English translation of the Urdu poem Hum Dekhenge by Faiz Ahmed Faiz in response to the ongoing politicised dilemma of its meaning. An extremely humble try

Sehr Jalil | is there anything that is not art? | blog

Faiz Ahmed Faiz is a legend and most of his works are masterpieces. The living history of his literature is dialectic, subversive and revolutionary. Faiz’s poem ‘Humdekheinge’ has seen the legendary Iqbal Bano clad in a black sari, singing and reclaiming each word to an audience of many thousands under the dictatorship of Zia ul Haq in Pakistan. This is only one anecdote, the poem has been a place of solace and courage for many activists, workers and the oppressed in both Pakistan and India through history.

The ongoing resurrection or resurgence of Humdekhenge, the probability of Faiz’s works being banned in India as this poem’s words have become an anthem and refuge for the students in India and everyone supporting them – made me respond naturally with this translation. There is no attempt to create a masterpiece here. It is just sincere translation and an extremely humble attempt…

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How can I fade when you are looking at me? (artists/friends) Farida Batool and Naira Mushtaq

Sehr Jalil | is there anything that is not art? | blog


Yesterday was a good day. The past two years and losing dad has changed everything. This post is for two people who stood with me through everything . While I have my morning tea and prepare to reach for an invigilation at 9 : 30 am this post is a valuable thought and it should happen before I let go of it. It is dedicated to two exceptional women, friends and artists : Farida Batool and Naira Mushtaq.

You can google them if you don’t know them to get a better idea of their practice as I’ll only talk about two strings which remain with me… from yesterday.

Yesterday at her Ted talk ( bold and brilliant Ted Women) at the British council, Lahore, Farida also talked about a portion of her 70 feet long lenticular printed walk through the city which has an unparalleled and sensitivite significance to…

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Homes, art and heritage, between Amrita Sher Gil and Georgia Okeeffe

Hope you enjoy

Sehr Jalil | is there anything that is not art? | blog

note : I wrote this paper last year during a Boston Architectural College, International Heritage Conservation course, Course instructor : Eleni Glekas. The course is a part of a faculty exchange program between the National College of Arts, Lahore and Boston Architectural College. It was not mandatory for the faculty to write a paper but I wrote this voluntarily as I see this as a part of an ongoing research. My first project to manifest this research as a point of investigation was a part of a collaborative-participatory visual art project by artist Filippo Minelli; it was displayed in the European Nomadic manifesta biennale, in Palermo, Italy 2018 – link : https://sehrjalil.com/2018/09/13/manifesta-biennale-2018/


Is every legendary artist’s home, heritage? Which factors, values and procedures decipher and declare the status of an artist’s home? This paper will interrogate the question with the help of two divergent case studies, 23 Sir…

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‘The flying carpet fell on the third world road’ On the show UNMAKING HISTORY curated by Leila Rahman, Saher Sohail and Natasha Malik.

on a recent show in Lahore – unmaking history

Sehr Jalil | is there anything that is not art? | blog

The title of the show (art exhibition) is Unmaking History and it’s the first show that I’ve chosen to write on in this very independent platform as the work and the curation ‘poetically, historically and aesthetically’ – penetrated and perforated my mind. Leila Rahman, Saher Sohail and Natasha Malik borrowed the research and publication center in the center of Lahore from its director Rashed Rahman for this curatorial optimum. The space felt like a land mine of explosive underlying narratives where one step on either side, left, right, forward or backward, would cause an explosion in the air and new, buried meanings would emerge, impatiently waiting to be exposed. Rahman, Sohail and Malik were sophisticated and intelligent in their approach, the allocation of space and ongoing dialogue in-between works was overpowering. Like music, there were multifold layers to why this composition or curation worked – in-between adjunct identity, power, politics…

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Sehr Jalil | is there anything that is not art? | blog

I’m not new to blogging, I made my first blog in 2013 and have been consistent ( only occasionally cut off) since 2013 – though I was never comfortable in sharing my blog with friends and family except for the ones at home. I have been writing consistently for publications, national and a few international later on but in the ‘blog-situation’ the unknown, across continents and exchanging ideas and life with minds that connected …was/is beautiful – and that was enough.

This new blog that I’m ready to share with anyone and everyone comes out of a certain urgency: to trace and collect pieces, madness, joy and the dilemmas of art around me – to question ‘is there anything that is not art?’ – specially in the South Asian context and global if I’m somewhere else. I’m a contemporary visual artist based in Lahore, Pakistan who was followed by research…

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The dogma of creative controversy

Dear friends and readers. I will be writing regularly on all that is art …mainly from Lahore, Pakistan and otherwise if I’m traveling on this new blog that I recently made. Do follow my new blog as well and give me your feedback on this essay/ article. It’s on the recent ban on artist Adeela Suleman’s work in the Karachi Biennale in the context of creative controversies throughout the world.

Sehr Jalil | is there anything that is not art? | blog

Vandalism in the name of art – a news headline in Pakistan – an artist’s work banned in the current Karachi biennale – art intelligentsia and drawing room conversation. – Solidarity and unity in the Pakistani art community. This initial paragraph comes as a pre-text but is actually a post-text of an essay I wrote for a personal research. Artist Adeela Suleman reflects on the power of art and the fear it can instill, in her interview response to the destruction and ban on her art. She mentions observing the day-to-day trajectory of what is being done to her installation and how she did expect media attention but not a reaction from the state – as it was not a revolt but the ‘circumstance’ she wanted to bring to attention.  Creative controversy is a global dogma since eons but between all the solidarity and controversy I see a weaker link…

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The reasons I lost our Ray – Ban…

Reasons I lost your Ray-Ban :

The one that you gave to me


a gift.

A note.

A world.

A lens to see..

I remember you shouting my name from the other room.. I was doing some nonsense stuff on my laptop when you called, I ignored the first two calls and the third or fourth one became louder..

I got up..

a bit angry and irritant.. thinking it was a mundane errand…

I reached your study.. there you were in your sofa..

I said..

“What is it..?”

and you gave me your Ray-Ban …

“here, take this… Its for you..” you said..

In the genuine tan leather case..

I wore it.. It was just made for me.. I hugged you tight..

17 sep..

Reasons I lost your Ray-Ban ..

I don’t know…

I wish I hadn’t..

Not you..

..and not.. your… my.. our ….. Ray-Ban ..

I wish I hadn’t

2 Oct…