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Dua in Lahore
All we have

Dua in Lahore

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Dua in Lahore

Dua is an artist in Lahore, Pakistan. Scroll down to join her in hours of creative work and the joys of seeing Pakistan's streets changed, even if just for the briefest of moments.

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Lockdown artist

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Image: Pictures of Dua conducting art classes in public schools in Jhelum, Pakistan, for Rivers of the World (a project by the British Council), in 2014.

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"As the world was forced, by the virus, to turn its gaze inwards, to retract into itself, a lot of power, it seems, returned to the individual creative.

This was certainly the case with me. Long, uninterrupted hours at home, where I’ve turned one of the bedrooms of my apartment into a studio, meant that my own focus shifted from the product, from the finished artwork ready for display and a price tag, to the creative process itself."

Dua reflecting on the impact of lockdown on her artistic self.




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A fool's choice

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Image: Windowless Room (I). Pastel, ink, and oil pastel on archival paper. 2017

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"Fortunately my family was always more progressive in its values. My mother encouraged us to learn how to drive and my father bought us many books.

Me and my sisters didn’t have any brothers either, so I guess we grew up a little less surveilled."


Photograph: Dua (left) with her mother, father, and one of her two sisters at their parents’ home in Lahore, Pakistan.
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Image: Self-portrait and portrait of Dua's husband, produced in the third week of quarantine using found and hand-painted paper.

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On a whim

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Photograph: Gol Kamra for Home Alone Together digital exhibition.

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"Although I’ve been working as an artist for eleven years and an educator for six, I find it exhausting and extremely stressful to navigate the 'outside' in Lahore.

I’ve driven on the city’s roads, commuted in public transport like rickshaws and buses, used ride-hailing services like Careem and Uber, and walked, and not one of these means of getting around has been free of some form of harassment or fear for my safety.

Sadly, this is true of almost every Pakistani girl or woman I know."

Photograph: Gol Kamra for Home Alone Together digital exhibition.











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Photograph: View from Dua's apartment window during the first lockdown.

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Freedom

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Image: "Her Kind."  Acrylic, ink, and pastel on canvas. 2018  

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Photograph: Dua's mother and sisters (top row) and her maternal grandmother, with her husband’s maternal grandmother (bottom row), on the occasion of Dua's wedding in 2015 (Lahore).

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