Reflections on Karachi_Past Present and Future

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Negotiating Media Cultures

Presentation Title:

  • Reflections on Karachi_Past Present and Future

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • Presented as artists submissions for the Unesco Digiarts Award 2007 and Web Biennial 2007 (to hear piece with sound please visit link in internet explorer).

    The concept for this project was for our group to come up with a digital piece on “art, ecology and the politics of change” using computers, digital cameras and sound design. I conceived the whole 5 weeks that we would have to work on the project as a constant give and take between myself and the other students, collaboration with positive results, respect for each other even if ideas and values were different and a final piece of work that truly has impact and is new. Not only have the other young artists learnt from me during this time but I have learnt a lot about a generation that has seen much more violence and blatant disrespect of the other in close surroundings and on media. I had to play the part of editor as there was so much material that we came up with that it was impossible to include everything but the attempt has been not to exclude anyone and show each persons style and message in the context of one piece about the city of Karachi, Pakistan.

    These days the city of Karachi is receiving a lot of funding from the government to give it a facelift, but a lot of core issues have been ignored like adequate water, sanitation, pedestrian crossings and project planning. In a city of over 20 million people this means a lot of serious suffering. In addition to this Karachi is often targeted by unknown bombers and the sounds of explosions and sirens are always taken with a sigh of yet another tragedy. How do young people growing up in this kind of environment react when they are asked to represent their city first in words then in images and sounds? How do I work as a mentor using online portals, blogging and emails, to be always accessible to my students and providing them with a challenging and educational workshop?

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