I was delighted to be invited to give a talk at the Barbican Centre’s Curve Gallery on 19th May. The talk was part of the gallery’s programme of talks around its current exhibition of Imran Qureshi’s work, “Where the Shadows are so Deep”. I spoke about Qureshi’s subversion of the miniature form of painting – particularly fresh in my mind after a recent visit to Lahore’s National College of Art, where Qureshi learnt his craft and where he still teaches. The paintings are beautiful but also unavoidably violent. The main focus of my talk was contextualising this preoccupation with violence: how does the perpetual threat of violence in Pakistan affect day-to-day lives, people’s relationship to their environment and society, and last but not least, it’s artistic and literary output? I’ll post the text of the speech in due course.
Over March and April this year, I spent six weeks in Pakistan on assignment with the Times. While I was there I traveled to all the major provinces of the country (Sindh, Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan) and reported on major news stories including the terrible Easter Sunday bombing in Lahore and the political fall-out that followed, and China’s economic ambitions in Pakistan.
The longer project I was working on, as part of the Richard Beeston bursary that I was awarded last year, will be published in the Times soon. In the meantime, here are a few of the shorter news pieces I wrote during my trip. (All links behind a paywall).
5,000 suspects hauled in as bombers taunt Lahore (clipping below)
Christian boys’ Easter jaunt that ended in tragedy (clipping below)