Denmark celebrates art and culture of Pakistan

Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..

Islamabad, 15 December 2016: The Government of Denmark in collaboration with the Danish Centre for Culture and Development (CKU) held a large scale public event to celebrate the diversity of culture in Pakistan while highlighting art and culture as a tool for socio economic change.

The event which marked the official closing of the cultural cooperation between Denmark and Pakistan was held at the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) and highlighted the Danish experience with the power of art, culture and creative industries through its development cooperation in Pakistan.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Ambassador of Denmark, H.E. Ole Thonke underlined how art and culture enlighten, enrich and create a feeling of a common identity and understanding and help create a more humane world by connecting people from across different countries and cultures. He stressed on the importance of working together to build a free and fair world, where everyone enjoyed equal rights. Concluding his speech, Ambassador Thonke said that the Danish support to the cultural sector aimed to help Pakistan reclaim and revive public space and use its culture as a tool for promoting tolerance and peace. He also saw it as an important way to revive the creative industries and create economic opportunities for the people of Pakistan. Although the program is now closing, the seeds had been sown and he hoped to see the local partners continue their great work in Pakistan.

The event included an exhibition of the work carried out by the local partners AHAN, Ajoka, The Little Art, BNU/LBF, Hashoo Foundation, Shirkatgah, Punjab University, Khawendo Kore, CWSA, CYAAD, Alhamra Arts Council, Olomopolo/KSS, UNESCO and Freemuse.

These 14 organisations and their local partners are working with art and culture in a social context with the aim to reduce poverty, support peace and stabilization as well as strengthening democratization, human rights and gender equality. This is done by empowering people through active participation in art and culture, enhanced economic growth through support to creative industries, and promoting intercultural dialogue and intercultural collaboration.

Mr. Ole Ramsing, CKU-Programme Manager Pakistan shared his views saying that Pakistan has a long and proud cultural tradition, but the privilege to partake in cultural activities is unevenly distributed. He also highlighted that due to the fear of terrorism and extremism, the distress of assembling in public space has increased significantly, which is why it has become even more important to reclaim this space to ensure Pakistan can continue to thrive on the richness of its culture that promotes tolerance and peace.

The exhibition was followed by musical performances by local musicians of Ajoka, CYAAD, Shirkatgah and Hashoo Foundation and also a live performance of Danish musicians “Live Strings” who played pieces from the classical repertoire, including Tango Jalousie, as well as their own compositions. The music groups closed the musical evening by all playing together for an enthusiastic audience in the jam-packed PNCA Auditorium, transcending national, political and ethnic boundaries.

The event closed with a full performance of Ajoka’s play “Bala King”, a witty and relevant political satire. The event was visited by a large number of people from all walks of life.

Photo Release 1: Danish Music Band LIVE STRINGS performing at PNCA

Photo Release 2: Danish Music Band LIVE STRINGS performing with local musicians from Gilgit

Photo Release 3: Danish Music Band LIVE STRINGS performing fusion vwith qawaals