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The HAT Project 2006/07 is supporting 20 exchange fellowships between England, South Asia and Australia

Tabitha Moses

Residency at Beaconhouse National University

Does anyone ever read these things?

Posted by Tabitha Moses on 31st October 2006

So they've asked me to write a weblog. This is my first and I wonder at its purpose. Is it supposed to be a diary? A postcard home? A critical study? A conversation?

Should it be coolly intellectual or embarrassingly personal? A thoughtful reflection or spontaneous response?

Who am I writing to? Who am I writing for? And does anyone ever read these things anyway?

I suppose I'll write it for myself, and it'll probably be most of the above at one time or another. I am in Beaconhouse University City Campus computer lab, surrounded by excitable young students practising their Adobe Illustrator. I've been away from the UK for three weeks now and am just starting to feel settled. It took a while to sort out practical things like a studio space and internet access - knowing who to ask, etc. I (along with Chatwin and Martin) am based an hour away from central Lahore at the Tarogil Campus. I arrived right in the middle of the month of Ramzan (Ramadan), so the work day ended at 2pm which was rather disrupting.

I have also been confronted with unexpected doubts about my intentions. I came with an agenda which would have made for an unsophisticated and patronising response to the complex Pakistani society. Actually, it was a response to the limited British media coverage I had been exposed to. I realise that now.

So I arrived and felt rather paralysed for the first two weeks. Paralysis caused by a mixture of post-colonial guilt and an ignorance of the subtleties of the cultural language. An ignorance of the cultural language, full stop, never mind the subtleties. Basically, I didn't want to start making uninformed judgements and pronouncements in my work.

I also felt a pressure to get making. I am feeling very inspired - new ideas pop up every day. There is so much to take in, so much visual excitement and novelty, so many potential avenues of exploration, three months feels far too short a time to really delve into the possibitities. So I am eager to start making, thinking with my hands as well as my head. However, I think this spongy period of soaking up is valuable too.

I spent the Eid holiday (a week) in India - Amritsar (for Diwali) and Delhi. That was interesting (for various reasons, more of which another time) and it feels good to come back, full of renewed enthusiasm. Lahore is now home and I feel that break was important in helping me feel settled here.

I could go on for ages, so I'll stop writing now and just let you see the pictures (in the 'images' section).

Click on image to open QuickTime movie


Tabitha Moses talks to conference during cHAT week at Sanskriti, Delhi, India. March 2007