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Exhausted Geographies launched

Exhausted Geographies launched

KARACHI: An art publication, along with an exhibition, titled Exhausted Geographies, was laun­ched at the VM Art Gallery on Tuesday.

The Karachi-specific book, according to the curators of the show, Shahana Rajani and Zahra Malkani, is an experimental publication. It is a collection of seven maps, each accompanied by an essay, contributed by the country’s artists, architects, historians, town planners and anthropologists.

Talking to Dawn the curators said the publication contained seven interdisciplinary projects, each carrying corresponding text, in order to rethink established representations of Karachi and gain new insights into the social fabric of the city.

Exhausted Geographies touches upon topics which cover a wide range of issues, such as ‘mapping politics in/of the modern city: cartography as representation’, ‘separation geography’, ‘seeing the missing’, ‘Naqsha-i-Vilayat-i-Sindh’, ‘a geography of exclusion’, ‘unhomely’ and ‘Karachi’s old quarter’.

It is evident from these themes that the publication and the exhibition intend to discover various locales to see Karachi from, minus all the pre-set concepts. The idea to introduce a variety of disciplines works well in crystallising the diversity of this part of the country and to revisit some of the notions inalienably attached to the city. For example, one of the contributors to the project, Yaminay N. Chaudhri’s work examines the Darakhshan Township, designed in 1976. For Yaminay the changes that occurred in the township over the years became “a kind of a map of everyday needs, rituals and desires in a small part of the city”. Indeed, an interesting angle to look at the city by the sea, without the “cowardly standpoint of hindsight”.

Others who have contributed to the project are: Nausheen H. Anwar, Zahra Malkani, Shayan Rajani, Shahana Rajani, Fazal Rizvi, Anam Soomro and Sarwat Viqar.

The exhibition will run till Sept 22.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2015

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