Ajay Bhardwaj – Surrey Muse

Watching Anand Patwardhan’s documentaries
in the 1980’s and 90’s, I nurtured a desire to be
a documentary filmmaker. However, it was only after
working with the mainstream television in Delhi
for almost a decade that I could finally step into
the world of documentary filmmaking in 1997.

Ajay Bhardwaj is a South Asian filmmaker, a UBC Public Scholar, and an arts activist who has made films in Punjabi, Hindi and English. He has produced a dozen documentaries exploring different aspects of equality in South Asia. His Hindi film, A Minute of Silence, is a ‘guerilla’ documentary on the martyrdom of Chandrashekhar Prasad (a former President of the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s student union) that highlighted some of the basic fault-lines of Indian politics and society. Ajay’s next project was a decade long engagement with the state of the Punjab interrogating all its mainstream narratives of culture, politics, history and identity; the result was a set of three documentaries, now called the Punjab Triology. His interest in politics and the arts found expression in an early engagement with the agit-prop theatre— a street theatre, in Delhi. At this time, Ajay is a PhD candidate at the UBC’s department of Asian Studies.

Visit Ajay’s web page
Contact Ajay

At the July 28 gathering of Surrey Muse, Ajay will be our Featured Performer and he will present clips from his Punjab Trilogy of documentaries ‘to mark the 70th anniversary of Partition’ (of India in 1947). More about the event is here: july-28-gathering-of-surrey-muse

Surrey Muse gatherings take place
on the unceded territories of the
Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

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Shahid Mirza – Painter/Media Producer

Shahid Mirza
Video documentation: Visual culture of Sufi shrines (2012-to date); Collection of popular posters of fairs and festivals (2013-to date)

Audio recordings: 30 CD set of traditional renderings of epic Punjabi poem Heer Ranjha; 60 CD set of live concert recordings of contemporary classical music of Pakistan

Organized: More than 100 vocal and instrumental classical music concerts with local and visiting musicians from India, Germany, Austria, UK, France & USA


o Drawings/Paintings, The Drawing Room, Lahore, Pakistan 2012
o Drawings/prints, Hunerkada gallery Islamabad, Pakistan 1994
o Wood-cut prints, Shakir Ali Museum, Lahore 1992


o Zahoor-Ul-Akhlaq gallery, NCA, Lahore 2011
o Lahore Chitrkar gallery, Lahore (2001, 2004, 2006) 2009
o Rock Gardens, Chandigarh, India 2007
o The CPI(M) head-office, Delhi, India 2007
o Private showing, drawings/paintings, Lahore 1998


o Stage plays, Lahore Grammar school, Lahore 2011-2012
o ‘Puran Bhagat’, Theatre production by Roshni Village: school for special children, 2010
o ‘Dukhini’, the first joint Pakistan-Bangladesh production, Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Dhaka, Chittagong 2007
o ‘Bala King’, adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s ‘The resistible Rise of Arturo Ui’, Goethe Center & Ajoka Theatre, Lahore 1998
o Installation, the Black History Month, New York 1990
o Haitian Dance Festival, New York 1988


o Paradise & Crispin restaurant, Lahore 2004-2005
o Atithi, Kababish & Chatkhara restaurants, New York, USA 1987-1991
o Art director, Wings Communications, Karachi, Pakistan 1985-1986
o Studio Incharge, Hawk Advertising, PAF, Lahore 1984-1985
o Art designer, Khyber Horse Film Company, Pakistan office, UK 1984
o Assistant Art Director, MNJ Advertising, Karachi 1983
o Art Director/Studio Incharge, Omen Communications, 1980-1982


o Visiting Faculty, Lahore School of Economics (LSE). Visual communication, design fundamentals, Drawing & Painting studio, Lahore 2012–2015
o Senior Painting & Drawing instructor, Lahore Chitrkar. Figure drawing from life, still life oil painting, wood-cut/Lino-cut printmaking, Lahore 2001–2011
o Instructor, Hunerkada Academy for Visual & Performing Arts. Design studio & art theory, Islamabad 1992-1993


o Advance techniques in print making, School of Visual Arts (SVA), New York 1990
o Portrait & figure painting, SVA, New York 1989
o NDD, Major: Graphic Design & Advertising, National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore 1981


Art by Shahid Mirza
Features on the
May 2017 poster
of Surrey Muse

This particular painting was chosen
by Art director Mariam Zohra
from the following four paintings





Art Director was captured by #2 because, she says:
obvious choice;
incredible figure/being at centre;
shocking burgundy red in a green frame, the white eyes
A striking image, indeed.
Thank you, Shahid Mirza, for letting us feature it on Surrey Muse poster.

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