Photographic timeline of city unveiled

January 30, 2019

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A man looks at the historic photographs displayed at the exhibition.—White Star
A man looks at the historic photographs displayed at the exhibition.—White Star

KARACHI: How has Karachi changed over the past few decades? To explore this transition, a photographic timeline of the city was unveiled on Tuesday, which is a creative piece of public art under the International Public Art Festival.

The timeline of Karachi, proudly displayed at the District Municipal Corporation East, behind Civic Centre, explores the urban landscape of Karachi which has evolved constantly. From Karachi in its formative years to a more recent representation, archival images have been used and beautifully displayed for the general public to access.

Amin Hashwani, president of IAmKarachi, which was responsible for unveiling the public art, spoke about the necessity of safeguarding the national identity of the country. According to him, there is a need for educating the future generations about our history and where we come from. The social, political and cultural context needs to be communicated to them.

The historic and contemporary images are contributed to the project by The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP). The project is a mutual collaboration of IAmKarachi, CAP, Fujifilm Pakistan, Marvi Mazhar and Associates, and DMC East.

Ambareen Thompson spoke about how IAmKarachi is involved in different projects in all districts of the city. The photographs that formed this timeline are unfortunately unavailable to the public therefore effort has been made to take them out of museums and private collections and make them accessible to the general public, she said.

Apart from black and white photographs of monuments, the wall also boasts of famous Pakistani individuals who collaborated and contributed in the areas of development, peace, nation-building, culture, art, sports and even entertainment. Famous quotations by Allama Iqbal and Mohammad Ali Jinnah have also been included.

Chairman DMC East Moeed Anwar said that the timeline of Karachi was a tribute to the people of the metropolis, encouraging them to take pride in and preserve public art within the city. Such projects connect the city and public art is now open to display for the general public, he said.

He also said that students from public and private schools would be regularly visiting the wall to witness how Karachi had changed over the years.

Published in Dawn, January 30th, 2019