Lahore Museum has a rich, ancient and varied collection which demonstrates the historical wealth, religious and cultural plurality of Pakistan, one of the largest Muslim majority countries in the world, with large diasporic communities across the globe. The film explores the significance of the Museum in Asia, but also in Britain today. Its collection tells stories of ancient cultures: Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, Sikh, Muslim histories, and those of empire, trade, the arrival of the East India company, the contribution of British Indian soldiers in World Wars I and II, the partition of India, and the creation of Pakistan. It also gives some insight into life in Pakistan today.The film features Anwar Akhtar, British Pakistani journalist and director of samosa media, in conversation with the Lahore Museum’s ex-director Sumera Samad, and playwright Shahid Nadeem (Ajoka Theatre Company). They view the Museum’s collection, and discuss the future role of the institution within Pakistan’s wider social, political, religious and cultural context today as well as Pakistan’s relationships with Britain.
The screening will be followed by a panel and audience discussion featuring Edward Mortimer Senior Program Advisor, Salzburg Global Seminar, Nayanika Mathur – Associate Professor in the Anthropology of South Asia , Professor Dame Marina Warner, Professor of English and Creative Writing, Birkbeck College, University of London, author Aamer Hussein, Jim Harris from Ashmolean Museum and Anwar Akhtar. The discussion will consider Lahore Museum’s collection within a global context. It will also ask how films like this can support and embed diversity in museums and the curriculum.