Over the Summer Semester, the Dean of the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS), Dr. Asif Farrukhi, has been inviting Habib University Sophomores as Guest Teachers in his HU Splash class of Urdu Zaban-o-Adab. Two HU students, Asad Aly and Iqran Rasheed, have been given the lucky chance to teach alongside Dr. Farrukhi, and to exhibit their exceptional talents. These classes are not only enlightening for the incoming HU Lions attending SPLASH sessions, but also shows them how the sophomores’ time at Habib has helped in honing their talents.
HU Pioneer Asad was invited to Dr. Farrukhi’s class to present his project, ‘It’s actually a very sound city’, which takes a concentrated look at ‘soundscaping’. In his second semester, Asad presented his project in the student-run ‘Mulaqat’ session, where students, staff and faculty members are invited to showcase their work to the rest of the student body.
The idea behind the project was to create a hyper-reality composed by image, sound and memory, to initiate a dialog about language and use soundscaping as a medium to create an ethnological record of languages spoken in Karachi, with special focus on the languages spoken in South Asia which have become extinct or endangered due to lack of documentation. Since there has never been any active work on preserving these lost languages, we no longer know what they might have sounded like, and this is where Asad and his concept of using soundscaping to preserve language comes in.
Along with Dr. Farrukhi, Asad planned his class to help the HU Trailblazers ‘see through their ears’. He explained the concept of the language of thought, and how it shapes spoken language. Exclusive soundscapes recorded at different places in Karachi were played to illustrate how greatly language and communication differs according to area.
The Trailblazers showed their thorough understanding of the concept in the work they produced later in the class. Two groups were formed and asked to explore various HU Spaces to create a combination of soundscape and landscape, and invent their own hyper reality using only sound, image and memory.
Asad hopes that through soundscaping, he will be able to construct an ethnological archive of our regional languages along with other students.
Iqran Rasheed, HU Pioneer and student of Communication Studies and Design (CSD), joined the HU SPLASH class for a discussion about his journey to Habib University, and the importance of language and its significance in projects assigned to students of CSD.
Being an alumni of The Citizens Foundation, Iqran came to Habib through the Alumni Development Program, and is currently one of the Brand Ambassadors of TCF at Habib University. He also spoke to the students about Habib’s Liberal Core; how the information they are given broadens their perspective about many things which they have been taking as facts for centuries. Iqran and the students had a debate about the complex nature of the Core and how learning to unlearn things can be difficult, but is sometimes a necessary part of higher education.
Dr. Farrukhi and Iqran went on to show music videos composed by CSD students, to the Trailblazers, and discussed the serious subject matters of the videos, such as child labor, honor killings and female infanticide. The students held an informal question and answer session where they asked Iqran about the logistics and orchestration of film making. He told them the importance of audio in film making, and how language adds a new dimension to the otherwise empty videos.
Iqran’s video, ‘Love of Honor’, can be found here. Both students are currently HU Sophomores pursuing Communication Studies and Design, and hope to become professional designers and filmmakers in the near future.
This blog was written by Shayaan Malik, Communication Studies & Design (CSD), Class of 2019.
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