Remembering the Future: Making Art & Design Education Relevant in a Decolonizing, Globalizing Pakistan


At the dawn of 21st century the idea of decolonization was getting stronghold in every field of life. The concept was considered to be an essential integer for global harmony. In Pakistan, it took around two more decades to create awareness and to popularize the notion in a way that engaged the thinkers, academics, policy makers and other stakeholders in making conscious efforts to decolonize the society. The need to reevaluate the strategies for a more comprehensive and result oriented approach in art and design education is realized today. This study while looking at the conceptual challenges relocates the compass on imminent socio-political, economic and environmental issues of global nature then merely reiterating the cause and effect of being a former colony. It proposes contextually-engaged learning and systems of knowledge production as a promising approach towards a more stabilized society that is eager to create an impact on the global horizon. A recent group show (Sep, 22) at Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) Islamabad titled Remembering the Future-Decolonizing Creative Spaces is taken up as a case study that exemplify the creative responses of such a mindset. The background of three participating artists, alumnae of the National College of Arts, Lahore (the only British established art school in the region that came to be Pakistan after independence) with their local and diasporic experiences make the show most relevant in physically, intellectually and conceptually processing the present frameworks and envisioning the future for art and design education in the Global South.

Author Information
Sadia Kamran, Ruman Art Initiative, Pakistan

Paper Information
Conference: ERI2023
Stream: Emerging Philosophical Perspectives on Learning & Education

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon