Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The PPP attacks the Shanaakht Festival, destroys the exhibit at the Arts Council

This is taken from Omar Bilal Akhtar(OBA of ADP)'s blog:

The PPP attacks the Shanaakht Festival, destroys the exhibit at the Arts Council

We have just been informed that a few hours ago, around 7:3o pm Pakistan time, a large mob of PPP activists stormed the Arts Council which was hosting the Shanaakht Festival. The mob was protesting the display of a photograph in the art exhibit section that showed a photo-shopped image of an infant Benazir Bhutto sitting in the lap of General Zia-Ul-Haq.

The mob destroyed the entire exhibit and physically threatened the workers of The Citizens Archive and all the volunteers/workers for the Shanaakht Festival.

We were slated to perform on the final day of the festival along with Fuzon, Noori, Taal Karisma and The Kolachi Quartet. As of right now,all the events for all the days of the Shanaakht Festival, has been cancelled.

Now that I've given you the news, I can't begin to tell you depth of the anger me and my band members are feeling. The Shanaakht Festival is extremely close to our hearts as well as the people organizing it. We performed at the original one and we were looking forward to sharing the stage with our idols Noori and Fuzon. We are sitting in my living room, and I have been on the verge of tears on numerous occasions. Some of my closest friends were in The Arts Council when they were attacked by the mob. According to them, the more they pleaded with the mob to stop the more they destroyed.

There is no difference between the militants in the North and the Pakistan People's Party today. None. We have two groups of people who have spread a doctrine of hate, intolerance and violence. The people who were putting this show together have been working at it for the last 2 years. It was by the people of Pakistan for the people of Pakistan. The theme of the show was 'identity' and we were looking to establish, ro take back the Pakistani identity. I guess all we have to show for it now is an identity of violence and victimization.

If the show goes on Aunty Disco Project will perform. We stand right behind The Citizens Archive and Sharmeen Obaid.

I feel personally attacked. We cannot believe that the concern of our parents which we keep dismissing has been vindicated. They have attacked our show, and our people, our friends.

For those of you who are going to come and say that it was stupid to put that picture up in the first place, you may be justified in your thinking, but there is NO justification for the kind of violence that happened as a result.

Today they attacked ART. They attacked culture and humanity. But worst of all, they attacked and threatened innocent people who were trying to do something good for this country.

I have no more words, except my love and support to the people of The Citizens Archive.

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