7:35 pm Closing Ceremony The 5th Karachi Literature Festival draws to a close after three days of discussions, readings, debates and book launches.
"Tomorrow the tents and chairs (spread across the venue of the festival) will be removed but I believe the ideas, arguments and views shared at the KLF will remain and generate a wave of fresh ideas and discussions," said Ameena Saiyid, one of the directors of KLF.
On the close connection between literature and society, Saiyid said: "Ideas matter, books matter and above all readers matter."
According to estimates around 70,000 people attended the KLF this year compared to the 50,000 last year.
Appreciating the large crowds and participants of the festival, investment banker for a private bank sponsoring the event, Aman Aziz Siddiqui, said: "Performing artists perform best when they have an appreciative audience."
One of the keynote speakers for the closing ceremony, writer Kamila Shamsie, spoke on the importance of translation of books while appreciating local readership.
"While I sell more books in England, it is true that if I sell 10,000 books there, perhaps 10 people will come and talk to me about it but if I sell just 10 books here, 12 people will talk to me about it," she said.
The second keynote speaker for the ceremony Raza Ali Abidi thanked Saiyid and co-director of KLF Asif Farrukhi for their efforts and encouraged the new trend of literature that started through the festival.
"What is particularly heartwarming is the attendance of young children holding their parents’ hands and enjoying the various aspects of the festival. This is indicative of the fact that whether or not we are always around, the festival will continue," Abidi concluded. – Text by Mahnoor Sherazee
7:20 pm Closing Ceremony
6:15 pm The Political Pen: Art of the Political Cartoon One of the very last sessions of the KLF was The Political Pen: Art of the Political Cartoon, moderated by Niilofur Farrukh. Its speakers were artists Khuda Bux Abro and Fauzia Minallah.
After brief introductions by Farrukh, Abro started the conversation with a brief outline of career that had started from his hometown of Hyderabad. In Lahore, while studying at NCA, he made cartoons for magazines Viewpoint and Dhanak. He also talked about his involvement in political movements. His time at NCA coincided with Ziaul Haq’s era, the emergence of Women’s Action Forum (WAF), and the movement within the NCA for converting the diploma to a college degree.
The conversation moved to Minallah, who considers herself a nomad in the field of art. In response to a question by the moderator, she then talked a bit about her time spent drawing political cartoons in the editorial section of the newspapers.
In response to the same question, Abro spoke about how he found it easier because he spent much of his career making political cartoons with his likeminded editors for Dawn and its affliated magazines.
He further said that the advent of social media and blogging websites like Flickr has immensely helped to increase the outreach of political cartoons and other artworks to the wider public, both locally and internationally.
Minallah agreed to some extent with her fellow panelist and further emphasised the great help social media has given to artists, cartoonists, and other creative professionals. She added that she enjoys deflating inflated egos of the famous people in her cartoons.
Abro, in response to a question regarding his choice of mediums, said that he uses any medium he wants to use, and believes it to be pertinent towards the main theme of the cartoon. This has allowed him to develop his own style in cartoons and other illustrations.
Afterwards, a presentation of Abro’s works was shown, followed by an animated video by Minallah. The audience enjoyed the two immensely, laughing and applauding at the hidden jokes in Abro’s illustrations and cartoons, as well as at Minallah’s cartoons.
She later shared a film she made about the Election 2013 called Election Diary that was full of numerous images that evoked many memories of the past eventful year, and of the years before last.
The session ended with a lively Q&A session and a resounding applause by the audience for the session moderator and the two immensely talented, observant, and prolific panelists of the session.
Thus, the sessions of KLF’s last day come to a close.