Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Who’s KarachiWala?

May 14th 2010, Multi/Interdisciplinary Research Interest Group at AKU-IED hosted a session by Ms. Rumana Hussain which happens to be her birthday as well. The discussion was based on a brief overview and her experiences of writing her book ‘KarachiWala: a sub-continent within a city’. The book celebrates the diversity of the city ranging from ethnicity, religion and occupation; and equally a test of how much familiar are you with your chosen city, at least for me.

Related news stories and reviews: Karachi Metblogs, Dawn Blog, Daily Times

The book captivates the spirit of change by which Karachi breathes. The writer humbly stated that she is neither a sociologist nor an anthropologist but it is only her interest in people and the city which drove the project. The most difficult process was the making contacts and accessibility of people and the most rewarding were the interesting stories that came from the elderly and low-income groups, not due to their misery but of cultural richness. The 330 pages covering various stories accompanied by hundreds of photographs is a testimony of the time and amount of hard work that have gone into this piece of art.

Some interesting features about the book that caught my attention are,
• the inclusion of traditional and progressive families of same ethnicities;
• a contrast in urban landscape with respect to socio-economic groups;
• inclusion of few legends, festivals and customs;
• maps that trace various movements (an amusing example would be route of a person on his cycle for selling fish, population growth or anagrams of ‘what we are and what we speak’ ),
• inclusion of street children, jogis(nomads) and pathans living in deras
• assimilation of intra-diversity in specific religions (I didn’t knew that we have Tamil Christian families in our city though have see people of Goan origin very often but I still thought that the Christian population only comprised of Punjabi converts).

A very relevant question was posed about the sense of belonging with the city because there is a constant influx of migrants who are living in this geography but would choose their villages over Karachi. Does Karachi really belong to someone when most of its dwellers are migrants having multiple-identities? This was very-well reflected by the speaker that whoever lives here and gives back to the city has a claim over city. We all are Karachiwalas at the end of the day.

In my personal opinion, the book can serve as a role-model for issues related to pluralism. It radiates humanistic approach and is sensitive yet non-judgmental in its advocacy. Whenever we talk about diversity of our country in main-stream circles, we always limit our talks to provincial diversities and thus raise voices of different claims and rights of these provinces but what we need to embrace is that we are much more than provinces and each minority needs to be given the due its deserves, most importantly the respect.

The book can be ordered from

Ps: I saw her during an interesting show on state of literature and reading habits in The First Blast on DawnNews channel where she also talked briefly about the book but thanks to AKU-IED, it was an interesting experience to not only know more about the book but also the experiences of the author during the process of documenting it.

International Children Day

20th November is celebrated as International Children Day. Some of the stuff relating to Karachi on this day.

1. To celebrate this Unicorn Gallery has organized an exhibition on 20 and 21 November featuring photographs taken around Karachi by Street kids. Kids have taken photos for the first time, trained under Arif Mehmood. Timings of the gallery are 11 am – 8 pm. Reasonably priced, beautiful photos. Proceeds go directly to the kids.

For more: and

2. Some of my independent work regarding children photography in the form of slideshow: Fairies and Angels

3. The Nation Story

From Father To Son at KOEL

dsc_9988It is always a delight to see young people coming out show there talent, specially in art with  strong and mature expressions and this exhibition titled From Father To Son is one such unique exhibition which exhibits incredibly stunning art work by a father, Tariq Alexander Qaiser an architect by profession and a photographer by passion and his fifteen year old son,  Kayhan Feroze Qaiser side by side. 

Remarkably the fifteen year old contributor’s work is so is so strong and well balanced that one really cant imagine that this photographer would be so young until one meets Kayhan in person.



of feathers and stones

one op

Do visit and encourage these young photographers and their art about Karachi.

PCK Exhibit ’09

Photography Exhibitions are thankfully increasing in Karachi with advent of digital cameras as good amount of people who have taken it as a serious hobby. In some way these photographs are documenting Karachi’s vibe, sights and people.

One such exhibition this week is being organized by Photo Club of Karachi at Alliance Francaise. The exhibition will feature above 200 photographs of 30 amateur artists selected by professionals. Hope this one brings us some aesthetic pleasure.


Photography Exhibition: Urban Changes

Date: June 4, 2008 at 6pm (The exhibition will continue till 18th June)

All interested people are cordially invited.

Location: Goethe-Institut Pakistan, 2, Brunton Road, Civil Lines, Karachi. [Tel: (+92-21) 566 1633-6]

Goethe-Institut / Max Müller Bhavan Mumbai organized a photography workshop with a special focus to capture and present images of India through the lenses of well-known young photographers from the South Asian region.

The workshop was conducted by the Berlin-based photographer Andrea Kuenzig. This exhibition comprises images created by participants during this workshop. Two of these participants, Sohail Abdullah from Karachi and Clare Arni from Bangalore will be present to talk about their work.

The topic “Urban Changes” has a large canvas and as such the approaches of photographic aploration are manifold. In their endeavour to present their perception of “Urban Changes” the photographers got an opportunity to identify their individual forté in this field and develop his / her own stylistic approach in photography. They primarily focused on the development of urban and rural structures in the era of globalization, using photography as an art form and also a medium for juxtaposition.

For further information about this program, contact the Programme Coordinator Ms. Mona Mala or visit their website.

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