Back to
Columns Magazine
An Overseas Accomplishment

As the Pakistani performers traversed the stage with sweeping motions last fall, UW Bothell associate professor Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren looked on as more than just an audience member: She was creator and co-director of the production, as well as the first American cultural envoy to Pakistan in 30 years.

Sponsored by a partnership between the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Consulate in Karachi and Faisal Malik of Pakistan’s Thespianz Theater, Kochhar-Lindgren spent 11 days in Karachi last October, demonstrating the essential role the arts play in cultural diplomacy. Along with leading theater workshops and cultural discussions, Kochhar-Lindgren wrote and helped choreograph Water Calligraphy, a play focused on Pakistan’s water crisis, to illustrate how artistic performances can address social issues.

“What we got done in six days was pretty amazing,” notes Kochhar-Lindgren, who teaches within the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program. “It was a very nice moment for the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan.”

And by bringing a positive touch of American culture to Pakistan, Kochhar-Lindgren hopes her stay will encourage friendly exchanges in the future.

“Sharing culture is a way to build bridges,” she says. “I felt very honored, but know now there’s more that needs to be done.”—LH

What Do You Think?

Use the form below to comment on this story. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Personal attacks, insults, profanity, solicitations and spam are prohibited. The UW Alumni Association reserves the right to remove comments. For more information, please read our comment FAQ.