October 20, 2016: In Peshawar, trucks are not just a vehicle to get around. It is a mobile work of art that says so much about the person driving it. Truck art says so much about the culture, tradition, history, love, passion, storytelling and much more.
Truck painting is a popular form of an indigenous art form in the South Asian countries. It features floral patterns and poetic calligraphy. Also known by the name of the jingle trucks, these trucks first appeared in the 1940s but took off in the 1970s.
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The Government of Pakistan has been organising truck art exhibitions in co-operation with some enterprising individuals since the 80s. The art has established itself as a thrilling and lively ‘folk art-form’ from Pakistan. Pictures by Tourists have made it a global phenomenon and has inspired local businessmen as well.
Quotes are one of the most imperative and the eye-catching feature of the truck art as they provide insightful humour. They leave an impression on the reader by virtue of its simplicity. Truck art would be incomplete without theses quotes. Some of these includes ‘Aadmi Aadmi Ko Duss Raha Hai, Aur Samp Khara Huss Raha Hai!’, ‘Duniya Jalti Rahi, Shahzadi Chalti Rahi’, ‘Maalik Ki Gaari, Driver Ka Paseenah, Chalti Hai Road Per Bun Kay Haseenah’, etc.
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Each province of Pakistan has its own unique and striking style of truck painting. Each tribe offers its own exclusive ethnic heritage. Sindh is famous for camel bone work, Rawalpindi and Islamabad’s truck includes plastic work, Balochistan and Peshawar prefer wood trimmings. The art, including arrangement, colour and material, is the “cultural representative of the region.”
According to a local driver, from buying the paint, to getting trucks painted, it costs around $1000. A truck artist said,” I have pictures that I copy one or two times. I memorise it and then I paint it straight onto the truck.” Truck art continues to evolve with psychedelic and floral designs to make driving in South Asia a sight to behold!
Handicrafts are the products which are mostly made by hand.
The history of Indian handicrafts can be divided into three eras: Pre British, British era, and Post Independence.
Clay craft is the earliest form of crafts to have existed in India.
New Delhi, September 28, 2017: Handicrafts in India have a long history. From ancient to the contemporary times, handcrafters have preserved this art. This art has been passed on from one generation to the next. Pottery making, in fact, is one of its forms, whose existence can be traced back to the Harappan Civilization.
What are handicrafts?
Handicrafts are products that are produced either completely by hands or involve tools. Mechanical tools could also be used as long as the manual contribution of the artisan remains the central component of the produced object. The production of these crafts require great skill and represents a particular expression, culture or tradition. Handicrafts could hold a number of values, some of them being aesthetic, cultural, decorative, utilitarian, religious, functional etc.
Historical Perspective of Indian Handicrafts:
To understand the historical perspective of Indian handicrafts, we need to go back in time. Let’s take a look at the development and decline of the artisanal production under three different time periods: before the arrival of British in India, Under colonial rule, and after India got independence.
History of Indian Handicrafts Before the arrival of British:
Art and crafts, as we have already mentioned, has been a tradition in India since long. Textiles, the most important of the Indian handicrafts, reached the zenith of perfection during the Mughal period. While under Mughals, it was the art of weaving and silk spinning that scored refinement; it was metal works, ivory works and jewelry that reached great potential during the Gupta period. The handicrafts production during that time can be divided in four broad categories. The first category dealt with the village economy under the jajmani system, in which the products were articles of daily use. The second category was integrated with the urban areas, where artisans produced crafts mainly for the purpose of sale. The third category concerns the dadni system, in which the merchants advanced cash to the artisans for production. The final category includes the Karkhanas, where skilled artisans produced luxury crafts under the command of kings or high nobles. Handicraft production was the second biggest source of employment in the pre-British India.
History of Indian Handicrafts Under Colonial Rule:
Under the British rule, production of Indian Handicrafts faced a rather sharp decline. When the East India Company was in power, it forced monopoly over the production of artisans from Bengal, and the price of these products were fixed 15-40% lower than their actual market price. What came as the biggest blow to the Indian artisans, however, was the removal of most of the Indian princes and nobles, which as an effect, led to the destruction of the artisan’s major market.
History of Indian Handicrafts Post-Independence:
The plight of the artisans and the cultural importance of artisanal production was taken into accord after India got independent. The establishment of All India Handicrafts Board in November 1952, to look at the problems and find solutions concerning Indian Handicrafts; the Handicrafts and Handloom Export Corporation of India Ltd in 1958, to promote handicrafts exports; Opening of Crafts Mueseum in 1953 in Delhi, to develop people’s interest in handmade Indian goods, all alluded to the idea that India had finally realized the importance of its art and crafts, and did not want to leave any stone unturned for its development.
