Convicts' catharsis

Nusrat Mangan (Present IG Prisons) believed that colours could harness the untamed characters in prison and started a ‘Fine Arts School’ in the central jail of Karachi in 2007.

Since its inception, numerous renowned artists have been visiting the school to contribute and share their knowledge with the inmates.

Sikandar Jogi, a resident of a village situated near historical Mohenjo Daro, Larkana, was hired as a full time teacher and has taught over 500 prisoners since the school's foundation.

“I was in need of a job and Nusrat Mangan was looking for an art teacher to teach the prisoners. Initially, I got terrified when I entered and saw prisoners with big beards and moustaches, but when one of those prisoners recited a couplet from Faiz’s poetry; I realized they were normal, (essentially) innocent and good people.”

In 2009, Mangan organized the first exposition in the history of Pakistan of the work done by prisoners in jail.

At that time, the French Council General Pierre Seillan readily bought a painting and hung it in his office throughout his tenure in Karachi. He noticed that only a handful of people visited the exhibition in prison due to security threats.

Seillan then offered to hold a two-day display at Alliance Francaise which proved to be successful and was followed by many other exhibitions at prestigious galleries.

Presently, various released students have pursued careers as artists. In fact, one student named Imran, who was accused of murder and spent seven years in jail, studied art for two years and was later granted a scholarship by an art institute in the UK on the basis of the métier he had learnt in jail.

The exhibition will run until March 28, 2013 at Alliance Francaise, Karachi, with the artists' works on sale at affordable prices. All proceeds from sales will go to the incarcerated artists. — Photos and Text by Shameen Khan/Dawn.com

A painting by Sikandar Ali.
A painting by Sikandar Ali.
'Hope', 'Music and 'Untitled' by Kazim Raza - Imprisoned for the last nine years, Convicted under section 6/9-C (Drugs)
Syed Jawad Ali Shirazi
Syed Jawad Ali Shirazi 'Changing Times'
'Al Usra - Family' by Syed Jawad Ali Shirazi
Works by senior students of the Karachi central prison
Works by senior students of the Karachi central prison
'Untitled' by Syed Jawad Ali Shirazi
'Untitled' by Syed Jawad Ali Shirazi
A painting by Zia Niazi.
A painting by Zia Niazi.
'Untitled' artwork by Faraz Ahmed, released artist
'Untited' by Badshah Khan
A painting by Sikandar Ali.
A painting by Sikandar Ali.
'Target Killing' by Sikander Ali
'Sometimes this way; Sometimes that way' by Syed Jawad Ali Shirazi.
'Fear' By Fazal Rehman Yousufzai, imprisoned under section 365-A (Kidnapping) and under trial under section 302 (Murder)
'Shehnai' by Ghulam Mustafa and 'Untitled' by Fazal Raheem Yousufzai. Ghulam Mustafa is imprisoned for the last seven years convicted under section 6/9 (Drugs)
'Lady' by Fazal Raheem Yousufzai.
'Hope' by Abdul Aziz Bugti, imrisoned for the last eight years convicted under section 4/5 (Terrorism/Bomb explosion)
'Untitled by Samar Abbas, imprisoned for the last four years convicted under section 302 (Murder)
(L-R)
(L-R) 'Lady of the mountain' by Fazal Raheem Yousufzai, 'Karo Kari' by Syed Jawad Ali Shirazi and 'Untitled' by Zia Niazi
Works by senior students of the Karachi central prison
Works by senior students of the Karachi central prison
Works by senior students of the Karachi central prison
Works by senior students of the Karachi central prison
'Mental Development' by Hanain Raza, imprisoned for the last four years, convicted under section 365/302/34 (Kidnapping for ransom and murder).
'Goddess pf peace' by Fazal Raheem Yousufzai
Works by senior students of the Karachi central prison
Works by senior students of the Karachi central prison
Works by senior students of the Karachi central prison
Works by senior students of the Karachi central prison
Works by senior students of the Karachi central prison
Works by senior students of the Karachi central prison
Works by senior students of the Karachi central prison
Works by senior students of the Karachi central prison
Works by senior students of the Karachi central prison
Works by senior students of the Karachi central prison

Comments (1) Closed




Xulf
Mar 23, 2013 02:02am
Speechless!! Amazing work by the people running the sordid jail... What talent.!