Thinking with Unfinished Buildings: Between Construction & Ruination in Lahore by Chris Moffat


This presentation navigates a construction site that has remained in progress for nearly thirty years. Even today, the Bab-e-Pakistan memorial complex on Lahore’s Walton Road remains skeletal, unfinished, with building work repeatedly by disappearing funds and the inconstant enthusiasm of the powerful. Charting the history of the project, the lecture will open a discussion around the idea of Pakistan and the pursuit of a monumental architecture in this context, reflecting on questions of failure, the broken promises of construction, the easy transformation of building work into ruins, and the possibilities to be found in rubble and debris.

Dr. Chris Moffat is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of History, Queen Mary University of London. In 2019, he was a Visiting Faculty member at Government College University, Lahore. Chris is the author of India’s Revolutionary Inheritance: Politics and the Promise of Bhagat Singh (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Location: Gurmani Center of Literature and Languages, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)

Date: February 3, 2020