LBF Research Fellowship

Research Grant

The Lahore Biennale Foundation Research Fellowship is open to any individual or collective interested in researching any aspect of the modern or contemporary art and visual culture of Pakistan. Award selection is based on the clear identification of the research methodology and archives used, and the relevance of the topic in contributing new knowledge and insight.

The award is an open call that coincides with the biennale cycles, the final selection is made by an independent jury. The total amount awarded for the award is Rs. 300,000.

Past Awardees:

2019 – Hira Nabi: Building A National Film Archive

Hira Nabi set out to organize a list of resources that could serve as components of a distributed national film archive in Pakistan. Private collections, provincial and state archives, and television archives hold materials, which when organized and viewed collectively can provide a blueprint towards an assemblage of the film industry and the various movements within it. Nabi identified key collections and by gaining access to them began the initial steps in data gathering. This was followed by a preliminary mode of cataloguing the material. This work proved essential in making the case for support towards building a national film archive. In conducting this research, Nabi made contact with individuals and organizations that have taken on similar projects, seeking to collect and organize Pakistani films, either in their own collections, or via databases in Afghanistan, and in India.

2019 – Noor us Sabah Saeed: How Much Time Does It Take for Fossils to Convert into Fuels?

Noor us Sabah Saeed is interested in strategies of resistance and adaptability in extreme climatic conditions. In her work, she connects the dots between the age of the Anthropocene, climate change, water scarcity, marginalized communities, ecosystems, fossil fuels, and history and mythology. The outcome of Saeed’s ongoing research project tells a story about two mightiest Rig-Vedic rivers, Sindhu (Indus) and Sarasvati (Ghaggar-Hakra), one which has disappeared and the other which is currently endangered. Saeed’s interest in intervening within history takes the story of Sarasvati from past to future while speculating further such that in this case, the story of the Indus has an ending different to what we currently see.

2018 – Mariah Lookman: The Life and Work of Lala Rukh

Mariah Lookman received this award for a research project on the life and work of Lala Rukh, titled Measuring Time: Index and Register. Lookman has focused on writing a scholarly essay on the significance of Lala Rukh’s work, Black Mirror (1993).

2015 – Saira Ansari: Zubeida Agha Archive

UAE-based writer and researcher Saira Ansari documented the archives of the pioneering modernist artist, Zubeida Agha (1922-1997). The Fellowship was developed in collaboration with Asia Art Archive based in Hong Kong, and the archive is available on the AAA platform here.

Photo Credits: Asia Art Archive (AAA)