Back to the Moment of Promise – ‘Azadi’ (freedom) Series of Art Work by Shahid Mirza

Artist Shahid Mirza’s Azadi Series is a set of seven mix media paintings illustrating different aspects of our ‘freedom’ from British rule in the 1947 partition of India. From the direct, explicit and in-your-face bloody history of our colonization to the fading shades of secularism in Pakistan, these paintings invite us to contemplate on ourselves post-partition.

Choice of mix media creates the eerie feeling of contemporality within the historicity of the past. With each of these paintings, the Artist tries to bring us back to that moment of promise when freedom from colonization and sectarian bigotry seemed possible; when millions of lives were lost to achieve it.

By bringing us back to that moment of promise, the Artist encourages us to confront our own concepts and constructs of ‘freedom’ before we go on and congratulate ourselves on the continuation of the hollow and shallow facade of celebrating August 14.

azadi-1a-shahidmirzaAzadi 1
Blood-letting of the powerless.

azadi-2a-shahidmirzaAzadi 2
Destruction of life by agents of the state.

azadi-3-shahidmirzaAzadi 3
Changing positions of (Muslim and Hindu) power-brokers.

azadi-4-shahidmirzaAzadi 4
The deadly religio-spiritual antagonist.

azadi-5-shahidmirzaAzadi 5
Sectarian violence.

azadi-6-shahidmirzaAzadi 6
Early faces of hope.

azadi-7-shahidmirzaAzadi 7
Freedom for who?

Created after the formation of Bangladesh, Bhutto’s assassination, Zia’s Islamicization, and Pakistan’s Talibanization, Azadi Series displays the history of partition in the context of today, and, in bringing the past into the present where we continue to suffer from the same but intensified problems of inequality, these paintings insist that the moment of promise is now.

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Azadi Series by Shahid Mirza first Published at Uddari Art, Punjab 1947 & After

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Top 2012 Attraction: A Deepa Mehta Film

Release date
November 2/12
Stills, Videos, Press

Midnight’s Children A Deepa Mehta film is our top choice for 2012. To be released this September, the film boasts Salman Rushdie’s own screenplay, Deepa Mehta’s direction, and work by many great actors including Shabana Azmi. Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children is one of the most profound, enchanting and creative work of fiction on the 1947 Partition. A lot has been created on this time period. My favorites: short fiction by Saadat Hasan Manto, some paintings by Gujral, a poem by Amrita Preetam, and Midnight’s Children.

Deepa Mehta is a Punjabi Canadian filmmaker who has directed over 16 films and has won many awards. She made her first short film in 1976, and has since given us Sam And Me (1991), Camilla (1994), trilogy Fire (1996) Earth (1998) and Water (2001), Bollywood/Hollywood (2002), and Heaven on earth (2008). Her brilliance comes out in her trilogy where tabooed themes are expressed, at times, in breathtaking moments of societal/emotional chaos to surface conclusions and understandings. Her frames strike as paintings of intense beauty using bold colours, shapes and sound.

Hamilton Mehta Productions
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Rushdie is a master storyteller who has since 1975 written 9 novels, 2 children’s books and 3 collections of short fiction. Top favourites: Midnight’s Children (1981), Shame (1983), Satanic Verses (1988), and The Moor’s Last Sigh (1995). He is soon coming out with his memoir ‘Joseph Anton’ about the long years of life-threatening backlash from Muslim fundamentalists after the 1989 Fatwa on Satanic Verses.

Salman Rushdie
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The film Midnight’s Children is produced by David Hamilton and Deepa Mehta. Shooting happened in Sri Lanka. Crew and the cast is huge. Below, find at least some faces and names.

Midnight’s Children movie

Director, Author, Producer, Actor

Oops! This isn’t the ‘Amazing crew’.
It’s the actual ‘midnight’s children’ with Deepa Mehta and Zorawar Shukla!

And here’s almost everyone who made this film possible:

Some Actors

Saleem Sinai Satya Bhabha


Shiva Siddharth

Ahmed Sinai Ronit Roy


Amina Shahana Goswami




Naseem Shabana Azmi



Aadam Aziz Rajat Kapoor



Mary Seema Biswas



Parvati Shriya Saran



Jamila Singer Soha Ali Khan



And now, the creeps… General Zulfiqar Rahul Bose with Emerald Anita Majumdar

More here



SAADAT HASAN MANTO ‘The Thunderstorm’ by Kanwal Dhaliwal


Saadat Hasan Manto by Kanwal Dhaliwal

Kanwal Dhaliwal’s ‘The Thunderstorm’, a riveting photo imaginary portrayal of Author Saadat Hasan Manto, is on display at Uddari Art Exhibition.

Dhaliwal’s tribute to an author who ‘wrote’ partition for us from the standpoint of a secular human being, is one of the most moving and valuable additions in the post-partition art of the Punjab.

View it here:

Fauzia Rafique

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Punjabi Artists and Photographers at Uddari Art

Uddari Art Exhibition, the blog, began August 23rd with Shahid Mirza’s ‘kala Mainda Bhes’; and, in just over three months we already have the pleasure of viewing the work of over fifteen professional painters and photographers of Punjabi origin.

From Lahore, Chandigarh, New Delhi, London and Wales, our artists offer us unique styles, diverse forms and individual perspectives. The Creators deliver us our Punjab in images of color, and black and white; in paint and photography. Real and the unreal; pleasures and pain.
1. Kanwal Dhaliwal
2. Ayesha Farooq
3. Satish Gujral
4. Navpreet Kaur
5. Pran Nath Mago
6. Shahid Mirza
7. Sidharth
8. SL Parasher
9. Iqbal Rasheed
10. Prem Singh
1. Amarjit Chandan
2. Marek Jakubowski
3. Diwan Manna
4. Subhash Parihar
5. Gurvinder Singh
6. Prem Singh

View works displayed in the following themes:
– Modern Art by Punjabis
– City Spirit: Shahr Aatma
– Partition: The Punjab 1947
– Punjab Landscape
– People Punjab: Portraits and Groups
– Windows, Doors and Dwellings

Fauzia Rafique

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