Renowned artist known for her miniature and Indo-Persian art works, Shahzia Sikander talked about her journey and displayed her work on Friday at Alhamra Art Centre as a part of Lahore Bienalle Festival (LBF).Large number of people attended the session held under ‘ArtSpeak’ programme of the LBF and her work was appreciated by the attendees. Shahzia, who is now living in New York, USA, received her BFA from the National College of Arts, Lahore in 1991 and her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1995. Sikander’s pioneering practice takes classical Indo-Persian miniature painting as its point of departure and challenges the strict formal tropes of the genre by experimenting with scale, collaboration and various forms of new media. Her 10-minute film titled ‘Disruption as Rapture’ (2016) which was an HD video animation for which Music was provided by Shanghai based artist Du Yun featuring Ali Sethi and Animation by Patrick O’Rourke and is inspired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s 18th century manuscript Gulshan-i Ishq (Garden of Love), written in 1657–58 by Nusrati, court poet to Sultan Ali Adil Shah II of Bijapur. The poem was written in Deccani Urdu and Persian naskh script, the language of the Muslim elite in South-Central India, and was a North Indian Hindu love story recast as a Sufi tale for an Islamic court.Talking about her work, Parallax, she was of the view that Parallax was a monumental, three channel single image audio visual animation. She said that created in 2013 for Sharjah Biennial 11, Parallax examines contested histories of colonialism, mechanisms, of power and cultural authority, and tensions over the control of trade routes in Strait of Harmuz in the Persian Gulf. She said that movement of resources and commodities naval warfare and East India Company underlie the work. Trenchant historical symbols were given shifting identities as they come together to cultivate new association through velocity and magnitude, she said.Shahzia added that the animation’s original score is created in collaboration with the 2017 Pulitzer Prize winning composer Du Yun and poets from Sharjah. Parallax has travelled to over 15 venues globally and continues to investigate ideas of language, trade and empire, and migration. Explaining how an idea behind the concept of a particular painting comes to her mind, she said that when she is painting regularly than due to continuity, she gets better ideas of different structures, disciplines and work. Meanwhile, addressing the Academic Forum titled ‘The Necropolitics of Extraction’ Activist-Art, Intersectionality and Geopower, Professor of Art and History at UC Santa Cruz T J Demos said that the topic of extraction that has been gradually occurring in all of the world in relationship to resource mining and also financial extraction. The concept of political ecology is recent and new but experiencing greater and greater threats, so it is time to think urgently about this. He said that industrial extraction of gold and copper from mines is disrupting all the forest area, which is problematic. Published in Daily Times, March 24th 2018.