Author / Creator: Hemani, Shumaila
Folk music is a site of contestation to define national culture and language amongst the cultural elites in Pakistan. The elites who established cultural institutions for the promotion of folk music represented Pakistan either as a cultural unit with Islam and the Urdu language as its unifying bond, or resisted this position by considering Pakistan as a culturally diverse unit, in which national culture could emerge only through a synthesis of regional cultures and not through the imposition of a single culture and language. I apply Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of practice to situate my informants within the policies of three institutions: national media, Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) and Lok Virsa, in the period between 1965 and 1985. This period covers three major political regimes, when my informants participated in establishing and maintain cultural institutions that were revived after 9/11 to showcase Pakistan in the international community.
Shumaila Hemani’s (@shumailahemani) poem “Living with Purpose” nominated for 2022 Alberta Magazine Awards in Poetry @NewforumAB
On Music of Pakistan: Shumaila Hemani’s MA Thesis: Representing Pakistan through Folk Music and Dance