On January 25th 2020, Lahore—Pakistan’s self proclaimed ‘cultural capital’—launched its second art biennale in multiple venues throughout this historic city, from 16th century forts and bath houses to contemporary museums and public parks. The theme this year: Between the Sun and the Moon is an ode to Muslim sciences that once thrived here, in particular, astrology a celebrated aspect of Islamic civilization, looking towards the stars in search of answers.
What about the earth? What knowledge can be found looking down at the shifting sands of time? “Ibn-e-Khaldun – a renowned Muslim scholar – wrote about this craft as one belonging to the common person, as well as prophets and sages. When tools were not available to track the stars, people made shapes in the sand as a form of divination”, Shirin Fahimi, a Toronto based artist and researcher tells me during a recent Skype interview. She is speaking of the art of Geomancy, known in Arabic as Ilm-a-Rumal translated literally as Knowledge of the Sand. “It is the craft of precarious city dwellers”, she adds recounting her time browsing through Tehran’s bookstores, markets and multiple shrines, wherever this lost science might still be practiced. >>Read More at: