Press ReleaseThree-day second International Karachi Conference to kick off on November 21
Karachi, November 9, 2014: The second international Karachi Conference, organized by the Karachi Conference Foundation, is going to be held on November 21, 22 and 23, 2014 at the Pakistan Arts Council, Karachi. The three-day conference, this year, is being organized in support of I am Karachi, a city-wide peace campaign by civil society organizations and individuals as a response to on-going violence and instability in the city.
The three-day conference aims to celebrate Karachi’s cultural mosaic and to establish a growing critical discourse on the processes of the city’s historic evolution and its impact on Pakistan’s development and culture. The conference will start daily at 9:30 AM and continue till 6 in evening.
The aim of the I am Karachi campaign is to promote peace in Karachi through a wide-range of activities and initiatives for the city and its people. In this spirit, this year, the Karachi Conference Foundation has decided to support I am Karachi through this year’s Karachi Conference.
Karachi is the largest city in Pakistan and one of the largest in the world, with a population of over 20 million, and growing. Sprawling and diverse today, Karachi began as a small fortified trading post in 1729. As such, the city is relatively young, but the region into which the small trading post expanded has a rich heritage, with archaeological remains stretching back to the Neolithic period. In addition, the metropolitan area of the city contains Sufi shrines dating back to the 9th century, ancient Hindu temples, Jewish graveyards, Christian churches of the colonial period, as well as historic buildings and parks associated with the struggle against colonialism and Pakistan’s post-independence history.
The recent decades of Pakistan’s history have been a time of undocumented social upheaval, unacknowledged by the dominant discourse, which is almost exclusively focused on the geo-political. There is a new Pakistan in existence: it needs to be given voice. Karachi as a microcosm of Pakistan is perhaps the most important laboratory for the study of the socio-economic and cultural changes that are taking place within the country.
In addition to dealing with the above issues, the conference will bring together papers on the subjects of History, Intangible Cultures, Agency of Women in Karachi, Urbanism, Demographics, Citizenship and Conflict, by prominent international and national speakers.
This year, the Karachi Conference will also be launching its First Film Festival on November 23, 2014 at the Arts Council Pakistan, Karachi. The Film Festival seeks to spotlight exciting new film talent, and is dedicated to discovering and promoting the very best of Karachi cinema. It will enable local audiences to engage with a dynamic program of narrative and documentary work revolving around themes of Karachi.
The Karachi Conference Foundation has been established by a group of professionals, scholars and activists from Karachi. In 2011, they came together to constitute the executive committee of the Karachi Conference Foundation. In November 2013, they held the first Karachi Conference at the Arts Council Pakistan, Karachi, a very successful event that generated important critical dialogue about Karachi. The members of the foundation have been engaged in undertaking and disseminating research on the archaeology, history, culture, built environment, socioeconomic & socio-political conditions of this city. Members include well-known scholars and writers such as Arif Hasan, Dr. Asma Ibrahim, Dr. Kaleemullah Lashari and Rumana Husain.
The Karachi Conference is sponsored by Arts Council Pakistan Karachi, American Institute of Pakistan Studies, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, International Data Group & Macworld and Avari Hotels.