A brief history and development of different form of handicrafts in India:
Clay craft and pottery: Clay craft is the earliest form of crafts to have existed, in India or in the world. A simple earthenware made of clay or ceramic has been created and used by the rural population for centuries. Potters have had an integral traditional link with the villages. The earthen pottery has only been developing, with the addition of new colors, figures of gods and goddesses, and decorative elements like flowers.
Main centers: Uttar Pradesh (Nizamabad and Chinhat), where the pottery is dark black; Bengal which produces large figures of gods, especially on the occasion of Durga Puja; In Kashmir, Srinagar is the place where special glazed pottery is made; Terra-cotta roof tiles are a tradition in Orissa and Martha Pradesh; both Rajasthan and Karnataka are popular for their black pottery; Manipur in the northeast is also famous for its pottery.
Wood craft: Wood craft is widely produced and used throughout the country, with the most important products being household furnitures, carts and decorative objects. Baskets for storage and Toys, both for play and decoration are also made on a large scale.
Main centers: The elegant use of wood by skilled craftsmen can be seen in the houses at Gujrat and Kerala. Kashmir acquires a special position in this category of craft, with the walnut and deodar being the most favorite woods there. Saharanpur in U.P is also quite famous for its wooden furniture and objects of decoration.
Metal craft: Copper was the most widely used metal in India before Iron joined in. Utensils, jewelry, dagger, axe heads etc in the harappan finds suggest that casting of copper objects made use of moulds. Bronze was also an important metal for the artisan production. The skills of craftsmen on metals are of various types, such as embossing, engraving, moulding etc.
Main centers: Kashmir (Srinagar) and Ladakh (Zanskar) are the two main centres. In Uttar Pradesh, Moradabad, Aligarh, Varanasi are the main centres of metal craft. Kerala specializes in the bell metal, whereas Bidar in Karnataka is noted for its Bidri work. Tribal groups in India also appear to hold their specific metal craft traditions.
Stone craft: Stones, without a shadow of doubt, have been there with humans since the earliest. They have been crafted into various products such as tools, decorative objects, sculptures and even jewelry. Statue of Yakshi of Didarganj is one fine piece of stone sculpture and dates back to the Maurya period. Majestic Qutub Minar in Delhi, and forts at Agra, Delhi, Jaipur are all works of stone craft.
Main centers: Rajasthan due to a large availability of stones tops the list of most prominent places for stone works. Salem district in Tamil Nadu also makes it to the list along with Gaya in Bihar. The stone cutters of Orissa also share a long history with the craft.
Ornaments and jewelry: From grass jewelry to that of gold and diamonds, one can witness great diversity when it comes to ornaments and jewelry in India. Gold, gems, silver, diamonds, other metals and precious stones are some materials used for making ornaments. Bones, horns, sea shells, lac, glass etc are also used in many parts of the country to create ornaments. The Harappan finds revealed a number of ornaments, indicating their existence since long. There are many references in Ramayana and Mahabharata of gold being precious objects.
Main centers: Western ghats and Matheran in Maharashtra are noted for grass ornaments. Gujarat and Rajasthan share a rich and long tradition of jewelry. Kashmir is one of the most prominent places, again, with its exquisite jewelry, Varanasi and Awadh of U.P. are famous for gold studded jewelry.
Textiles: India had had one of the richest traditions of textiles made from different raw materials. It won’t be wrong to say that Indian textiles tend to reflect Indian culture and religious beliefs. Bengal was the chief center of cotton production and Carpet weaving reached its zenith at the time of Mughals. The most commonly knows fabrics are cotton, wool and silk. The three main techniques used for patterning are weaving, embroidery and dyes.
Main centers: Orissa and Andhra Pradesh are famous for ikat fabric, Gujarat and Rajasthan for bandhani, U.P. and Bengal for jamdani fabrics. Rajasthan is also noted for Masoria fabric.
-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha
New documentary ’78/52′ draws upon Alfred Hitchcock’s celebrated film Psycho
The documentary examines how Hitchcock shot the shower scene that went on to make history
78/52 will have a theatrical release on October 13
Washington D.C, September 1, 2017 : The trailer to 78/52 opens with Alfred Hitchcock’s distinctive voice that instantly brings goose-bumps, “I once made a movie. It was intended to cause people to scream and yell, but I was horrified that some people took it seriously.” Hitchcock’s film ‘Psycho’ changed the heartbeat of the world, and made the shower-scene immortal. And the documentary 78/52 aims to explore just that!
