Mowlana Hazar Imam calls for a more informed perception of other nations' cultures as an effective gateway to better understanding.
The Zamana Gallery, a 550 square meter exhibition area located in the Ismaili Center, London, was officially opened on June 25th by the Rt. Hon. The Earl of Gowrie, Minister for the Arts, in the presence of Mowlana Hazar Imam.
Although housed in the architecturally acclaimed Ismaili Center, the gallery is an independent entity with its own entrance on Cromwell Road. The Zamana Gallery is the first exhibition venue in London dedicated to the display of the art and cultures of the Third World. A bookshop with a wide stock of material on the literature, art and architecture of the Third World is sited at the entrance to the gallery area, which occupies almost exactly one third of the Ismaili Center.
Mowlana Hazar Imam, at the Opening of the Zamana Gallery, called for "a more informed perception of other nations' cultures as one of the most effective gateways to better international relationships, because it can illuminate the whole ethos in which people are educated and spend their lives". Hazar Imam and Begum Saheba were in the United Kingdom for the Opening of the Gallery by the British Minister for the Arts, the Right Hon; The Earl of Gowrie.
In his opening remarks, Lord Gowrie said "The Zamana Gallery will make a very important contribution to the British art scene by being an exponent of the arts and architecture and the culture of the Muslim world with it's special emphasis on Islamic traditions. All vigorous and lively cultures are great borrowers and I hope that we shall be too, in terms of the inspirations that we find here".
Referring to the need for a more informed perception Mowlana Hazar Imam said "such mutual understanding is relatively good among western nations. It is perhaps weakest between them and the developing countries which are all too often reported here in terms of either political upheaval or natural disaster".
Explaining the meaning of the word "Zamana" Hazar Imam said "In a number of Islamic languages, the word Zamana' means both the age' or the epoch.' It thus reflects the reasons for my founding this Gallery - to try to improve understanding in the West for the art and culture of the Third world and to do this, not simply in terms of historical achievements, but in the present day context of their evolution.
The Zamana Gallery opened to the public on June 26th with an exhibition entitled "Contemporary Houses, Traditional Values", a study of an important architectural trend in three North African countries, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco.
The first Exhibition ended on September 2, 1985.
Source: American Ismaili
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