Pakistan gallery defies dictators
Published on Dec 25, 2012 12:02 PM
ISLAMABAD (AFP) - It may not seem the most obvious setting, but a squat building overlooking a slum is home to one of Pakistan's leading galleries, which for 30 years has defied dictatorships and fundamentalists to champion cutting-edge art.
Rohtas Gallery was founded in 1981, at the height of military ruler General Zia-ul-Haq's martial law, as Pakistan was undergoing a programme of Islamisation that imposed Draconian restrictions on culture and entertainment.
With all but the most insipid forms of visual art officially banned as "un-Islamic", architect Naeem Pasha and a group of friends decided Pakistan's artists needed a space to express themselves freely.
"Abstract art was unIslamic," said Mr Pasha.
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