LAHORE: An exhibition of artists Khadim Ali and Sher Ali, hailing from Hazara community, on the theme of demonising the minorities in Pakistan and Afghanistan kicked off at Rohtas 2 Gallery on Saturday.

A total of ten artworks were on display at the exhibition where students of different universities participated.

Sher Ali told Daily Times that Afghanistan has faced a constant colonial struggle in recent history with British, Russian and international forces led by the United States of America, battling for differing, but often abstract reasons.

He said that the purpose of the exhibition was to depict the metaphor of a nation facing consistent wear and the affects of war that fall on the minorities’ groups and communities. He said that despite their intention to combat a terrorist force for ‘humanitarian’ or ‘good’ reasons, minorities have become increasingly demonised by establishments.

The exhibition was Sher Ali’s first while Khadim Ali displayed his artwork after a gap of four years. The minorities are the most oppressed people in Pakistan that have been negatively portrayed in the historical context, the artists said.

Khadim Ali said it is unfortunate to see the way minorities, including Hazaras, Ahmadis, Christians and Shias, are demonising in Pakistan. “They should be given equal rights and the exhibition was an attempt to highlight the graphic reality of our country and some aspects of religion, culture and history.”

National College of Arts (NCA) former principle Salima Hashmi, on the occasion, said that for those of us whose lives have somehow escaped the major maelstroms of the region, it is difficult to imagine what constant conflict and dehumanisation can do to influence the creative imagination.

She said that the work of both artists’ bear testament to turbulence and chaos and were steeped in traditions of legends and image making, hence the repertoire they used when searching for visual metaphors and representations, she added.

The exhibition would continue until January 2, 2016.

Source: Daily Times

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