Survey by Qualaroo

Imran Qureshi

‘I think that in the West you have a false idea about [Pakistan]. It’s believed and wrongly so, that we are gagged and limited in our artistic production.’

Imran Qureshi was born in Hyderbad in Pakistan in 1972 and studied art at the National College of Arts (NCA) Lahore where he is now Professor of Miniature Painting. NCA is a centre of excellence for miniature painting (Shahzia Sikander and Qureshi’s wife Aisha Khalid also studied there). With Khalid, Qureshi established the artists’ collective Darmiyaan to reflect on the role of the artist after the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th 2001. The Moderate Enlightenment series of miniature portraits takes its title from ex-President Musharraf’s controversial strategy to combat the threat posed by religious extremism: a strategy perceived by some as a form of Western imperialism. Qureshi says ‘Ever since 9/11 religious people have been marginalised because the media has systematically made them symbols of terrorism...If a religious person wears a camouflage print we immediately see it as a threatening statement, but if we wear it, it’s just a fashion statement.’