Resilient Cities
S3 E5: Karachi - Creating Art Amid Terror

Karachi: Creating Art Amid Terror

Target killings, terrorist attacks and a skyrocketing crime rate: these are the words usually used to describe Pakistan’s megalopolis Karachi. And up until recently it was considered a lawless land, taken over by gangsters and terrorist groups like the Taliban who assassinated intellectuals and artists.

One of the most significant target killings was the assassination of Sabeen Mahmuud, a feminist and intellectual who founded T2F, one of the few spaces dedicated to creation in Karachi. The case of her assassination remains unsolved.

But two years later the Pakistani army is slowly regaining control of the situation and Karachi is living what can be considered a timid cultural renaissance.  T2F (The 2nd Floor) is at the forefront of this movement.

In this episode, we meet: Samya Arif, an illustrator who is carrying on Sabeen’s legacy; Sanki King, a self-taught street artist fearlessly working at night; Sharlene Bamboat, a Pakistani-­Canadian video and performance artist who keeps coming back in search of memories; and Lyari Underground (L.U.G.) an underground rap crew addressing the social struggles of Lyari, the infamous slum of Karachi. These artists remain defiant in the face of a growing and dangerous fundamentalism taking root in their city.

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