UW-Bothell professor serves as American cultural envoy to Karachi
December 27, 2009 · 5:40 PM
The University of Washington, Bothell’s Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren, associate professor in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Science Program, recently served as the American cultural envoy to Karachi, Pakistan.
In this role, she spent 11 days in Karachi promoting the importance of the arts for diverse communities and as a tool for addressing important social issues. Her central project — in partnership with Faisal Malik the artistic director of the Pakistani Thespianz Theatre — included the writing and staging of “Water Calligraphy,” a play (with singing, acting and dancing) on water issues. Additionally, Kochhar-Lindgren led structured theater outreach workshops on physical theater at The Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture, Arts Council Karachi, Anjuman Behbood-e-Samat-e-Atfal (ABSA) School for the Deaf, the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA), the American School-Karachi and the Haque Academy. A culminating performance of the play, featuring local Pakistani performers, was held at the noted Pakistan American Cultural Center.
Kochhar-Lindgren also led a public talk and workshop with local leaders on the importance of the arts for deaf and disability communities at the Karachi City Hall’s Institute of Image Management and spoke widely on the role of the arts in cultural diplomacy.
Says Kochhar-Lindgren, “It was a real pleasure and honor to be chosen as the first American cultural envoy in 30 years to Karachi, Pakistan. I was touched by the many people I met and found Karachi to be a dynamic city. It was a pleasure to work with the local Pakistani performers and artists and to see the performing arts come to life in ‘Water Calligraphy’.”