KARACHI: ‘The Narrative: Karachi Calling’, an event organized by IBA University’s Literary Society, was aimed at depicting the positive and rather illuminated side of Karachi— once called city of lights— through documentaries, short-films screening, art gallery, photography exhibition and other packages.
The event incorporated features from different journalists and social activists alongside the representatives of various universities -- Indus Valley School (IVS), Visual Studies department of Karachi University and Institute of Business Management (IoBM/CBM).
It was designed to bring forward the stories of the city that normally do not get presented, either because of a lack of public access to them or because they are never thought of as being presentable.
Experts from a variety of fields — journalists, cartoonists, writers, documentary producers, researchers, photographers, and inquisitive students — showed up with the purpose to showcase the angle of Karachi which shall emanate hope and light that have reportedly been stolen long back.
Talking to The News, Italian Consul General in Karachi, Dr. Gianluca Rubagotti, chief guest of the event, when asked about his remarks over such events and their importance in Karachi, replied, “We have always liked working with students, holding such awareness programs related to art and architecture here”.
Answering to a question that whether it was justifiable for Karachiites to ignore Art and Social Capital given they are deprived of very basic rights and are in deplorable financial crisis, Dr Gianluca responded with concern, “This is a long debate but suffice to say that the very people who had actually produced the art in question were in worse financial crisis than people today”. He added “Isolating art is not the answer to crisis, if anything, it will further damage the society and its people while this historic city will lose its identity and eminence”.
Mr. Akhter Balouch, a researcher and a writer at English daily, presented his research piece on how Karachi was remarkably better 60 years back than it is now saying, “Jews inhibited the area and used to have, only, synagogue— later turned into a shopping plaza— around what is now called Quaid-e-Azam house and a Jew, Moses Somake, was the architect of that Quaid-e-Azam house.”
He maintained “Abraham Chowk became Cheel Chowk and what is now famous as Araam Bagh was originally Ram Bagh.”
Baloch lamented that the fire of extremism engulfed many positive perspectives of Karachi and the art and artistic values it used to accommodate were now deteriorating.
Salman Elahi— represented Pakistan Blind cricket team, who had won the world cup, have done double masters and is currently enrolled in PhD. in Sociology department at Karachi University— also honored the conference speaking about how the people, labeled as disabled like himself, could achieve so much if they believed and were inspired to.
He unapologetically shared his own experience and that how he was enlightened with the analogy that even women had been disabled until the movement of feminism was introduced to the world and then they brought about unheard of changes in the world and therefore same can be the case with blinds and the likes. He shared that Allah only made masterpieces that he was perfect in his own way.
The event also housed an art gallery that exhibited art work produced by students of aforementioned art faculties.