The Walled City of Lahore Authority is an ambitious semi-governmental heritage organisation with a lively audience engagement programme. It aims to restore the heritage of the Walled City, promote its cultural activity and develop its local and international audience.
The Walled City, also known as the old city, is the historic and cultural heart of Lahore. It is home to many extraordinary buildings including the Wazir Khan Mosque, the Shahi Hammam and the Lahore Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a thriving city centre rich with bazaars where a range of cuisines and cultures can be experienced. With its population of 200,000, and covering 256 hectares it is the dynamic centre of Lahore.
The Faiz Foundation Trust is dedicated to the promotion of the arts, literature and culture of Pakistan. Established in 2009, it has a history of engaging young people in all forms of cultural experiences. These include music, dance, theatre, the visual arts, film, literary activities and much more. It has built up teams of young volunteers in all these disciplines and is a hub of creative ideas. In 2018, it collaborated with UNESCO on an audience development project for the Chitral Museum. As part of this it developed new interpretation for the museum and trained teachers and museum staff.
For OSCH, the Trust is delivering a programme of performative activities and visual arts – Yeh Shehr Hamara: This City of Ours. The activities range from open mic sessions and storytelling through to map making and bookbinding workshops. The project will culminate in an exhibition and large scale projections in the courtyard of Wazir Khan Mosque.
The Colony is a multidisciplinary art centre based in Lahore. Established in 2019, its programme includes dance, film, visual art and music. The Colony’s core principle is a deep appreciation of the arts, irrespective of genre or language. Its vision is to encourage creativity and imagination whilst understanding tradition. It is run by a young team and combines youth engagement with nurturing talent.
For OSCH, The Colony is creating opportunities for young people in the walled city to learn new creative skills and gain work experience in the performing arts.
Paid internships will give young people experience in curating and organising events such as Qissa Khawani; the art of Urdu storytelling, and performances by the Colony Choir – itself made up of young vocalists and musicians.
The Colony is also running workshops for young people in photography, fashion and dance – culminating in Sway With Us, a dance show the interns will document and help organise. In addition, The Colony is widening access for young people to the arts by introducing scholarships to attend classes and workshops at the arts centre.
Main image and photography for The Colony, courtesy Omar Rehman