Islamabad Art Festival 2019


Pakistan’s cultural heritage is over 10,000 years old, starting from Mehrgarh. Pakistan is a cradle of several diverse and pluralistic civilizations, including Bolan Valley, the Indus Valley (Harappa and Mohenjo – Daro), and Gandhara.

Pakistan’s constitution acknowledges fundamental rights of its citizens and their right to freedom of expression, equality of status, of opportunity and freedom of belief, faith, worship and association.

The contemporary art scene in Pakistan distinguishes itself in South Asia.

It is imperative to compliment the valuable contributions of our artists by launching a local platform that is cognizant of our indigenous cultural narrative and blessed with a futuristic vision that can become catalyst in bridging the gap between the potential of Pakistani art and its truly deserved realization. WHAT

ISLAMABAD ART FEST 2019 is a multi-disciplinary platform to extend an aesthetic dialogue across cultures involving all possible strands of visual and performing arts including architecture and cinema.

IAF19 is a project of Pakistan National Council of the Arts in collaboration with Hunerkada, a lead consortium of artist bodies and national institutions committed to the promotion and propagation of art and culture.

IAF19 is being curated by Jamal Shah along with a curatorial team of distinguished local and international professionals from visual and performing arts.


Thematic Focus

“An Aesthetic Encounter Between Tradition and Modernity”

This will be explored across cultures and identities. Inclusive of differences and similarities.

IAF19 would specifically probe the question of IDENTITY through the following manifestations of the curatorial themes;

1. Indigenous vocabulary and contemporary expression.

2. Crush on modernity, affair with classicism and romance with romanticism.

3. Identity and contemporary challenges.

4. My tradition verses your modernity.

IAF19 aims to bring Pakistan’s vibrant young art scene and its innovative and energetic spirit in close contact with international artistic activity to explore cross fertilization of ideas, concerns and challenges. The platform will invite artists of consequence from diverse cultural backgrounds, creative disciplines and outlooks for a novel and multi-disciplinary aesthetic encounter and exploration of its thematic focus. 

IAF19 will invite 100 Pakistani and 30 to 50 regional and international artists to interpret and articulate the curatorial themes through their chosen genre and media.

IAF19 will engage huge audiences from diverse backgrounds and ages.

Teachers and students from twin cities and surroundings will engage in creative pursuits to display in their respected institutions/universities in accordance with cultural theme of IAF19 (Islamabad Art Festival).

The event will also be experienced by a large number of students and general public from all over Pakistan taking the numbers of indirect beneficiaries to over 500,000. 

Cooperation with art institutions, universities, galleries and research institutes for making special tours at the exhibitions have also been established. 

IAF19 will provide opportunities for research and interaction to the young artists. They will be in direct contact with recognized professionals, which should make networking more systematic in visual arts, dance, theatre, music, and cinema. 

IAF19 will be catalogued comprehensively with information on each participating artist along with detailed documentation of their projects and outcomes of the event.

Books, reports, catalogues, and a cultural curriculum for schools will be published and films on various visual arts, theatrical, musical, dance projects and artists will be made.