Salima Hashmi

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Salima Hashmi
سلیمہ ہاشمی
Madam Salima Hashmi
Born 1942
New Delhi, British India
Residence Lahore, Punjab province
Citizenship Pakistan
Fields Painting and art
Institutions Beaconhouse National University (BNU)
Government College University, Lahore
Alma mater National College of Arts (NCA)
Bath Academy of Art (BAA)
Rhode Island School of Design
Known for Nuclear disarmament
Notable awards Pride of Performance Award in 1999[1]

Salima Hashmi (Urdu: سلیمہ ہاشمی‎) (born 1942) is a Pakistani artist,[2] cultural writer, painter,[3][4] and an anti-nuclear weapon activist. She has served for four years as professor and the head of the National College of Arts.[5] She is the eldest daughter of the poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz and the British-born Alys Faiz.[1][6]

She represents the first generation of modern artists in Pakistan who carry an artistic identity different from indigenous artists. She is known for condemning the Pakistan and India's nuclear programs, she is among one of the few Pakistani intellectuals who condemned the nuclear tests by India and Pakistan in 1998.[1] She has received the Pride of Performance Award in 1999 for her services to the nation.[1]

Personal life[edit]


Hashmi was born to Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Alys Faiz in 1942 in New Delhi, India. She has one younger sister, Moneeza. She is a maternal cousin of Salman Taseer, the former Governor of Punjab, Pakistan. She migrated with her family to Lahore during the partition of India in 1947. She grew up in Lahore. After studying design at Lahore's National College of Arts (NCA), she moved to England in the early 1960s. She studied at the Bath Academy of Art in Corsham. She received graduate diploma in art education in 1965.[7] She also studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, US.[8] She married Shoaib Hashmi. The couple has son Yasser Hashmi who studied at McGill University Canada. Shoaib Hashmi, her husband, retired from a teaching position at Government College University, Lahore, and was also a popular co-star with her in comedy television shows in the early 1970s.



She has served as Dean of the School of Visual Arts & Design at the Beaconhouse National University Lahore, Pakistan.[9][10] Hashmi was also professor and the head of the National College of Arts.[5] She is famous for her quick wit and ability to read and analyse artwork with effortless ease. She is a respected patron of young artists known to have the capacity to make or break a career. Formerly known as "Art-Shart", Rohtas-2 is the gallery set up by Hashmi at her house in Lahore Model Town. In recent years she has been working on developing closer links with India and working towards a unity group. Hashmi is a member of Amnesty International, and Pakistan Peace Initiative to India after 2009 Mumbai Attack. She is also vice-chair person (Punjab) Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.[2]


Hashmi is one of the most well-known artists of Pakistan. Besides being an accomplished painter, she taught at Pakistan's prestigious National College of Arts (NCA) for about thirty years and served as the principal of NCA for four years.[8] In 1999, she received Pakistan's Pride of Performance award. She also presents her own art gallery featuring works of young artists.[8] She has exhibited her works,[2] and she has travelled all over the world. She has organised several international art shows in England, Europe, US, Australia, Japan and India.[2] Hashmi is also a member of The President's Award for Pride of Performance, Pakistan.[8][11]

Political views[edit]

Hashmi comes from a socially and politically active family. Her father was the legendary Pakistani poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, and her mother, the British-born Alys Faiz was a journalist and peace activist in Pakistan. One of two daughters, Hashmi was always active in the arts, performing in plays before taking on painting professionally.[1][6]

Hashmi was about eight years old when Faiz Ahmed Faiz was imprisoned for his political views.[6] She remembers visiting him in jail. Later, during the repressive years of General Zia-ul-Haq rule, Hashmi's father had to go into self-exile as a result of the harassment he faced by Zia's government. Therefore, Salima grew up in a politically charged atmosphere. Painting became her outlet.[1][12]



Hashmi also authored a critically lauded book titled "Unveiling the Visible: Lives and Works of Women Artists of Pakistan" in 2001. In 2006, Hashmi co-authored a book with Indian art historian Yashodhara Dalmia titled 'Memory, Metaphor, Mutations: Contemporary Art of India and Pakistan', published by Oxford University Press. Her latest work, a series of illustrations to accompany English translations of her father's poetry by her husband Shoaib Hashmi, is in process of publication.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g, Profile of Salima Hashmi on Jazbah Magazine, Retrieved 3 June 2016
  2. ^ a b c d e "Peace Museum receives painting from renowned artist Salima Hashmi". The Peace Museum.Org. 27 June 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  3. ^ "Herald Exclusive: Ayesha Jatoi interviews Salima Hashmi". Daily Dawn. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  4. ^ "Poetics of painting". The News International. 21 February 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  5. ^ a b "Salima Hashmi to select works for Asian exhibition". Daily Times. 14 July 2004. Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  6. ^ a b c "Salima Hashmi". Blue Chip Magazine. Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  7. ^ "Paradise Found & Lost by Salima Hashmi". Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Prof. Salima Hashmi – SAF Chairperson – Pakistan". South Asia Foundation.Org. Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  9. ^ "Hanging Fire Contemporary Art from Pakistan". Yale University Press. Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  10. ^ "Message from the SVAD Dean". Beaconhouse National University. Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  11. ^ "Pakistani Poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz's daughter – Salima Hashmi in India". Reliance Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  12. ^ "Alys and Faiz". Times of India. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-22. 

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