The Pakistani society, as portrayed by the media nationally & internationally is one which is consumed with economic-political negativity & insecurities. The generic outlook of the image of our country is projected as an unsafe zone, an unfriendly & unwelcoming place – an image far from the Pakistan I see.
I began my journey of dance, years ago in London & whilst dance was my world I was always in search of ‘something’ that completed my puzzle. . It wasn’t until I returned to my land that I found this missing piece – my roots. My return led me through an amazing journey of self-discovery and of this beautiful land called Pakistan. It taught me about the Sufi’s, our history, our music, our classical and folk dance traditions and the rich cultural heritage that I belonged to. I was thirsty to experience as much as I could as I soaked in travelling around Pakistan, acting on Television, learning the music and classical dance traditions meeting people and artists from different parts of the country. I learnt about culture and traditions of civilizations that had existed upon this soil, visiting historical places of the Mughal era, Taxila and Mohenjo-Daro that endorsed the evidence of an extremely organized civilization with strong roots in spirituality, music and dance.
The more I learnt about the rich culture & arts of Pakistan, the more I wanted to project this new image of my country – one that highlights our heritage, culture, art & most importantly the uniqueness of the Pakistani artist. The Pakistani artist who struggled due to lack of Performing Art Institutions and platforms, lack of opportunities, lack of research, documentation or preservation for the future young new generations to come. Here are the roots of a 5000 years old matured civilization with its elements of knowledge, learning, art, music, poetry, dance and heritage but unfortunately all unaccounted for. What would we have to show in another 50 years from now? A simple reply nothing.
Therefore, I decided to live here, to own Pakistan as my land and to eliminate the disconnect that most people had amongst our society & urge them to take ownership towards our music, classical dance traditions & our cultural heritage.
I have always believed that Performing Arts can transform lives & redefine societies & with this belief I embarked on my journey of creating awareness of the power of the performing art & it’s need for us as a country to present a soft image of who we really are and not as we are being projected globally, a land of war and terrorism. Through the performing arts I aimed to bring about a new interpretation of our life codes, reduce stress & depression in our society, promote & encourage artists to perform & express & to highlight the richness of Pakistani arts.
This was my inspiration which motivated me to create my foundation, the Nighat Chaudhry Foundation.Nighat Chaodhry
Founder & CEO