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Workshops & seminars

The Complex in Action

Understanding the nexus between military, cultural production and museums

Date & time
Thursday, March 7, 2024
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Registration is closed


This event is free



J.W. McConnell Building
1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.

Wheel chair accessible


The colonial master never died – he just donned a khakhi uniform! To understand Pakistan, one must understand the Pakistan Military. Museums, then, provide us the perfect vantage point where the military patrons’ ideologies, beliefs and views are on public display. These museums are read as sites of modernist-cultural production whose goal is to respond to a moment of crisis, while simultaneously be weaponized against an ‘other’, who the Military has vowed to protect.

In this talk, Varda Nisar walks us through her three case studies and how they each have something to tell us about the military-educational-cultural complex that has come to define Pakistan.

This talk is part of the Southern Asia Studies Series, which will have programming through 2023-2024.

How can you participate? Join us in person or online by registering for the Zoom Meeting or watching live on YouTube.

Have questions? Send them to

About the Speaker

Varda Nisar

Varda Nisar (she/her) is a mother, daughter, sister, and a human. She is also a part-time faculty member, a doctoral candidate in Concordia’s Department of Art History in the Faculty of Fine Arts and a Public Scholar (2022-23). She has been actively involved in centring art education and community outreach in her former role as the founder of a children’s art festival in Karachi and later as the head of educational programming for the Karachi Biennale.

While in Montreal, she has consistently tried to foreground the work of artists from Pakistan and South Asia. In 2021, she organized and convened a speaker series titled (Art+Micro)History: Contemporary Artistic Voices from the South, which drew attention to the specific concerns and artistic modes of resistance in Pakistan. In March 2022 –as part of her Public Scholar fellowship, she organized and moderated the discussion, The Logic of Postcolonial Museums: South Asia Edition, with four speakers representing the diversity of thoughts and concerns of South Asian museums. She also developed a conceptual, critical space titled The Concise Museum, which critiqued the ways the nation-state of Pakistan maintains a colonial gaze toward its citizens.

This event is sponsored by the Department of Religions and Cultures 

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