Return to Lahore15th February 2016
Tour Diary 1 — 13 February, 2016
We’ve been to Lahore before yet landing in such a vibrant, bustling city remains an eye-popping thrill. Bright red rose petals were scattered across the airport floor. Morning traffic en route to our hotel included decorated trucks, zipping motorcycles, horses, goats, bicycles, buzzing rickshaws and a dizzying amount of horn honking. Of course, these are obvious first impressions of a bustling city and you can find plenty of videos of it online.
However, we’re always keen to get beyond the obvious, and were lucky to get invited up to a rooftop celebration on our first evening back in the city. We joined an opening for the latest project from the Awami Art Collective. Across the Walled City in central Lahore they’d strung orange lights from roof to roof to mark the construction of the Orange Line, an inner city train line which is currently under construction and will plough through many inhabited areas. The opening coincided with what would have been the Basant Kite Festival. The festival was a much-loved tradition which, until 2011, was celebrated to mark the beginning of Spring. Sadly, the festival was banned and kites no longer fill the skies and families no longer take to their roofs to eat, play music, dance and watch the spectacle unfold high above. So, for many, the evening was a bittersweet reminder of the days when kites swooped high above the city and, for us, it was a beautiful way to return to Lahore and a privilege to be introduced to some of those working in it’s lively arts scene.
You can read more about the event here: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/punjab/14-Feb-2016/artists-decorate-walled-city-to-relive-basant
Highlight Arts will be presenting new work at three events during the Lahore Literature Festival from 19-21 February. Details of the LLF website.