Lahore ki aik Dastan – لاھور کی ایک داستان


A project of the Lahore Biennale Foundation (LBF) in collaboration with the British Council

Artist: Farida Batool 

Curator: Tanvir Hasan

Location: Dyal Singh Mansions, the Mall Road, Lahore, Pakistan

From March 17th (Thursday) to 20th (Sunday), 2022

The Lahore Biennale Foundation (LBF) in collaboration with the British Council presented a four day site specific art exhibition featuring work by artist Farida Batool and curated by Tanvir Hasan. This exhibition is situated in one of the city’s historic buildings—the Dyal Singh Mansions, on Mall Road — a building that has stood silently and watched the city and its people change. 

Much like a Dastaan, the evolution of a city is fraught with many twists and turns which shape the collective experiences and memories of the people of the city held in the fabric of the built environment. By presenting the legacy of the area and the city of Lahore through the Dyal Singh mansions, the exhibition recognizes art in public spaces as a powerful medium to shape everyday experiences and engage the public in meaningful dialogues. 

The exhibition features academic research elements, historic images, projection based installations and live mural painting on site that highlight local poster artists, including Agha Mukhtar, Kalid Mehmood and Afzal Khan, who have been engaged in creative practices for generations. Through art in public spaces, this initiative provides a platform for the local community, highlights cultural heritage and questions how their cultural identity has both evolved and been buried within the built environment of the city that surrounds us. 

The exhibition was open to the public and entry is free for all.

About Farida Batool

Farida Batool is an independent artist who explores Pakistan’s political upheavals and tumultuous history. Her research interests are new media, masculinity, visual cultural theory, and city and public spaces. She is currently teaching and heading the Department of Cultural Studies at National College of Arts, Lahore, and has authored a book, Figure: the popular and the political in Pakistan. She is an active member of Awami Art Collective working in public spaces. She presented papers and presentations at international conferences and workshops including Yale University USA; Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Montrel, Canada; Oxford University, St. Joseph’s University Philadelphia and many more.

She has exhibited extensively in many international and local solo and prestigious group shows. She is an active member of Awami Art Collective which aims to use art in public spaces to generate a discourse of peaceful co-existence. 

About Tanvir Hasan

Tanvir is an accredited conservation architect with extensive experience of conservation and regeneration. She is the Deputy Chairman of Donald Insall Associates, one of the United Kingdom’s leading conservation practices. Her work focuses on the conservation of historic fabric and managing change within sensitive heritage sites. She has worked extensively on Scheduled Monuments and World Heritage sites in the UK and her many conservation projects include award-winning schemes along London’s Regent Street and North Audley Street.

She is currently working with the World Monument Fund in Iraq and Kurdistan. There her projects focus on reinstatement of lost memory through conservation and sensitive regeneration, as part of post- conflict reconstruction, and include most of the ongoing restoration of Mosul Museum destroyed by ISIS in 2015.

Tanvir has worked extensively in Pakistan; she has taught at the National College of Arts and is a founding member of the Lahore Conservation Society. She has lectured on conservation, regeneration and sustainability at the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment London University, the Graduate School of Design Harvard. She is member of Historic England’s London Advisory Committee, sits on the Fabric Committee of the Albert Hall London, to advise on the conservation of this historic Victorian Hall.

The Lahore Biennale Foundation acknowledges the support of the Government and its various departments in supporting the exhibition including the Commissioners Office Lahore, AC Shalimar, Evacuee Trust, PHA, MCL, DCO Lahore, ICD Punjab, LWMC,  CCPL, CTP Lahore, PSCA, PTC

LBF would also like to thank the British Council, O Art Space, LLF, COMO, NADA, Mainframe

Special thanks to Raza Ali Dada for his help as exhibition design consultant and Naazish Ataullah for advising us on the project. Farida Batool for creative direction & Syed Abu Turab and Punal Baloch for photography & videography.