portal”. Conversation was open to all, about the Night of Ideas between Karachi and Lahore followed by a live performance by Peeru’s Cafe artists. This friendly public debate (the main event of the night!) on the theme Facing the Present wondered: Who is better equipped to deal with the challenges of our time – intellectuals or artists?
Bold and inspiring speakers from each “side” faced-off on this question in pithy 7-minute TED-style talks: How are our intellectuals and artists using their work to address the various challenges of our present and future? Each made the case for why their medium was so well-suited to facing our time. In the end, the audience voted on who has won the debate, and how both sides could join forces to work together in finding solutions that benefit everyone.
Shorts compiled by the Oral History Project team at the Citizens Archive of Pakistan featured the stories of Pakistanis. Visitors earnestly watched 3D/anamorphic chalk artist and muralist Obaid ur Rehman make live graffiti interpreting the theme of the night.
The Patio reverberated by a fusion of eastern and western music by Tarz (the band made up of Yousuf Kerai, Islamuddin Mir, Ashiq Ali Mir, and Shehroze Hussain on the tabla, violin, dholak & sitar.
Works of 100 writers to be published in the year 2114
SEOUL: International award-winning South Korean author Han Kang has been named the fifth author in a Norwegian government-sponsored project to collect the works of 100 renowned writers, one author a year, and publish them in 2114.
Han, a 2016 Man Booker International Prize winner for her novel The Vegetarian, is also the first Asian writer to be selected as a contributor to the Future Library project, which aims to connect current and future generations through writing.
The project was launched in 2014 by a Scottish artist with the concept of conveying the meaning of hope and trust by connecting time and life. The previously selected writers are Margaret Atwood of Canada, David Mitchell of Britain, Sjon of Iceland and Elif Shafak of Turkey.
A thousand trees have been planted in a forest near Oslo to supply paper for the special anthology of books, which will be printed in a century’s time, according to the Future Library. Han will donate her unpublished text in a handover ceremony due to be held in Oslo on May 25. Her manuscript will be disclosed in 2114.
Dr. Jameel Jalibi is no more
KARACHI: Literary giant Dr. Jameel Jalibi passed away here today at the age of 90. President Arts Council Ahmed Shah took to the Facebook to share the sad news.
He was born Mohammad Jameel Khan into a Yousufzai family on 12th June 1929, in Aligarh, UP, India. Young Mohammad Jameel got his early education at Aligarh and moved to Meerut College in 1945 for his graduation.
Following partition, Jalibi migrated to Pakistan where he did his MA in English from Sindh University in 1949. Next year he acquired LLB. He got his Ph.D. in 1971 and D.Litt two years later.
Dr. Jameel Jalibi, who was also a CSS officer, had served as VC of Karachi University for four years, headed National Language Authority and Urdu Dictionary Board as president.
Paris: New designer fountains on Champs-Elysees!
PARIS: Expensive decorative scaffolding, or a welcome addition to the French capital’s most famous avenue? New designer fountains on the Champs-Elysees have reopened a debate in Paris about how to add modern twists to the city’s beloved classic architecture.
Located at a roundabout around halfway between Tuileries Garden and the Arc de Triomphe, the fountains were inaugurated by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo on March 21, and have divided opinion in the City of Light.
“When you’re close up, it’s original, but when you go down the Champs-Elysees and you look at them all together, you might think that it’s a bunch of scaffolding that’s been put up and needs to come down at some point,” one long-time resident grumbled to AFP as she walked past.
The six shiny fountains, which rotate to mimic the swirling traffic at the busy intersection, resemble oversized pencils jutting into the air.
Each fountain is comprised of a four-story-high, bronze-alloy pole that supports three descending arms made of pieces of Swarovski cut crystal studded with LED lights that sparkle at night.
Other Parisians are pleased with the result.
“It’s better than before,” said Ibrahim Ngaiye, a bicycle courier for the food delivery service Glovo, who was waiting for his next order.
“Before, there were just trees, trash cans and smaller fountains. The roundabout’s better like this.”The structures, designed by brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec to replace a set of stone fountains that had fallen into disrepair, pack nearly three tonnes of crystal.
The 6.3-million-euro ($7.1 million) project is the first major initiative of the Paris Foundation, which was established in 2015 to raise money for public projects with a “strong emphasis” on contemporary art.
The project was fully funded by private donations and helped along by a significant discount on the crystal.
Introducing modern art to the streets of Paris has often been controversial, and many residents object to what they see as eyesores — or frivolous projects financed with public money.
At the end of 2017, a public campaign was launched to prevent the installation of a privately funded sculpture of giant tulips by artist Jeff Koons which was “gifted” to the city after the 2015 Paris terror attacks.
Just over a year after its inauguration, many residents of the poverty-wracked Porte de Clignancourt area on the northern edge of the city are still unhappy with a giant red heart installed on a pole that cost 650,000 euros in public money.
And some locals still cringe at the memory of a giant sculpture appearing to show a man having sex with an animal that was destined for the gardens in front of the Louvre, and another that resembled a sex toy erected in the middle of the Place Vendome, opposite the Ritz hotel.
Perhaps the most controversial of all was the publicly financed glass-and-metal pyramid installed in front of the Louvre palace in 1989 in central Paris.
Designed by the Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei, it was denounced by some at the time for ruining the sight of the former royal palace but has since become a popular attraction in its own right.
Nadia, who runs a newsstand near the new fountains, said she found them particularly attractive after the sun goes down.
“At night, they sparkle,” she told AFP. “With the jets of water coming out of the bottom, it looks like a rocket that’s taking off.”