Founding Editor: Shafqat Munir   

Exhibition held to highlight U.S culture 

03 November 2010 11:37:44

Exhibition held to highlight U.S culture

ISLAMABAD, November 3, 2010: The Area Study Centre for Africa, North and South America of Quaid-i-Azam University, on Wednesday organised an exhibition entitled “Exploring Key American Artifacts” to highlight the U.S culture.

The exhibition was held at the premises of Area Study Centre (ASC) at Quaid-i-Azam University. The goal of the exhibition was to reveal the importance of various items, selected from U.S history, which have a deeper historical, political, economic and cultural significance than appears at first glance

For this purpose, a collection of exceptional artifacts including models of the Bill of Rights, the Statue of Liberty, Norman Rockwell’s freedom paintings, depictions of jazz, baseball, Coca Cola, McDonald, KFC, American Idol, cowboy culture, etc. were put on display.

The exhibition featured extraordinary artifacts culled from every period of U.S history. Students had worked with Dr. Rukhsana Qamber, Director of the Centre and a historian in the field, to develop their objects for this unique subject, first ever mounted in Pakistan.

The students of the Centre elaborated the significance of their exhibits. The students highlighted the “idea of American Dream” that has inspired many people around the world to become a part of it. The students explained that “American Dream” refers to freedom of expression that is symbolic of American uniqueness. Jazz music presentation further strengthened the idea when Dr. Frey, a senior professor at the Centre, referred to jazz music ‘a mode of individual expression’.  The presentation of McDonald by another student generated a debate on the current McDonald crisis in Pakistan, in which Dr. Qamber and Dr. Langley both agreed that popularity of McDonald has made local shop keepers suffer in U.S as well as in Pakistan.

Dr. Dawn E. Langley, Dean of General Education and Developmental Studies at Piedmont Community College, presided the event while she is currently visiting Pakistan as a Fulbright Specialist. Dr. Langley acclaimed the endeavors made by the students in bringing to the fore American culture at the grassroots level. As she is a specialist on the topic of Black Americana so she also commented that “rise in creative class” is also obvious in the United States, currently.

Joshua Lerner, a representative of U.S Embassy and Dr. Lawal Mohammad Anka also appreciated the exhibits of Americana project. Dr. Qamber introduced the concept of Americana that reflects the history, geography, folklore and cultural heritage of the United States of America and pronounced it an effort to curb anti-Americanism in Pakistan.

As the exhibition was designed to draw visitors into the excitement of discovery by highlighting the historical process of U.S. through the unique artifacts, dozens of people gathered around the show in the afternoon and were amazed to see the objects made by the students. The Jazz music and dazzling images gave a colorful touch to the event and enchanted the audience. The audience appreciated the students’ efforts for making them aware of the aura of America. The tremendous venture by the students marked the day fabulously and greatly added to their knowledge of U.S. history, politics, economics, culture and society in general.