Co-presentation with Mayworks Festival
Register for zoom event
11 May 2024
12:00 – 2:00PM EST

A Zoom performance and panel discussion exploring South Asian subaltern imaginaries—garden sculptures and folktales attached to them—that look within and around Bahria Town. Together, Umber Majeed, Hiba Ali, and Asad Alvi outline subversive and poetic strategies.

Trans-Pakistan Zindabad (Long Live Trans-Pakistan) is a lecture performance by Umber Majeed that outlines the intersections of military-state surveillance, global capital networks, and grandeur urban internationalism, of a corrupt housing corporation, Bahria Town, based in Pakistan.

This global enterprise houses miniature and large-scale reproductions of a Sphinx, Eiffel Tower, and Taj Mahal, etc is investigated through the facade of a revitalized tourism company, “Trans-Pakistan”, once owned and operated by the artist’s maternal uncle. The multilayered narrative and visual material overlap tourism, familial archives, metaphors of the body, and proposals of technological piracy as urban design. The project speculates within augmented and virtual technologies to alternative forms of occupation in urban imaginaries of surveilled simulacra; contesting the corporate imaginary entering the home.

Umber Majeed (b. New York, 1989) is a multidisciplinary visual artist and educator. She received her MFA from Parsons the New School for Design in 2016 and graduated from Beaconhouse National University in Lahore, Pakistan in 2013. Her writing, animation, and installations engage with familial archives to explore Pakistani state, urban, and digital infrastructure through a feminist lens. Majeed has shown in and worked with venues across Pakistan, North America, and Europe. Majeed has had three solo exhibitions; ‘In the Name of Hypersurface of the Present’, Rubber Factory, New York (2018) and ‘Trans-Pakistan Zindabad (Facts about the Earth)’, 1708 Gallery, Richmond, Virgina (2021), and ‘Made in Trans-Pakistan’, Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY. She is a recipient of numerous fellowships including the HWP Fellowship, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut, Lebanon (2017), Refiguring Feminist Futures Web Residency, Akademie Schloss Solitude & ZKM, Germany (2018), the Digital Earth Fellowship, Hivos, the Netherlands (2018-19), and the Technology ResidencyPioneer Works, Brooklyn (2020). Currently,  she is a Queens Museum- Jerome Fellow for 2024-25.

hiba ali is an afrasian worldbuilder and digital somatics practitioner and shares their digital art in the form of immersive digital environments, sculpture-based installations, moving images, garments, and sound. born in karachi, pakistan, they grew up in chicago and toronto and belong to east african, south asian and arab diasporas. they are a practitioner and (re)learner of swahili, urdu, arabic and spanish languages. they developed the term, digital somatics, to embody the body-mind-spirit connection to the principles of game design and narrative storytelling. they use virtual reality, 3d animation and augmented reality to slow down time and create portals of solace and care and consider the digital portal as a liminal space where they call forth more loving and healing into our world.

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