Event - Human Rights and Conflict in Pakistan

Human Rights and Conflict in Pakistan

02.19.17, 2:30 pm

Image: Installation view, Queens International 2018: Volumes (October 7, 2018 - February 24, 2019), Queens Museum, featuring Christina Freeman, UltraViolet Archive, 2018 (foreground) and Beatrice Modisett, Every Ninth Wave II, 2018 (background). Courtesy of Queens Museum. Photo: Hai Zhang.

Join us for an event on human rights and conflict in Pakistan organized and moderated by Mumtaz Hussain. Author and journalist Raza Rumi‘s new collection of essays entitled Identity, Faith, and Conflict: Essays on Pakistan and Beyond will be released at the event. Beena Sarwar, an eminent journalist and human rights activist will also speak at the occasion.


The discussion will be followed by screening of a short documentary They are Killing the Horse (Mushtaq Gazdar, 1978, 32 min).  This film was banned during the 1980s when Pakistan was ruled by Gen Zia ul Haq. The short film explores contentious issues of identity, religion and the resilience of human spirit. It shows the plight of a young woman who suffers depression on account of social and sexual repression all around her. Her family takes her to various shrines and pirs in Sindh for cure which results in her condition becoming even worse and complicated. Made in the aftermath of the 1977 military takeover, this was the first time ever that issues of violence and suppression were addressed on celluloid. It won the Grand Prix at the Tampere International Short Film Festival in Finland in 1979


About the Presenters


Raza Rumi

Raza Rumi is a consulting editor, The Friday Times, Pakistan. Currently, he is based in Ithaca, NY where he teaches at Ithaca College and Cornell Institute for Public Affairs. He is the author of Delhi by Heart, The Fractious Path: Pakistan’s Democratic Transition and Identity, Faith, and Conflict: Essays on Pakistan and Beyond. As a journalist and media commentator, Raza Rumi publishes with frequency, responding to continuing troubling events in South Asia. As a policy analyst, he goes beyond the immediate situation to examine the systems and history behind these conditions. And as a Pakistani Muslim, he writes with compassionate patriotism for his country, seeking avenues of reform and renewal. For more information visit razarumi.com



beena-sarwar1Beena Sarwar is a journalist, artist and filmmaker from Pakistan focusing on human rights, gender, media and peace. She is currently the Pakistan Editor of the Aman ki Asha (Hope for Peace) initiative, that aims to develop peace between the countries of India and Pakistan. The initiative is jointly sponsored by the Jang group in Pakistan and the Times of India across the border. Prior to her current position, Beena has worked as an Assistant Editor at The Star, as Features Editor at The Frontier Post, and was the founding Editor of The News on Sunday in 1993. She has also produced television shows for Geo TV and served as Op-ed Editor for The News International. She holds a BA degree in Art and Literature from Brown University, an MA degree in TV documentary from Goldsmiths College, London and was a Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University in 2007. She also writes a popular monthly column titled Personal Political which is published by Hard News, in India



MumtazHussainMumtaz Hussain is an artist, film maker and a writer. In 1981, Mumtaz accepted admission into the prestigious National College of Arts (NCA) in Lahore, Pakistan. While at NCA, Mumtaz decorated the palace of Sheikh Zaid bin Sultan, an architectural landmark in Karachi, Pakistan. In 1987, Mumtaz left for London to study European art forms. In 1988 Mumtaz came to New York to pursue graphic design at the School of Visual Art. Additionally, Mumtaz also studied film making. He has also served as an art director for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Simon & Schuster. Mumtaz directed 13 episodes of an informative talk show for channel 9 called Ask a Lawyer. His Urdu book of short stories, GOOL AINAK KA PECHAY, LAFZON MAIN TASVARIAN is published.   His art film, Soul of Civilization, has been shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Queens Museum of Art and Stony Brook University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Connecticut.



Other films include:  This is my Pakistan for a Pakistani TV Channel GEO; Inside You, based on Rumi’s poetry; Push Button For, based on a Pakistani classic short story; and Butterfly Screams, based on 9/11. His first feature film,  Art=(Love) 2 , received a Merit Award at The Lucerne International Film Festival, Switzerland; Best Cinematography at The Jaipur International Film Festival, India; Platinum Reel Award at The Nevada Film Festival, U.S.A.; Gold Award at the Prestige Film Festival, U.S.A.. The film was also officially selected at The Delhi International Film Festival, India; and The Vegas Cine Fest, U.S.A.. It will be ready for theatrical release soon. His two plays The Barking Crow and Legal Alien have been performed in New York. His script The Kind Executioner received the finalist award at Hollywood Screenplay Contest Hollywood and first award at Jaipur International film festival. His paintings and films have been shown at numerous museums, universities, art galleries and international film festivals.