In today’s world, the idea of ‘public space’ extends beyond the physical realm – it is flexible and expansive. Apart from the actual places and spaces in a city, the ‘space’ of the television or the radio is also a powerful ‘public space’, and can easily aid in the dispersal of ideas and information. With this in mind, the second artSPEAK format was unconventional: a live radio show on Mast FM 103, a leading radio channel in Pakistan that reaches out to four cities – Faisalabad, Karachi, Lahore and Multan.
On Afzal Saahir’s show Mauj Mela/ Naal Sajjan de Rahiye, the panel discussion with Ahmad Shafique (CEO of College of Tourism and Hotel Management), Bilal Sami, Nadia Jamil (Curator of the Lahore Eat Festival) and Javed Fazal-e-Haq (Owner of Fazal-e-Haq Restaurant, lauded for its Phajje de Paaye) revolved around the culture of food and its various facets in Lahore. The conversation covered their diverse experiences within the gastronomical realm, and the concept of food was scrutinized through various lenses: culture, business, the olfactory senses, texture and taste, history, gender, the culinary arts, tradition, and also the month of Ramzaan.