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Showing posts from October, 2011

VIEW: Year of The Faiz

By Afrah Jamal

Published in Daily Times / Saturday, October 29, 2011

“For the saddest epitaph which can be carved in memory of a vanished freedom is that it was lost because its possessors failed to stretch forth a saving hand while there was still time” — George Sutherland.

A bit of art to rebuild an ancient potter’s village, a sampling of prose to challenge the established order, a simple vision used as ballast to steady a foundering ship — when all three intersect, the ripples can create an alternate timeline. Setting aside 2011 as the year of Faiz has opened a doorway of possibilities.

Several months ago an open call was issued to interpret Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poetry through visual art. A specially designed A4-sized paper was the chosen medium of expression. This ambitious project was part of the ongoing centennial celebrations to honour a legendary poet. A few weeks ago that vision took the form of ‘Postcards to Faiz’ and was unveiled at Frere Hall, Karachi — a city where he spent man…

A Book, a Social Networking site & 2 Photographers

Thanks to Tapu Javeri for the Twitter Invite.

BOOK REVIEW: Dou Rukh / By Arif Mahmood &Tapu Javeri
Published in Daily Times / October 15, 2011
Reviewed by: Afrah Jamal


Two of the people in the room strive for the same, elusive goal — to crystallise intangible fragments of the soul, to craft safe harbours for frenzied energy; to coax secrets out of ciphers. They may wander the same planes but have different agendas. And only when they are done plumbing the depth of human emotion can the rest experience a world draped in shadow and light.


Their separate ideologies run parallel in Dou Rukh (two sides) — a coffee table book that showcases the work of two giants — Arif Mahmood and Tapu Javeri and the exhibition of original photographs that accompanied the launch. With 16 willing subjects — 18 if one counts the cameramen who posed for the shoot, and more than 30 images, these two collaborators briefly transform an ordinary surface into a veritable pantheon.

A Twitter invite wrested fro…

EVENT: (Original) Down the Rabbit Hole….with Our Lady of Alice Bhatti / By Afrah Jamal

slightly Mutilated version Published in Daily Times

The evening is a blur. Nothing works. Neither the mike - nor the trusty recorder. When the electricity bails – no one is really surprised. Karachi is here for a chance to witness M Hanif’s trademark irreverence, sample some delicious irony and get copies of his new book - ‘Our lady of Alice Bhatti’ - (and perhaps a dog-eared ‘Case of Exploding Mangoes’) signed in the bargain. So what if the world keeps collapsing around them.


M. Hanif - an award winning author who also served as the head of BBC Urdu service is here for a book reading/discussion/interrogation. Unlike his highly acclaimed debut novel - ‘The Case of Exploding Mangoes’ – which features a military academy and a high profile cold case (President Zia’s crash) - this one is not drawn from memory. Hanif pleads guilty to being a cadet once. He denies being a nurse.

Apparently he changed his mind about interviewing a real caregiver for fear of her forever looking for a fa…