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Where the Shadows are so Deep

11 Mar

Its a good day to have your article be the cover slideshow on an E-magazine!

Here’s a link to my review of Where The Shadows are so Deep, Imran Qureshi’s first major body of work in London, commissioned by the Barbican Centre.

“Not to say that the paintings in Where the Shadows Are so Deep are not beautiful – they most certainly are – but there is a fluidity in every piece that transcends the genre; executed in a language that has more in common with drawing than with the traditional technique of miniature painting.” – See more at:

Never Green.

23 May

I have just unearthed a new Phenomenon. World Pressure. Its akin to Peer pressure only much much more grand.

Its very seldom that we take out time to think about culture as it develops around us. Unfortunate as it we are all sheep; some slow sheep – because they take their time to follow popular trends (mostly because they need more confirmation) – and some  fast sheep, these are real quick in picking up on new behavior patterns and advancements like the World Wide Web.

The fact is that we are all now connected in through the world wide web. And the latest FaceBook fiasco only further re-inforces this fact. Something that occurs in New York and Texas becomes my invisible reality. Regardless of the reasons for quitting facebook, how many of us can actually do it? After a number of heated debates with freinds and family I realised that it is impossible to do something as drastic as quiting facebook. I say Drastic because its really no big deal, I mean we are doing just fine without it for days now, and grew up just fine before it was invented but perhaps because of world pressure its unimaginable to do something of the sort now.

My own excuse for not quitting is that its regressive to do something of the sort in this Age of Communication! but is that really it? If I were to be honest its because everyone is there, how can I not be? Yes I admit, to some extent I am also a sheep. And this despite the fact that I don’t even get much time for checking my page regularly let alone indulge in virtual harvest on some virtual farm?, I am not addicted, in fact, if I can manage it, I like to take ‘Days off’ thats when I try to get away with not checking my email!! with my self as an example i have proved a large number of us being Sheep.

Along with being a sheep, I am also technically ignorant. Up until recently i couldn’t determine the difference between the finder and terminal of my computer. This ignorance perhaps is what makes me believe that websites like FB leave us super vulnerable.  After all everything is now virtual. anyone can google me, and read this blog, all you have to do is search my five letter name on Twitter and determine exactly what i am thinking when, find any one of my friends on facebook and figure out where i was last night and the activities I have planned for the next three months. Do I really want to be that exposed? And that to, to anyone, anywhere! I am in Pakistan, but this person could be sitting in Timbaktu for all I know and stalking me  -this is my own doing of course, I am not blaming the creep in Timbaktu- I know there are privacy settings, but not only are their people more technically sound than me out there, there are ALWAYS loopholes.

I feel naked all of a sudden, and yet here I sit, updating my blog…’Sheep’ i think to myself and press ‘publish’.

The Birth of Pakistan- khayal Khana

18 Apr

Off to China town

16 Apr

I just happened to turn the tv on and catch the latest in chinese music videos on some random channel; I don’t remember the last time I was this disturbed. Or unsettled. I am not certain of the emotion just yet.

Anyways, moving towards why I was disturbed and what the videos represented; it was an appalling mixture of Pussy cat dolls, Rihanna and Beyonce, and thats ok since I quite like Rihanna, but in this video nothing fit. America has a history of  immigration which has given rise to various sub-cultures, youth cultures etc. Just the immitation of these by chinese girls , maybe women, God knows, they all look so freakishly child-like, was …. unsettling. It wasn’t just the imitation that seemed misplaced, and I don’t know much about chinese culture, but i doubt ghetto New york surfaces anywhere in China. and perhaps it wasn’t so much the imitation, i mean we live i a global world and every body has access to everything, and the grass is definitely greener on the other side, but those crass dance moves by those ultra small chinese girls who look like they should be in the seventh grade was enough to scandalize me.

Anyways, this made me think, if we were doing the same, i mean it’s no secret that we have our fair share of wannabes. Example no. 1: who can forget Princess Annie and that big guy, with lots of chains around his neck, rapping to her songs. Gag.

And then there is the new breed, Nida Arab or something.. though she isn’t as embarassing as Princess Annie..

I suppose we all have our share of wannabes, I mean take some of Sadia Imam’s Tv Drama’s into consideration. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD stop copying Indian soaps. The ironic part is, the Indian soaps she copies are an illusion. Its what most of india wants to be. The representation in those soaps is an aspiration and not a reality!

…. Whats to be done? sit and crib in your blog post, best thing ever…

SCUM Revisited.

10 Apr

Here is an excerpt from the SCUM (Society for Cutting Up Men) Manifesto by Valerie Solanas.

I get a real kick out of it every time i read it!

Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex.

It is now possible to reproduce without the aid of males(or, for that matter, females) and to produce only females. We must begin immediately to do so. Retaining the mail has not even the dubious purpose of reproduction. The male is a biological accident: the Y (male) gene is an incomplete X (female) gene, that is, it has an incomplete set of chromosomes. In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage. To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples.

Being an incomplete female, the male spends his life attempting to complete himself, to become female. He attempts to do this by constantly seeking out, fraternizing with and trying to live through an fuse with the female, and by claiming as his own all female characteristics — emotional strength and independence, forcefulness, dynamism, decisiveness, coolness, objectivity, assertiveness, courage, integrity, vitality, intensity, depth of character, grooviness, etc — and projecting onto women all male traits — vanity, frivolity, triviality, weakness, etc. It should be said, though, that the male has one glaring area of superiority over the female — public relations. (He has done a brilliant job of convincing millions of women that men are women and women are men). The male claim that females find fulfillment through motherhood and sexuality reflects what males think they’d find fulfilling if they were female.

