Singapore, 2015 | Jeremy Ho
On an internship in Karachi, Taahira, a student from Singapore, found herself with experiences that many would not typically associate with Pakistan, including underground indie rock concerts and alfresco BBQ nights.
She shared her experiences with three friends back in Singapore — Jeremy, Jemimah and Andre — who noticed that their friend’s experiences departed from the typical way that Pakistan was depicted in international news headlines.
The four friends, all students, left for Lahore to learn whether there might be another side to Pakistan.
The result is Lahore Landing, An Interactive Documentary, which explores the lives and aspirations of a new generation of Pakistanis. It questions the information asymmetry between those inside or outside Pakistan. Conceived as a thesis project at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, Lahore Landing has been exhibited in prestigious documentary festivals including IDFA.
Interactions with Pakistanis served as an interface for the young Singaporeans into new realms of insights, which are in turn made available to web users through the documentary’s web interface — “a simulacra of our learning process,” as they describe it.
Divided into chapters, users navigate through both joyous and tragic events by learning how Lahoris describe them. Scrolling across images reveals a multitude of stories, embedded between traces of former empires — Mughal, Sikh, British — modern life from Shalimar Gardens to Badshabi Mosque to prestigious Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and progressive National College of Arts.
Lahore’s five million residents infuse their city with a contagious “zinda dilli” (zest for life) despite what hardships befall them. The final segment is where Pakistanis can post what makes Pakistan home and why they stay.
Jeremy Ho is a documentary filmmaker and graduate from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He recently co-founded a media company, Run & Gun Media. Lahore Landing is his first interactive documentary and final-year project for university.