By Jonaid Iqbal
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) on Wednesday evening presented glimpses of dance, drama, films and music preserved in an archive being developed under a pilot project.
The audience whole-heartedly welcomed the presentation with loud claps which means that Unesco which sponsored the pilot project would continue to see through an effort.
Present on the occasion was Sohail Qasim assistant secretary-general of Pakistan National Commission for Unesco (which is a different body from the international Unesco).
While thanking Unesco for its generous support, Tauqir Nasir, the PNCA director-general, explained the concept saying the (fuller project) would build an infrastructure and capacity for the intangible archives.
The director-general complimented the three consultants, Sarmad Sehbai, Arif Jafrey (music) and internationally recognised dance choreographer, Naheed Siddiqui (consultant for the dance segment) for what he described a national achievement. The evening was enlivened by a number of presentations made by students.
Apart from Mughal Kathak item presented by three students of Nahid Siddiqui, Sarmad screened his would-be TV serial Mor Mehl, a beautiful portrayal of the splendid culture of Oudh at the time of Wajid Ali Shah.
“We have lost that great period in the biased Anglo-Indian history written for us by our British imperialist masters. But we must recreate, awaken our finer aesthete, as well as renew that past in which kings spoke poetry and their verses resounded in the heart of people who sang them in the streets.”
The pilot project commenced in August by developing an archive which would set the foundations for the preservation and promotion of the rich cultural treasures of the country, which include intangible cultural heritage such as ‘practices,’ representations, expressions, knowledge, skills, as well as instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces which communities, groups — and some individuals- recognise as part of their heritage’.