A study of visual culture on gravestone in the graveyards of Lahore

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Alia Hadi Ali

Abstract

Passing by the roads of Lahore, one may witness reckless urban development near graveyards. These graveyards are self-introductory structures and are segregated from the rest by the abodes of the living. The study is about the inscriptions on gravestones in the graveyards of Lahore. The city of Lahore is a historical city with its history narrated through its architecture. One of the key constructions are the cenotaphs of royals; some of them are surrounded by gardens and others with beautifully manifested buildings addressing the time and glory of the past. This study investigates the visual hierarchy of the inscriptions on graves in these graveyards through market trends and techniques followed by their makers and visitors. Graveyards of Lahore, in particular, have a unique consumer culture based on the expressive nature of the people of this city. The techniques, materials and styles of construction of these graves make them more or less similar in their size, appearance and visual effect. Due to these similarities, they don’t captivate the human mind as all graveyards of Lahore are similar in their aesthetics, structure and design. This study explores the peculiar nature of these graveyards revealed by analyzing the gravestones placed almost on all the graves from various aspects. There are few researches available in which the inscriptions on gravestones have been addressed as social proclamations. These proclamations, data collection and visual surveys suggested a shift from just documentation to analytical study. Visual documentation of gravestones allows them to be considered as archives which hold a permanent record of the deceased, including their name, alias, age, gender, profession, religion, sect, final words, etc. It also covers the cultural standing of the deceased person through pated images which act as a visual directory of our social norms and beliefs. Grounded theory is applied and convenience and purposive sampling techniques are used to collect data for proper analysis. 

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How to Cite
Alia Hadi Ali. (2019). A study of visual culture on gravestone in the graveyards of Lahore. Journal of Art, Architecture and Built Environment (JAABE), 2(1), 69-96. https://doi.org/10.32350/jaabe.21.05

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