Karachi Diary

Sometimes I am so hell-bent on my own agenda that I completely miss the things that surround me.

We arrived in Karachi less than12 hours ago and went straight into organisation mode.  Phone calls, meetings to set up, rushed smiles and Salams.  Wrapped in head-scarves, my film-making travelling companion and I dashed an hour across town and we found ourselves talking to Fine Art and Film students at Karachi University before I realised I hadn’t had a nights sleep.  My urgency seemed to take them by surprise.  Although the Karachi streets are a busy throng, there is still something calmer, and more laid back that my own rush-hour approach.  Friendships nurtured.  Something a tutor said to me last week clicked into place.  Why don’t I slow down, take things in a little, reflect and allow things to wash over me.  Obsessed with “doing” I can become blinkered and entirely miss the point or what it means to be an artist (to look).

So yes, I will still quietly seek the matching participants for my Cambridge Karachi Portrait – but if  I don’t find them, I can be assured that I have already met a number of remarkable people – who might not “fit the mould” but have just as much to say in a gesture.  Some initial reflections:

The airport: Big family welcomes and laughter.  Gifts of flowers, garlands, petals on the floor.  An old man delighted with a reunion.

Taking a photo of Ameena’s henna’d hands

A pretty shy girl shows me pieces for her final year art show.  Spikes on a baby’s bottle, lipstick and cigarettes.

That film-star look, with native American tattoos amidst a sea of chattering students.

Just glimpses.

So even if the plan seems utterly enthralling, perhaps a more genuine and gentle means of engaging with the world around me needs to happen.  Ironic perhaps that unravelling the agenda hell-bent-ness of the media is a preoccupation.

Tomorrow photos, only photos.

 

Advertisements

2 responses to “Karachi Diary

  1. Its a good trick to be able to still see yourself in the new world you’ve stepped into, despite senses being pummelled. More please.

  2. Pingback: A Better Basra | 4Nomadic

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s