Culminating in a change in government urban planning policy to include functioning footpaths throughout a central area of Lahore, Transartist Honi Ryan has recently completed a 2 month residency program with The Lahore Biennale Foundation and the Goethe Institut Pakistan. Titled Urbanities, the project invited 2 Germany based artists to work in Pakistan’s two largest cities: Lahore and Karachi, as sites of urban exploration and artistic research.
Honi was based in Lahore, where she researched the complexities of being a body in public space in Pakistan through walking practice. She mounted silent group walks to activate deep listening in public spaces. The walks were led by local women and were in reflection of the limited pedestrian access to the city, especially for women.
She also worked collaboratively with OCCO Urban Design Think Tank and architect Attiq Ahmed to implement a large scale public installation of a 1200 foot temporary footpath in central Lahore, as action research into the infrastructure needed for people to walk comfortably on the streets, in an area that facilitated the convergence of various demographics and urban uses.
The project culminated in a 4 day symposium and exhibition at Alhamra, Lahore Cultural Centre, in which Honi presented the work in a panel with international Urbanists; held a performative presentation in form of an urban walk; and made an installation of a Lahore footpath in the gallery and showed photo and video documentation of the public projects.
During her residency, Honi also taught performance art at the National College of Art in Lahore, and gave artist talks and critiques at two universities.
Performance link: https://www.honiryan.net/urbanities-pakistan
Artist website: www.honiryan.net