|The title page of one of the books.—White Star|
KARACHI: Two books titled Reimagining Karachi — Perspectives and Reimagining Karachi — Memories on the different historic facets of the city was launched at a hotel on Monday evening at an event organised by SEED Ventures and the I Am Karachi campaign.
Introducing the books, SEED Ventures’ Sadaf Mahmood said they were in English because the publishers had a certain target audience in mind. They were about the Karachi which lived in all of us, she remarked. Speaking on the writers and photographers’ contributions to the two volumes, she said they were not veteran pen-pushers; a lot of them were amateur writers and photographers. All of the contributions came as a response to a call for submissions through various forums, she informed the audience who had not turned up in a big number. She claimed that as a result of the submission call, enthusiasts sent them hundreds of photographs.
Ms Mahmood said a great deal of effort had gone into the books just as efforts were made in constructing works of architectural heritage. On the essays included in the volumes, she said they were simple musings and perspectives, hence the title of the books ‘Perspectives’ and ‘Memories’. She said they might not be a phenomenal addition to the already hefty body of work on Karachi as they had imperfections, but they were about “you and I and how we see Karachi”.
Wajiha Naqvi spelled out the objectives of the I Am Karachi initiative and pointed out that the objective of the reimagining Karachi project was to see a tolerant, peaceful city.
One of the contributing writers to the books, Ali Habib, read out his essay on the occasion. He argued that history to him was his personal history — the forgotten aromas and geographical locales. He talked about the images that evoked the glamour of Karachi in the 1950s and ‘60s, and said “what happened to trams?” He said in San Francisco they still treasured their trams. “I would like to reimagine Karachi with trams on Bundar Road,” he added.
Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2015