City of Lights, as seen by CAP

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The Citizens Archive of Pakistan is one of those interesting organizations based in Karachi whose aim is to preserve and promote the national heritage and generate an interest in the country’s national history. It has various programs which include preservation of classic photographs related to the Pakistani history during the independence era, Oral History Projects, mutual exchange of communication in the form of letters, and a photographic museum. Only recently CAP organized the Karachi-City of Lights Festival at Zamzama Park in Karachi which saw a unique amalgamation of theatrical performances, academic dialogue and artistic installations, all aimed at bringing Karachi’s history. The show has been a success with lots of interested people coming over all three days.

The first day featured a story telling session, with the cooperation of National Academy of Performing Arts. Followed by a beautiful Tabla and Sitaar performance by Yousuf Kerai and Shehroze Hussain, the final performance saw the Platoon perform an improvised, comical theater. The second day of the festival saw a panel discussion by notable artists and music composers of the country which focused on discussing cultural narratives along with a theater performance by Bicarbo and another by Spoken Stage. A story telling session was demonstrated the third day, with a musical performance by Spoken Stage, another performance by Zabardast and a panel discussion concerning Identity, Pride and Culture. Throughout the three days, certain art installations were set permanent by artists such as Tapu Javeri, Aziza Ahmed, Amean Jan, Marvi Mazhar, Khaula Jamil, Madiha Hasan, Mir Ali , Faiz Rahi, Warda Memon, Muzna Akber, Arusha Sidiqqui and CAP’s very own Oral history Multi-Media installments.

Re imagining Reality-Arusha Sidiqqui
CAP Mobile Museum

Re-Imagining Reality- Arusha Siddiqui
Re-Imagining Reality- Arusha Siddiqui

Platoon-Improvised Theatre in Action
Platoon-Improvised Theatre in Action

What’s most interesting is the fact that the three day festival has managed to capture the essence of the city with respect to its history, with communicative performances and a nice display of art installations. There is still much room for even more public interaction with such artistic items, as Karachi is brimming with contemporary art which showcases both skill with aesthetics and modern concepts. Certainly, the people will be looking forward to more events with The Citizens Archive in the future which will highlight more talent and history at a larger level.

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