Roshan Ara Bokhari has been part of the Pakistani dance scene from its inception; she has witnessed the highest and lowest points of the industry through out her career. Roshan Ara Bokhari; a renowned dance choreographer and an accomplished dancer, she was born in Aligarh in 1934. She has served 47 years in the field of dancing and choreography since 1965-2012. She has been a member of the Pakistan Cultural Delegation that went to China as one of the lead dancers in 1965.
In Ayub Khan’s regime this troupe made many international goodwill visits, one of which was at the commonwealth institute in London where the first national company of Pakistani dancer and musicians made a bow before the Queen and before President Ayub Khan. Roshan Ara has performed in many countries along with her troupe and has choreographed several thematic dances and field shows as well for the SAF games in 1988 and 2005.Pakistan International Airline (PIA) was the official patron for the Pakistan Cultural Delegation.
The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP) had the privilege to interview Roshan Ara Bokhari in 2015. CAP is a non-profit organization dedicated to cultural and historic preservation operating in Karachi and Lahore. We seek to educate the community, foster an awareness of our nation’s history, and instil pride in Pakistani citizens about their heritage. CAP has focused its attention on the tradition of oral storytelling in Pakistan, emphasizing the importance of such narratives in a dialogue on national identity. Our organization has three main goals: to preserve and provide access to the archive, to build and support educational programmes, and to develop educational products based on the testimonies collected.
The Oral History Project (OHP) lies at the heart of CAP. The OHP records
recollections of the early days of Pakistan to provide an alternative perspective
to official narratives found in historical literature. The stories emerging from
the project, the secrets captured in old photographs, and the personal
experiences of our nation’s varied people provide inspiration for our
exhibitions and events. The project also aims to archive and preserve various
records such as letters, newspapers, refugee cards, official correspondences,
and passports. Since its inception, CAP has digitised more than 97,000
photographs from private and public collections, and has collected over 2,200
oral histories. Our archive offers one of the most unique selections of
photography and the only collection of oral histories in Pakistan.
All images donated by Roshan Ara Bokhari and courtesy of the Citizens Archive of Pakistan