Men are responsible for:

War: The male’s normal compensation for not being female, namely, getting his Big Gun off, is grossly inadequate, as he can get it off only a very limited number of times; so he gets it off on a really massive scale, and proves to the entire world that he’s a `Man’. Since he has no compassion or ability to empathize or identify, proving his manhood is worth an endless amount of mutilation and suffering and an endless number of lives, including his own — his own life being worthless, he would rather go out in a blaze of glory than to plod grimly on for fifty more years.

Prejudice (racial, ethnic, religious, etc): The male needs scapegoats onto whom he can project his failings and inadequacies and upon whom he can vent his frustration at not being female. And the vicarious discriminations have the practical advantage of substantially increasing the pussy pool available to the men on top.

Great Art’ and `Culture’: The male `artist’ attempts to solve his dilemma of not being able to live, of not being female, by constructing a highly artificial world in which the male is heroized, that is, displays female traits, and the female is reduced to highly limited, insipid subordinate roles, that is, to being male.

Ugliness: Being totally sexual, incapable of cerebral or aesthetic responses, totally materialistic and greedy, the male, besides inflicting on the world `Great Art’, has decorated his unlandscaped cities with ugly buildings (both inside and out), ugly decors, billboards, highways, cars, garbage trucks, and, most notably, his own putrid self.

Eventually the natural course of events, of social evolution, will lead to total female control of the world and, subsequently, to the cessation of the production of males and, ultimately, to the cessation of the production of females.

But SCUM is impatient; SCUM is not consoled by the thought that future generations will thrive; SCUM wants to grab some thrilling living for itself. And, if a large majority of women were SCUM, they could acquire complete control of this country within a few weeks simply by withdrawing from the labor force, thereby paralyzing the entire nation. Additional measures, any one of which would be sufficient to completely disrupt the economy and everything else, would be for women to declare themselves off the money system, stop buying, just loot and simply refuse to obey all laws they don’t care to obey. The police force, National Guard, Army, Navy and Marines combined couldn’t squelch a rebellion of over half the population, particularly when it’s made up of people they are utterly helpless without….

I am Informing myself with what the city has to offer. Lets start at Home!

9 Apr

Globalization/Glocalization has opened up one too many avenues of information. And for a person like me, who lives to absorb information, (i feel so greedy sometimes) I feel like I don’t have enough time to keep up with all the learning!!

What to do?!

Anyways, heres one group making good use of the baggage of technology and exposure that globalization comes with.

here’s an excerpt from the interview.. very inspiring!

“I was talking about how media art is not going to evolve in Pakistan in the same way that it does in the West…

…what we realised was that in the future we need some kind of institute, or an infrastructure from where media art discussions are going to take place; where there can be dialogue. In Pakistan we’ve had years of censorship – particularly in the eighties – pages were literally ripped out of history books. So for my generation, now in their late 30’s, there’s a blank. We don’t have a history. Yet all of a sudden with the internet coming in, there’s so much information and what’s happening is it’s all getting mixed up: past, present, everything. “

It seems like it wasn’t so easy for Atteqa to set up an Institute.. (I wish I could deny this truth about Pakistan)

“But I found that the problem with setting up an institute in this country is that you need support. If you get government support and the government changes, then that’s the end of your institute. If you have a space and you don’t have the funds to run it then all the time you’re just worrying about funds. So we decided as Mauj that we would be fluid. We would use all the empty spaces that are in this city for our meeting spots. So sometimes we meet in cafes, sometimes in the park, other times we meet at someone’s house. It works for us. That was the whole idea: to make it a grassroots yet sustainable collective that’s low profile and so ends up achieving much more.”

Following is one of their most interesting projects..

“…the collaboration with students in Denmark..”

We’ve been holding a workshop in a high school in Karachi, where we’re teaching the students how to use cameras and video-cameras – introducing them to media art theory, music festivals, etc. Part of this was a Skype exchange with a group of high school students in Denmark in three sessions. We introduced ourselves and told each other what we thought of the other person’s country. It was interesting because neither group knew much about the other person’s country, except for this Danish cartoon incident. So that came up. They had just been seeing a lot of bad coverage of Pakistan on their TV. The second step was based on the Skype conversation we had, each student decided to show a certain part of their city in a certain way. They either photographed it, they created a montage, or they collected images and texts. Then we created a blog where we put up all the student’s work. The Danish students also put up their work. We saw the blogs and for the third session we commented and had discussions as to “what is this?”, “why is this man standing like this?!” The Danish students were very interested to see women fully covered walking across the school courtyard, for example. Afterwards the Danish students wrote a little bit, because it was their English class. They were amazed that our students could speak English so fluently! The English teacher asked me for some names of Pakistani books that she could look at putting into the school curriculum. So I think overall it was a great success and it broke a lot of stereotypes.”

Exciting! and so much of what they do is so similar to the khayal Khana Agenda; oane day very soon InshaAllah, Khayal Khana will do what it initially intended to…

Truck Love!

9 Apr

Truck Love

I find this composition unique and the subject matter nostalgic.

Despite living in the midst of the Karachi city,  I miss out on such aesthetic details of life here, maybe because  it forms part of my ‘mundane’, or perhaps i don’t engage enough with my city.

This Image, caught by Gemma’s camera is a source of immense inspiration for me.