This July, Karachi saw a heartening continuation of the city wide public art movement, as citizens and artists united to reclaim walls that are covered with distasteful slogans and images in the Cantonment Railway Station area, a symbol of the proud history this city is steeped in.
Last year, I AM KARACHI reclaimed over 1600 walls successfully, creating an accessible, open-air gallery that stands as a testament to the willingness of the inhabitants of the city to come together and take ownership.
For context,I AM KARACHI WALLS OF PEACE is a public art movement, aimed at reclaiming the streets of Karachi by removing negative graffitifrom the walls and converting them into unique displays of art with messages of hope, pride and diversity.
The idea behind this initiative was to replace sectarian, religious, and political slogans with hand painted images that depicted positivity and a sense of pride and ownership in Karachites.
I AM KARACHI succeeded in bringingcitizens and artists together again,in collaboration with celebrated author and illustrator of children’s books Rumana Husain, who is championing the initiative with I AM KARACHI.
Within a month and a half, artists and citizens alike have risen to the occasion and reclaimed 16, 8X10 walls in the Cantonment Area alone, epitomizing the sense of pride and responsibility this movement represents.
I AM KARACHI is an idea that was given shape in 2014 to address the plethora of issues facing the people of this cityby advocatingthe use of arts, culture, sports and dialogue as means to instill the locals with a sense of pride and ownership in the city.
The Walls of Peace initiative will be executed in collaboration with the Vasl Artists Collective and supported by Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture.