Queer ideologies

Issue 49

Text & Visuals | Sara Yawar

Subjects like sexuality, space and gender have been addressed with each artist having their own particular language and visual imagery. Art is a universal medium and any and every citizen based anywhere in the world has a right of expressionism. How society reacts is another story altogether. This year, a great number of LGBTQ artists have showcased their work in Karachi, Pakistan. In this particular article a few artists will be focused upon, mainly whose concerns revolve around society and politics in South Asian art, studied through the queer gaze.

An interesting body of work titled “Is It Possible to Live Outside of Language” which was created under the curatorial supervision of Aziz Sohail was exhibited at the IVS gallery in Karachi on the 22nd of August, 2019. Featuring works by queer artists, this show was inspired by Arundhati Roy’s ‘Ministry of Utmost Happiness’, a novel that reflects upon the life of a Hijra named Anjum whose mother struggles to give her intersex child an androgynous name and hence, opts for the name Anjum which was taken from the binary gendered Urdu language. During the process of naming her child, the mother wondered ‘is it possible to live outside of language? This sentence inspired the title of the show and helped produce this particular body of work.

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