Ryan participates in World Day Against the Death Penalty

October 10, 2018

I’m in Lahore working with Highlight Arts, Justice Project Pakistan & Olomopolo Media on this performance for World Day Against the Death Penalty.
No Time to Sleep will run from 8pm-8pm GMT 9-10 October, midnight – midnight local time in Lahore.

A 24-hour live performance will see renowned Pakistani actor, Sarmad Khoosat, become death row Prisoner Z as he prepares for his execution.

While the ropes are tested, and his lawyers file paperwork, Prisoner Z will pray, eat his last meal and say goodbye to his family.

Set inside a replica of a cell, this unique performance entitled No Time To Sleep has been informed by interviews with ex-prisoners, families of death row prisoners, executioners, lawyers and prison guards all of whom are affected by capital punishment.

No Time to Sleep is based on the experiences of prisoner Zulfiqar, who, in 2015, became the 103rd person to be executed since the death penalty was reinstated in Pakistan in 2014. In total, Zulfiqar spent 17 years on death row where his execution was scheduled and halted more than twenty times. During his incarceration, Zulfiqar helped educate over 400 fellow inmates and secured 33 diplomas himself.

The performance will run from 9th to 10th October, ending on World Day Against the Death Penalty. It will be streamed globally ( with rolling coverage at @z_prisoner posting the mercy petition, final warrants and news coverage.
Director – Kanwal Khoosat and has been Producer – Iram Sana
Dramaturgy – Deborah Pearson
Concept – Ryan Van Winkle

The twenty-four live performance starts at 2000hrs (BST) on 9th October and runs to 2000hrs (BST) on 10th October.

Ryan produces Intezaar / The Wait in Pakistan

April 3, 2017

I will be producing Intezaar The Wait in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Faisalabad from April 6-11, in association with Justice Project Pakistan, Ajoka Theatre Pakistan, Complicite Creative Learning and Highlight Arts.

It is an interactive theatre piece bringing you stories straight from Pakistan’s prisons in an honest, heartfelt account of real inmates on death row.

6 April — 17.00

FCC – Forman Christian College, Lahore

This event is not ticketed, but please RSVP by contacting us via the details on the poster. Your name can be registered with the college which is necessary for your entrance on campus.

10 April — 17.00

National College of Arts (NCA),  Rawalpindi

11 April — 18.30

Government College,Faisalabad

Details for 10 & 11 April coming soon. 

Glasgow to Lahore – New Poems in Translation with Highlight Arts

November 22, 2014

Delighted once again to be a part of Highlight Arts! We’re very excited to be working with four poets on a poetry translation project in Lahore, Pakistan together with Sang-e-Meel publishers and supported by British Council.

We are coordinating a week of poetry translation workshops with two poets based in Lahore, and two poets based in Glasgow. Following the workshops new poetry produced will be presented in the beautiful Al Hamra Hall, on the evening of Wednesday 26th November at 5.30pm

Afshan Sajjad is an educator and poet. She is currently the Head of the Urdu Department at Lahore American School, where she has been teaching High School students for the past eight years. She has widely published her poetry in Urdu magazines, and is the author of an Urdu poetry book by the name of ‘Jo Dil Pe Guzarti hai.’ She has also served as a judge of poetry recitation competitions, participated in various Mushaayeras and has written Urdu songs as well as scripts for some plays in school. She holds a masters degree in Urdu from Punjab University, Lahore.

Dr. Khalid Javaid Jan is a writer and documentary filmmaker who was born in Lahore. He is the author of 5 books of poetry and 15 books on medical and political subjects. He also writes a column on political and social issues in the largest Urdu-language newspaper — “Daily Jang”. His book “Main Baghi Hoon” was translated in India into Hindi, Punjabi and Manipuri Languages. A graduate of KhalidRawalpindi Medical College, with a degree in Law and a master degree in Political Science and Urdu Literature, he was a known student leader, political activist and poet. His poetry took a turn when the military dictator, Gen. Zia Ul Haq, imposed Martial Law in Pakistan in 1977.  At the time when Zia hanged the elected Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Dr. Jan wrote his best known poem –   “Main Baghi Hoon” (I am a rebel). This soon became a poem of resistance against oppression and social evils. As a result he was imprisoned and tortured by the military regime, with his arm and leg broken. This poem is still widely read among students, labourers and political activists.

JimJim Carruth was born in 1963 in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, and grew up on his family’s farm near Kilbarchan. He has had six well-received pamphlet collections of poetry since his first, Bovine Pastoral in 2004. He has won both the James McCash poetry competition and McLellan poetry prize and was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship in 2009. In 2005 he was one of the founder of St Mungo’s Mirrorball, the network of Glasgow poets which he chairs. He is also the current artistic adviser for Stanza – Scotland’s International Poetry festival. He has been involved in many poetry projects, including editing an anthology for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and having  his words etched in stone as part of Andy Scott’s Kelpies sculpture. He was appointed Glasgow Poet Laureate in July 2014 in succession to Liz Lochhead and Edwin Morgan. His most recent collection was Prodigal which was published by Mariscat in 2014.

KathrineKathrine Sowerby is a Glasgow based poet with a background in fine art. A graduate of Glasgow School of Art’s MFA programme and Glasgow University’s MLitt in Creative Writing, her poems and translations have most recently been published in Gutter, Northwords Now, New Writing Scotland, Poetry Salzburg Review, Aesthetica,Yonder Awa, A Bird is not a Stone and online at Anomalous Press and her book length poem ‘Unnecessarily Emphatic’ was transcribed for theatre and performed in New York. She has been a runner up in the Edwin Morgan and the Wigtown Poetry Competitions and received a 2012/13 New Writers Award from the Scottish Book Trust. Kathrine co-runs tell it slant, Glasgow’s poetry bookshop, and curates and makes fourfold, a pocket-sized publication.

In addition to the poetry translation event we will be taking part in the following events in Lahore:

Nov 21st

The Last Word, in collaboration with the British Council, is proud to present “Poems in a time of Conflict: A collection of short poetry films from Syria, Iraq and Lebanon“.

The event will feature screenings of short films from Highlight Arts featuring contemporary poets from Syria, Iraq & Lebanon. These films, by award-winning Scottish-Iranian director Roxana Vilk, showcase the resilience, humour and talent of poets working in regions of conflict and provided the inspiration for Al Jazeera’s acclaimed ‘Poetry of Protest’ series. Highlight Arts organise festivals, events and workshops to uncover stories about people and places affected by conflict. They have collaborated with artists from Syria, Lebanon, Iraq & Afghanistan in order to present a different perspective on those countries and cultures beyond the common coverage of them in traditional media. Tonight there will be a showcase of short films featuring poets from Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, followed by a discussion and Q & A with Highlight Arts coordinators Ryan Van Winkle and Dan Gorman.

Venue: The Last Word, Lahore

Nov 25th

Highlighting Different Perspectives: Art & Culture in Regions of Conflict

Highlight Arts organise festivals, events and workshops to uncover stories about people and places affected by conflict. Since 2007 they have collaborated with artists from Syria, Lebanon, Iraq & Afghanistan in order to present a different perspective on those countries and cultures beyond the common coverage of them in traditional media. They cross borders to challenge stereo-types, encourage dialogue, facilitate empathy and understanding which can be shared and felt by audiences around the world. In this conversation Highlight Arts organisers Ryan Van Winkle and Dan Gorman will discuss our work with artists from around the globe.

Venue: Punjab University, Lahore