Being and becoming

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It is usual to come across people exhibiting varying levels of familiarity with each other. One may find friends walking down a street with arms wrapped around each other’s necks, or giving each other cathartic hugs regardless of the fact that they meet each other frequently. But as soon as someone mocks their candid friendship, describing it as ‘gay’, the comfort suddenly changes into homophobia. All of a sudden they become conscious of this taboo, which is lent unnecessary hysteria in our society.

Unsurprisingly, it is difficult to talk openly about subjects such as sexual orientation in Pakistan. But, by collectively addressing the issues of intimacy and identity, this is exactly what Anwar Saeed has done in his latest exhibition at Rohtas Gallery 2. The entire body of work in the exhibition revolves around the theme of identity with an undertone of fetishism and nostalgia. Who am I? What defines me? Am I defined by religion, my country or the financial conditions that I am born into? Am I defined by the one I chose to love or choose to love?

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