A Make-Over for Karachi!

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Once you arrive in Karachi, the walls around you will be painted and chalked with graffiti and quotes in the local language, KalaKari. The street walls of Karachi serve as a sales and promotion channel, where you can advertise whatever your heart desires. Unfortunately, amongst the unique wall art, offensive comments and political opinions about the Awami invitations to soyems and dharnas taint the image of the city.

There has been a paradigm shift as the students of the Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture (IVS) along with I AM KARACHI, started a movement to repaint and eradicate the derogatory and unethical material from the city walls. . I AM KARACHI is a citywide campaign initiated by Munawar Ali Syed, with 15 artists and designers. They worked diligently under the scorching sun, scraping scaly paint and kalakari off the walls. IVS students are working under the supervision of Adeela Suleman (Head of the Fine Arts Department). Students have chosen to capitalize on their creativity and have selected paintbrushes as their weapon.

 

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Apart from the university students, school children have also volunteered to take part in this project. The program titled “Bachon se tabdili” have beautified around 25 walls in Shirin Jinnah Colony and Lyari and helped in painting some walls at MT Khan Road. University students have aimed to target about 1500 walls of the city. Their beautiful art work can be viewed near Hassan Square, Civic Centre, Saddar, Shahrah-e-Quaideen, MT Khan road, the Airport and Kala Pul. This campaign has successfully decorated 1000 walls, with only 500 left!

 

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Another project named the “Individual Artists Project” focuses mainly on revamping the walls on MT Khan Road and the areas surrounding the Airport.  To our surprise, the students did not have to interact with any extremists, and this project was embraced rather than being shunned. Occasionally, people have yelled at the artists while others gaze silently in awe. However, it has been observed that people do appreciate them, since the walls have remained in a spotless and immaculate condition.

People often assume that Karachi is a garbage dump, however the youth have compiled their efforts to help change this point of view. The atmosphere of Karachi has been transformed completely, becoming a more colourful place to live in. We salute the youth for infusing the city with art and culture, proving that we are an educated and civilized nation. With the continuous progression of this movement, we can proudly say, Tabdeeli aa nahi rahi Tabdeeli aa gai hai!

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1 Comment

  1. Sarah

    July 2, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Respect… Keep going 🙂

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