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Natasha Jozi- Maneuvering Performance Art to Show the Darker Side of the Death Penalty

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Natasha Jozi- whenever the name pops up, only one word comes to our mind and that is art or to be more precise, performing art. She is a visual thinker, an artist and also a writer interested in the performative self, collective experience, and Eastern philosophy.

 Talking about her vast experiences, she has performed and exhibited her work at International Festival of Video Art 2014 (Venice), MagnanMetz 2014 (NYC), Index Art Center 2014 (NJ), PPL 2013 (NYC), DCCA 2013 (Delaware), LAABF 2013 (NYC), La MaMa 2013 (NYC).

 In 2017 Jozi founded “House”- an independent initiative that works towards generating discourse around performance art in Pakistan.

We recently came to know that Natasha is curating the show ‘We’ve Been Waiting For You’ hosted by Justice Project Pakistan (working to improve the justice system of Pakistan), happening on 10th of October (“The World Day against Death Penalty”) at Bari Studio and our intriguing self wanted to dig into more details and here is what she had to share about her showcase. 

  • Tell us a little about your partnership with JPP and what do you think about Pakistan’s justice system?

It has been great working with Justice Project Pakistan as a partner and especially coming along with an understanding of what they do in terms of their work and what they represent as an organization. I am working with them under the perspective of bringing an art exhibition together. The partnership has been quite interesting in terms of what art does and what JPP does and how does that come together? I feel the complexities of the justice system are always very difficult for a common man to understand or relate to.

I feel JPP is trying to bridge that gap between the justice system and the complexity that it comes with and that is very similar to what I do under House Ltd. So, I expect that partnership with JPP shall be very interesting because we’ve talked about themes, about ideas and how performance art can be used as a vessel to represent themes that JPP works on.

  • You’ve worked both in Pakistan and abroad what difference do you feel in the sense of how art is valued here and abroad?

I would talk about this in terms of two perspectives. One is as an artist and the other as a viewer. As a performance artist, I’ve experienced that there was initially not much of an understanding of the medium in Pakistan.

And I also feel that in terms of the value of the medium, since a lot of the work that is being produced in Pakistan has an element of becoming a product that you can actually monetize on or you can buy or sell. But performance art is something that cannot take the shape of a product because it’s an experience. It happens for a short period of time and then it’s over. So, it’s very ephemeral in that sense.

In the international art market, artists are delving with themes that cannot be put together in a form package that you can buy or sell. It’s very important to realize that the value of art is beyond buying or selling it, but also, to experience it.

As a viewer, I really enjoy some of the artists’ work in Pakistan but I also feel like there is a lot of potential in young artists, the work that they’re doing where they’re not allowing the market or the business to affect their process. I feel it is very important for an artist to liberate themselves from the fear of value is equal to money because we’re living in an age where innovative ideas are of great significance? I definitely feel that with the wake of the internet, a lot of artists are now traveling abroad and are coming back and just sort of exchange that is happening.

Also, in Pakistan, a lot of times we look at something from an exotic lens or we try to mimic or reproduce what’s being done abroad. I don’t really think that is of value. But at the same time, I definitely see that contemporary artists from my generation are trying to create a more balanced or a more contextualized relationship with what’s happening in Pakistan and what’s happening outside Pakistan.

 

  • What do you think about Justice Project Pakistan?

I was not familiar with JPP before I was contacted by JPP for this particular project. Once I got to know about their work, I met the team and I saw the projects that they have been doing in the past. I was sort of intrigued, and a little amazed to see a human rights organization that is so much invested in the people and what is happening in their lives.

I feel that JPP is trying to bring awareness and spark conversations that are around the justice system. I feel why such organizations are so much needed is that they try to create a more humanize and understandable way of looking at the sensitive issues that people are facing in Pakistan. It is great that they are trying to use disciplines that are beyond just law and trying to reach out to a wider audience. It’s a pleasure to work with them. 

  • How has been your experience of curating performances for ‘We’ve been waiting for you’?

The curatorial experience for me is not just about curating an exhibition as an organizer. For me, it is sort of coming together and trying to create an experience that is long-lasting. I’ve been working with the artists under the initiative that I run called House Ltd. and I have cultivated a relationship with them. So, every time we come together, we go into a deep-rooted conversation, look at what we are doing and try to unpack not just the themes but, also how can this exhibition contribute to the larger discourse of performance art in Pakistan.

And so for this exhibition as well, the ideas that we were dealing with were very real. I spent a lot of time just having conversations with the artists and discussing the craft of performance art.

A lot of the work that we do for performance art is not rehearsed. Thus, it is very authentic as an artist and as a curator to go into that space and to get involved in.

  • With what kind of expectations should people come to this event?

The first thing that I would definitely like to say is that space and the venue that we’ve selected for this exhibition, Bari Studio, is amazing for performance art. The moment I stepped into Bari studio I fell in love with it.

 The audience would definitely experience something that they have never seen before in terms of venue and how it’s used.

Also, we are having 10 performances in one venue. It’s going to be a really charged experience for everybody where all of the artists are dealing with themes around the death penalty and doing performances that are very authentic and very raw. The materials that the artists have used in the performances range from, real bones to bricks to sand. Going from one performance to another where all of these have been curated in relationship to one another, each performance will be experienced individually, but then all of them coming together is going to have an impact of its own.

