Documentary, art exhibition illuminate lingering impact of natural disasters

Published August 31, 2023
An exhibition titled ‘The Forgotten Floods’ at Numaish Gah Art Gallery. — White Star
An exhibition titled ‘The Forgotten Floods’ at Numaish Gah Art Gallery. — White Star

LAHORE: A documentary screening titled ‘Water Scars’ and an art exhibition titled ‘The Forgotten Floods,’ featuring immersive installations and visual narratives, were held at Numaish Gah Art Gallery on Wednesday.

The event, by Lok Sujag in collaboration with Numaish Gah in Gulberg, was about natural disasters, such as floods, which are a major humanitarian concern, leaving communities struggling with the aftermath and rebuilding their lives after the wreckage.

“The exhibition unveils the journey undertaken by the dedicated team of Lok Sujag, driven by a commitment to show the suffering of flood-affected communities,” said Irfan Gul Dhari, co-founder of Numaish Gah.

“The exhibition contains immersive installations and personal accounts to bring it to life for audiences to envision and immerse themselves in the campaign.”

Lok Sujag Executive Officer Fatima Razaaq said they tried to use creative means to highlight the voices of people who are still struggling, despite it being more than a year.

“After eight months of hosting Twitter spaces, podcasts, videos, and text articles, we once again remind you of #theForgottenFloods, rhis time with a carefully curated art exhibition and documentary screening,” she said.

“The exhibition serves as a reminder that while we may move on to other stories, the struggles faced by flood survivors persist. Through immersive installations, visual narratives, and personal accounts, we aim to create an experience that fosters empathy and understanding.”

The collection of works aimed to shed light on the often-overlooked aftermath of floods. While floods may no longer make daily headlines, the impact on the lives of those affected is far from over.The exhibition served as a reminder that while the media may move on to other stories, the struggles faced by flood survivors persist. The deliberate use of visuals, sounds, and interactive elements aims to transport visitors into the unsettling world of floods, evoking a sense of empathy and reflection. This exhibition seeks to create a space for contemplation, education, and empowerment.

The exhibition was curated by Zakia Abbas and Shakila Haider.

Aisha Tahir is the director of ‘Water Scars,’ the documentary screened on the occasion. She has extensively covered the aftermath of the August 2022 floods in Balochistan and Sindh. The documentary questions why, almost six months after the rains, the lower areas of Sindh are still flooded. She spent months in rural Pakistan capturing how local people, especially women, were impacted by the floods. The event also included a talk.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2023

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