Hairless – Madyha Leghari – Pakistan

A fictional city grapples with an inexplicable, complete loss of hair. Posited both as an extension and the boundary of a body, hair occupies a liminal position between the animate and inanimate “dead” matter. Since the influence of evolutionary thought in the nineteenth century, comparative hairlessness in humans has been the subject of extensive cultural debate and resultant shift in its value. “Excessive” human hair is variously associated with sexual inversion, the primitive, the criminal, the pathological, the diseased, the beast or even the lunatic. The film satirizes these accounts by removing the supposed evolutionary obstacle posed by hair. However, the resultant world is that of tactile longing, sensory deprivation, and eco-anxiety.

Madyha J. Leghari (b. 1991) is a visual artist and writer based in Lahore. She pursued a BFA from the National College of Arts, Lahore (2013) and an MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (2018) on a Fulbright Scholarship. Her practice often revolves around the ‘silences created by the failures of language’. She has participated in a number of group shows in Pakistan and the US. Her first solo presentation, ‘Notes Towards Silence’ (2016) was held at Rohtas Gallery, Lahore. She has also been writing on art for a number of publications including ArtNow Pakistan and the Dawn Newspaper. She was the recipient of the Siena Art Institute Artist Residency 2020, Massachusetts College of Art Teaching Residency in 2020(upcoming), the Murree Museum residency in 2014 and is nominated for the AICAD Post-Graduate Teaching Fellowship 2020. She has been teaching at the National College of Arts, Lahore, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston and the Beaconhouse National University, Lahore.

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