78/52, directed by Alexandre O. Philippe will present a detailed frame-by-frame analysis of the iconic shower scene from Psycho in an attempt to know more about ‘the man behind the curtain’.
The title of the documentary sounds as intriguing as the original sequence was.
If you are wondering about it, ‘78/52’ refers to the 78 set-ups and the 52 cuts that were taken to accomplish the iconic shower scene; a singular event that had taken one-quarter of Psycho’s shooting schedule.
For director O. Philippe, the murder in the shower scene was a critical and defining cultural moment; he calls it “the most important scene in the history of motion pictures”. According to him, the 3-minute long scene was “the culmination of decades of experimentation for Mr. Hitchcock, and the purest expression of his absolute mastery of the art and craft of film-making.”
Analyzing ‘The Man Behind The Curtain’
Hitchock had once admitted that the shower scene was his only motivation to make a film in the first place. And rightly so! The film (and the scene) went on to become one of the most celebrated works in the global film-making industry.
As per the trailer, 78/52 presents a captivating analysis of O. Philippe’s interpretation of this iconic scene that altered the course of world cinema.
The documentary is believed to explore the murder scene wherein the crook Marion Crane (character played by Janet Leigh) was repeatedly slashed with a knife by an intruder from different angles and perspectives. Additionally, the documentary will pay special emphasis on the technical aspects of shooting and the sequence’s impact on the culture and practice of movie-making.
ALSO WATCHTrailer of documentary 78/52
The trailer also reveals that the documentary aims to uncover the depiction of violence by critically studying the allusions and double meaning created by Hitchcock in the original 3 minutes-long sequence.
Following its Sundance premier, the makers have now released the trailer of the documentary ahead of its theatrical release which has generated immense curiosity among viewers worldwide.
Learn how @AlfredHitchcock created the legendary PSYCHO shower scene in the acclaimed new documentary 78/52!
Directed by Alexandre O. Philippe, the documentary features in-depth interviews of filmmakers, critics and fans including Guillermo del Toro, Jamie Lee Curtis, Eli Roth and Peter Bogdanovich among others.
It is captivating, it is enthralling; 78/52 is being touted as a multifaceted master class that makes for a intriguing piece of cinematic detective work.
78/52 will be officially released across all digital platforms on October 13
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Mr Gul Sanai pointed out the situation of Sindhis and other minorities in Pakistan facing problems
Mr Sanai also accused Pakistan of violence and marginalization of Sindhi minorities in Pakistan occupied Kashmir
Sanai also asked the Pakistan Government to put an end to the violence and not to exploit Sindh resources and put a fair trade and equal distribution of resources policy
June 30, 2017: World Sindhi Congress has recently passed a resolution in Geneva outside UN headquarters, according to which they would call upon the government of Pakistan to put an end to all acts of exploitation of Sindhi people and other minorities in Pakistan. The resolution was presented on the abysmal human rights situation in Sindh and Balochistan before the media.
The representative of World Sindhi Congress, Mr Gul Sanai has pointed out the situation of Sindhis and other minorities in Pakistan facing problems. A brief synopsis of the resolution was read by Mr Sanai which accused Pakistan of violence and marginalization of Sindhi minorities.
The resolution stated that religious extremism and fundamentalism was being funded by foreign money and many minority based areas of Pakistan are suffering from poverty, unemployment, and low education standards.
Further, it also stated, “Pakistan must stop attacking and killing Sindhi nationals and other political activists; conduct judicial inquiries into incidents of extra-judicial killings; declare the names of missing and illegally detained people, and or produce them before a court of law if they are accused.
The Government of Pakistan is responsible for these extra-judicial killings in Sindh and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, forced conversions of Sindhi Hindus. We call upon the Government of Pakistan to address governance issues; restore the law and order situation; allocate substantial resources for development; generate employment and improve the quality of life in Sindh.”
Sanai also asked the Pakistan Government to put an end to the violence and not to exploit Sindh resources and put a fair trade and equal distribution of resources policy to reduce the internal displacement of people and discourage Sindhis from living in their own land. The resolution also requested the international community to understand and resolve the rights and conditions of the Sindhis in Pakistan’s territory.
– by Sumit Balodi of NewsGram. Twitter: @sumit_balodi