Lahore-based tech, culture and art show draws savvy crowds

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The event brought together the worlds of fashion, art, food, tech and music. (Photo courtesy: Zainab Tariq/The Mix)
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(Photo courtesy: Zainab Tariq/The Mix)
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(Photo courtesy: Zainab Tariq/The Mix)
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(Photo courtesy: Zainab Tariq/The Mix)
Updated 15 November 2017
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Lahore-based tech, culture and art show draws savvy crowds

LAHORE: Inspired by the Texas-based South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, Pakistan was treated to its very own tech and culture event this past weekend.
Dubbed “The Mix,” the festival was held on Nov. 11 and 12 at the iconic Al-Hamra stadium in Lahore and was hosted by the Punjab IT Board (PITB). The event brought together the worlds of fashion, art, food, tech and music.
Arab News spoke to Zainab Tariq, one of the planners behind the event who, along with team mate Sarah Ansari, curated the event.
“The Mix was inspired by the famed South by Southwest (SXSW) festival that happens every year in Austin, Texas,” Tariq said. “It bridges gaps between technology, culture, food, music, theater, art — everything.”
“The chairman of the PITB, Umar Saif, met with the SXSW team earlier this year, after their meeting it was decided that for sure the concept should be launched in Lahore,” Tariq added.
The purpose of the event went further than an entertaining weekend, however. “The Mix was to actually showcase how, in Lahore specifically, technology is becoming a hub or an intervention to solve all problems, be it ride hailing, food delivery, music, health and even digital advertising.’
The events included hands on Virtual Reality demos, art exhibitions and talks from various industry leaders who are diving into the world of tech to facilitate their businesses or outreach. “The conversations and the participants were filtered through people who were working in these specific industries and those of them who are most technically able were brought on board.”
With foot traffic that brought in estimates of 2,000 to 3,000 people at any one time, showing the everyday technology user what they could be accomplishing was another goal. “Technology is evolving every industry and we wanted to showcase to the average man that they could use a smartphone for so much more than they do at the moment. (We hoped to) eradicate the hesitation they have for example in paying their bills through an app.”
“The partners that we locked down were instantly convinced to be involved… they invest so much in their technical and digital platforms and they don’t get the highlight that they should be getting. It’s their own hustle to get out there so to have a platform where they can stand alongside established brands like Careem, or TCS, Patari, Mango Baaz and Booking.pk is incredible,” Tariq added.
The festival itself was a reminder that Pakistan, like most of the world, is embracing technology. Whether it is launching your own business, catching a ride or finding information at the touch of a finger, businesses and culture will continue to be shaped by changing technologies.


Napoleon fever confirmed as hat sells for €350,000

Updated 19 min 56 sec ago
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Napoleon fever confirmed as hat sells for €350,000

  • The final price far exceeded the expected €30,000 to €40,000 for the distinctive “bicorne” hat, which Napoleon wore sideways — rather than with points at the front and back — so he could easily be spotted on the battlefield.
  • Auctioneer Etienne De Baecque: “There’s a sort of craze going on with historical souvenirs, in particular those from Napoleon.”

LYON: A two-cornered military dress hat thought to have belonged to Napoleon went for €350,000 ($406,000) at auction on Monday, the latest sale to highlight the boundless appetite for all things associated with the emperor.
The final price far exceeded the expected €30,000 to €40,000 for the distinctive “bicorne” hat, which Napoleon wore sideways — rather than with points at the front and back — so he could easily be spotted on the battlefield.
The identify of the buyer was not disclosed.
“There’s a sort of craze going on with historical souvenirs, in particular those from Napoleon,” Etienne De Baecque, the auctioneer leading the sale in the eastern city of Lyon, told AFP.
Yet despite details that suggest the hat is one of about 120 the “Little Corsican” went through during his 15 years in power, there is no conclusive proof it belonged to him.
Most of them were made by the French hatmakers Poupard in black felted beaver fur, though only a handful of confirmed examples still exist.
“There are some distinctive elements: Napoleon hated the internal band so he always had it removed,” as is the case with the model sold Monday, De Baecque said.
It has long been attributed to the emperor, with records confirming its ownership since a Dutch captain took it as a war trophy after the battle of Waterloo in 1815.
The auction house said the hat was sold with the box used for its display at the World Expo in Brussels in 1897.
It had passed down through the captain’s family until the end of the last century, when it was sold to a French collector.
Monday’s sale still fell short of the €1.9 million paid for a Napoleon bicorne four years ago — part of a prestigious collection auctioned off by Monaco’s royal family — to the owner of the South Korean food and agriculture giant Harim.
Demand for all things Napoleon has often sent prices spiralling well above estimates.
Last November a fragile gold laurel leaf from the crown made for Napoleon’s coronation in 1804, weighing just 10 grams, was sold for €625,000.