Going "Beyond Walls"

To commemorate International Migrants Day an art group called the "Tentative Collective" organised a "social action" where they invited people to come and sit on a public wall for one hour "to acknowledge the divisions between communities in Karachi and to suggest that these divisions are artificial."

The resulting group of 30 to 40 people that assembled on Sunday December 19, included artists, activists, and people from diverse socio-economic classes. They had been instructed to dress in white and collect outside Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Park (at Boat Basin).

At about five o'clock they walked down the outside of the park and sat on one of the walls facing the road. During the hour they chatted, waved, and invited passers by to join them.

"This social action has been organised in response to the ethnic violence and instability in Karachi, a city of diverse migrant communities. A city that has unfortunately become a city of walls, hedges and barbed wire. Free public space has become gated, walled, priced and policed. Homes have become little fortresses. Could we suggest that these boundaries are arbitrary?"

"Beyond Walls" was the first organised by the freshly formed collective, and was coordinated by Yaminay Nasir, Rasheed Khan and Mohammad Saddique Khan, along with the help of volunteers, photographers and other supporters who helped in arranging and coordinating the event. - Text and Photos by Nadir Siddiqui/Dawn.com


Comments (10) Closed

yaminay nasir chaudh Dec 21, 2011 01:18am
Hey, please note the names of the rest of the people involved in the core team of this Tentative Collective project: Babar Shaikh, Usman Maklani, Shalalae Jamil, Aarij Hashimi, Huria Munir, and Noman Quadri.
jalaluddin S. Hussai Dec 21, 2011 05:27am
I am overjoyed to see your group's organized activism. Keep it up! Best wishes from Brossard, Quebec, Canada.
amna Dec 21, 2011 10:12am
Dear Tentative Team this is a lovely idea at a time when we get news of voilence from all sides every day. You all are luking lovely. Thank u for spreading some positive message in the society. May Allah bless u all.
MBN Dec 21, 2011 01:14pm
Social actions are catalysts for reactions already occurring within a society. Our society has no such reactions simmering to the hate and violence around us, save in a small percentage of the people. The vast majority is simply being pushed deeper down the path of intolerance and anger and hatred as they don't know any other alternative, owing to word not reaching them and their awareness not being even mildly stimulated in this regard. While this social action should be commended, it cannot be expected to have any lasting effect on the vast majority that actually needs to have their perceptions realigned, of whom 99% probably are illiterate and unaware of the world apart from what they've been spoon-fed by their so called community, social, political and religious leaders.
Sumera Dec 22, 2011 02:16am
Great spirit of activism! Congratulations! From Boston, USA
Sherghazi Dec 22, 2011 10:46am
A city of lighting's turn into city of walls, Very sad but i m glad during reading this story , Hatts off for the thinkers of such positive move. God Bless You all for thinking in right directions.
A. Siddiqui Dec 22, 2011 09:23pm
Good spirit. Such ideas can be seen only in Karachi. We are only city in the country who had mayor who is not from city of Karachi. Irrespect of political association, this city gave the slogan of 98% people's govt. Now occupy wall street is following same. together we people can do lot if our leader realized that.
Tariq Mahmood Dec 22, 2011 09:50pm
Its pathetic, twenty people converging together in a city inhabited by millions and still managed to make it to 'reputable' Dawn newspaper. A bit of nepotism in action here maybe?
fareed Dec 23, 2011 11:31am
I think it was a good sprit for the people who migrated to Karachi and made their new home.But I didnt like the idea climbing on the wall shows image of vendalism -these beautifull walls are for separating public park from busy road.We do not incourage people to sit or do chalking on properties.We have alraedy have done enough damaged to this beautiful city.Apart from that it was good work -keep it up.
MAHMOOD MALIK Aug 10, 2012 03:46pm
very good keep it up. we need more people with this spirit to bring back peace to our beautiful city and makes it city of lights and peace again