TTC talks about how they are reclaiming public spaces in Islamabad through a series of tea party events in public spaces

The talk gives you an overview of an amazing and a very interesting project called The Tea Collaborative initiated by these three wonderful women.

About the speaker

The Tea Collaborative came together in 2013 with like-minded people who were interested in tea and the politics of performance. They started to work on their first series, Tea Sessions in alternate art spaces for two years. Since 2015 they have been exploring the city of Islamabad through their Tea Party series. In 2013-14, a series of tea events took place in a studio/apartment in E11 Islamabad where an invited audience witnessed and participated in tea parties hosted by individual members of the group respectively. In 2015, the second series of the tea happenings have begun for largely accidental audience at different public sites of Islamabad. We create temporal moments of exchange, introspection and reciprocity. ? The tea performances create a visual anomaly in the fabric of everyday public space. It builds a dialogue between the unsuspecting audience and the performers. The mundane activity of drinking tea is elevated to the status of a sacramental ritual and a metaphor for the political and the social. The selection of the sites for the tea performances is an act of classification of urban landmarks. The public encounters art a midst itself at places of gathering, entertainment and communal sharing. We reclaim public space for the people as a safe and approachable space. We are interested in altering the perception of the user of public spaces by inculcating a sense of ownership, accessibility and shared responsibility. The tea events have been performed at the Metro Station under construction site, Rawal lake, the D-chowk, the New Airport site. The tea collaborative has also had an opportunity to perform an extensive live piece at the ILF 2016. Their first solo being showcased at Satrang Gallery, Serena since April 2017.

Sabahat Nawaz is a designer and a researcher, whose interests lie in exploring the diverse aspects of design as a communication tool. Trained as a textile designer, Nawaz graduated from National College of Arts, Lahore, and later completed her Masters in Design for Textile Futures from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London. Currently, Nawaz is appointed as Associate Professor in the department of Textile Design at Pakistan Institute of Fashion & Design, Lahore.

Zehra Aziz is a practicing architect, currently a partner at the design consultancy firm Particles. After studying at Middle East Technical University in Turkey, Zehra has worked at NORR International Dubai and was visiting faculty at the School of Art, Design & Architecture at NUST. She is a founding member of the group ‘Art of Small Talk’ and a collaborator of the performance based art-practice ‘The Tea Collaborative’, both a means to engage with the city, its people and spaces.

Hurmat Ul Ain is an interdisciplinary artist and art educationist. She has a BFA from National College of Arts, Lahore in Painting (2006) and an MFA in Performance Art from School of The Art Institute Chicago (2011) where she was studying as a Fulbright Scholar. She is teaching at the School of Art, Design & Architecture, NUST as an Assistant Professor. Ain’s work has been shown in the U.S, U.K, India, China, Dubai, Japan, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong and Pakistan.

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