Trans-Pakistan Zindabad (Long Live Trans-Pakistan)
Umber Majeed's exhibition Trans-Pakistan Zindabad (Facts About the Earth) closed on Saturday August 14, 2021. On that day, in celebration of her exhibition and in recognition of Pakistan Independence Day, we invited viewers to watch Majeed's short film "Trans-Pakistan Zindabad (Long Live Trans-Pakistan)."
This video acts as a pseudo promotional video on behalf of my maternal uncle's former failed tourism company, "Trans-Pakistan." Using the lens of emerging digital technologies, gentrification in South Asia, and digital kitsch, the animation traces the contradictions and aspirations of South Asian diasporic nostalgia in the urban landscape and 'homeland.'
In the exhibition Trans-Pakistan Zindabad (Facts about the Earth), Umber Majeed instills her own form of immersivity—her plethora of research materials envelops visitors. Atlases in Urdu, children’s books, real estate advertisements, and her uncle’s archives take the form of drawings, interactive web-based media, collage, and a vinyl mural. This installation is a sleek yet glitched and fractured rendering of a re-imagined Trans-Pakistan travel agency headquarters. Trans-Pakistan Zindabad (Facts about the Earth) infiltrates the façade of tourism and leisure. Majeed uses its specific visual language (in her words, “South Asian digital kitsch”) to chart the residues and impact of technocratic regimes on the formation of national identities, urban planning, and the problematic centrality of the West.