  • What is art for you?

That is definitely a very loaded question. I would say for me art is about an experience, what you experience when you look at something. It is not just a visual experience, but a very sensory experience. That is why performance art is a medium that I’m addicted to.

It cannot be confined. I definitely have a lot of reservations about the way the market dictates the production of art. I don’t think that one should allow the market to dictate what the artist is going to make or what art should be because art is definitely about looking at life and looking at what is around you from an unfazed way.

Art can actually supersede or can reach a point of impacting a larger audience and can eventually become universal and transcend space and time and location.

Entertainment

Zubab Rana- The fashionista with an unmatchable screen presence!

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Enviable fashion sense is something not many actresses in our industry have been blessed with, but one actress who has impressed us with her fashion sense is Zubab Rana. A budding actress and a beautiful model, Zubab Rana manages to light up the frame every time she appears on our screens. From ramps to dramas, there isn’t anything the actress can’t do.

Born on 3 June 1998, the young actress started her career with Naseebo Jali in 2017 and received a nomination for the Best Soap Actress at Hum Awards right with her debut role. This doesn’t only speak of the actress’s mettle as a performer, but it also helped her make her mark on the small screen in a short period of time. She then appeared in Mere Khudaya and Bandish, and again received a nomination for the former as the Best Emerging Talent at the Lux Style Awards.

That isn’t all. We haven’t just seen the actress making her mark on the screens, but she has also stolen the show every time she has appeared on the ramp. She has established herself as a successful model and is renowned for her effervescent charm as an actress and a model, both. Having started her career as a ramp model, there is no denying her talent on the ramp, but what took everyone by surprise was her talent on the screens as well.

After her powerful performance in Rishtay Biktay Hain in 2019, we can currently watch the actress starring in Mehboob Apke Qadmon Mein, a drama that revolves around the power of black magic, Zubab Rana has been weaving magic with her performance in the play. She is featured as Sunaina, a sweet and innocent girl who is in love with someone and wants to stay happily with her love. Zubab Rana’s acting makes you feel for Sunaina and all the problems in her way. In every scene, she stands out with her phenomenal acting, making us root for her.

So far, Zubab Rana has done wonderfully in every drama she appears in. It looks like the actress is on the rise, and we can’t wait to see where she would be heading next!

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Ali Zafar foundation to distribute amongst Christian and Transgender communities

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On a tweet posted by Ali Zafar, he showed the conditions on the ground as he went live on Instagram with his team who was seen distributing Rashan amongst a Christian community.

Many celebrities have raised their voice to raise awareness in the Corona battle, however, Shahid Afridi and Ali Zafar take the lead in going all out in their Rashan Distribution campaign.

Ali Zafar had also posted a video a few days ago of a transgender “Julie” highlighting the plight of their community. “We must make an inclusive society where everyone feels equally empowered and a part of the society, like a petal in a flower. Only then we can get rid of the thorns”. the Singer Actor quoted whose foundation has so far distributed Rashan amongst almost 3500 families so far.

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This Social Networking App is definitely the New Thing in Town

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When boredom hits us hard, we all cuddle up to our social media accounts rooting around for something new and exciting. Right now, when the world has come to a standstill and people are ready to do anything to spice up their lives and when cooking, baking, watching, or reading looks so monotonous, we all are on the hunt for activities that put a little jazz to our dull days.

There are no real-life meetings, a cup of coffee, or a smoke break. All we have is our phone with the same contacts, plenty of work emails to respond, and some messages in the “other” section of our messenger. Some of us are so bored that we have gone through all those messages and some are on the verge of responding to those messages.


But, there is one thing that is keeping us occupied all of a sudden? As controversial as Tinder sounds, the long-lived thunder has been stolen by this new app called Bumble. You can either date or find BFF on the app depending on your preference. The dynamics of this app are slightly different from Tinder as it gives women the first right to make a move. Is this actually a conscious effort to change the patriarchy considering the fact women are entirely in control of choosing whoever they want to talk to and on the other hand, men do not have the option to initiate the conversation at all. This is probably one of the reasons for the app to flourish in a country like Pakistan where there is a pipping hot debate on feminism every now and then.

The main difference between Tinder and Bumble is the reliability of having a verified account. You cannot have an account on bumble without your picture and since the whole idea behind this app is about being kind, if there is slight misconduct from any party, the account gets suspended immediately for good and all. Unlike Tinder, Bumble gives you more details about the person in contact so, the swiping is not just about the looks here.


If we peek into the real world, there are very few opportunities to find friends or even a potential match once you are done with your school or college. Which means, a very little chance of getting your dupatta stuck in the button of his waistcoat. Such an app will put you closer to the network of a person who otherwise does not have the slightest chance of meeting you in real life. If not a match, you may end up finding some incredible friends that many people actually claimed to have found so. Hence, the dating pool is marginally better on this app.

The cons of having this app are “anything can happen”. Stay alert and know your moves. Don’t get caught into the traps of instant meetings or any kind of thugs disguised as a chum. Take time to know the person and learn about the similarities you have with them if any. These are the very basic tips that we need for any online encounter.
Although a lot of success stories have been witnessed through the app from outside Pakistan, the app is still less productive and less popular among the masses. It is either the pressure of being on a dating app or stigma attached to being associated with these apps. However, this pandemic does seem to change the whole narrative of online amity.

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