Archive for June, 2008

Helvetica – A ‘Must-See’ Film About Visual Culture

Friday, June 27th, 2008

An independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture

helveticasmall.gifHelvetica, a documentary film by Gary Hustwit, looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which celebrated its 50th birthday in 2007) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives.

The film is an exploration of urban spaces in major cities and the type that inhabits them, and a fluid discussion with renowned designers about their work, the creative process, and the choices and aesthetics behind their use of type. Helvetica encompasses the worlds of design, advertising, psychology, and communication, and invites us to take a second look at the thousands of words we see every day.

Date: Friday 27th June, 2008

Rock Concert Featuring 7 on 3rd w F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

In the summer of 2004, seven people got together for a jam session on the third floor of a building. A new underground band was born!

sevenonthird.jpg7 on 3rd features:

Jaffar Hashim – Guitars
Gibran Nasir – Vocals
Aasim Karim Faruqui – Guitars
Daniel Panjwaneey – Bass
Ahmed Mohammad – Drums

Samar Syed and Shami will join 7 on 3rd for a live performance of rock covers at T2F on June 25th 2008.

Date: Wednesday 25th June, 2008

An Evening With Mohammed Hanif, Author of A Case of Exploding Mangoes

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

There is an ancient saying that when lovers fall out, a plane goes down. A Case of Exploding Mangoes is the story of one such plane. Why did a Hercules C130, the world’s sturdiest plane, carrying Pakistan’s military dictator General Zia ul Haq, go down on 17 August, 1988?

Teasing, provocative, and very funny, Mohammed Hanif’s debut novel takes one of the subcontinent’s enduring mysteries and out of it, spins a tale as rich and colourful as a beggar’s dream.

explodingmangoes.jpg According to Mohsin Hamid, A Case of Exploding Mangoes, is “one of the most important Pakistani novels of recent times, unputdownable and darkly hilarious. Mohammed Hanif is a brave, gifted writer. He has taken territory in desperate need of satire – General Zia, the military, Pakistan at the time of the Soviet-Afghan war – and made it undeniably his own.”

Mohammed Hanif was born in Okara, Pakistan. He graduated from the Pakistan Air Force Academy as a Pilot Officer but subsequently left to pursue a career in journalism. He has worked for Newsline, India Today and The Washington Post. He has written plays for the stage and the critically acclaimed BBC drama, What Now, Now That We Are Dead? His feature film, The Long Night has been shown at film festivals around the world. He is a graduate of University of East Anglia’s creative writing programme. Mohammad Hanif is currently head of BBC’s Urdu Service and lives in London.

Date: Sunday 22nd June, 2008

In Their Own Voice: Zehra Nigah

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

An Evening of Readings and Recollections Featuring Zehra Nigah

zehranigah.jpgZehra Nigah is one of Pakistan’s most prominent and loved poets. She appeared on the literary horizon as a child prodigy in the 1950s and has consistently been hailed as the one voice worth listening to on the mushaeraa circuit.

Zehra Nigah views life around her through the eyes of a woman but her concerns are not those of a woman alone. She speaks in a woman’s tongue, using feminine imagery and idiom to make powerful social and political commentary. She has alluded to the bitter war that culminated in the creation of Bangladesh as well as the heart-rending situation in Afghanistan. She has written of the repressive Hudood Ordinances introduced during General Zia’s oppressive regime and also about love, friendship and small everyday joys and sorrows.

Zehra Nigah has published two volumes of poetry, Shaam ka Pehla Taara and Waraq. She says she has never felt the urge to be prolific, to write when there is nothing to say. Yet every word that emerges from her pen, every syllable that she speaks, carries the spark of a luminous intelligence. (Some excerpts from the Hindu Literary Review)

We are especially honored to host Zehra Nigah at The Second Floor and look forward to a memorable evening of poetry and anecdotes.

Date: Wednesday 18th June, 2008

Partition Stories

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Join us at T2F for readings by Asif Farrukhi, Zaheer Kidvai, and Nuzhat Kidvai

Zaheer Kidvai will read a story about the pre-partition relationship between Hindus and Muslims. It was written 20 years before partition by his father, Azhar Kidvai.

Asif Farrukhi, who attributes his vivid memories of partition to the fact that he was born after it, will read two of his own stories that deal with post-partition scenarios.

These stories will be separated by excerpts from Manto’s classic book of vignettes, Siyaah Haashiyay, read by Nuzhat Kidvai.

Date: Sunday 16th June, 2008

Cinema for Change: The 11th Hour

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

“If Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth was a warning, The 11th Hour is the red alert.”

eleventhhour.jpgLeonardo DiCaprio’s The 11th Hour is a feature length documentary about the environmental crises caused by human actions and their impact on the planet.

The 11th Hour is the last moment when change is possible. The film explores how we’ve arrived at this moment – how we live, how we impact the earth’s ecosystems, and what we can do to change our course. Featuring ongoing dialogues of experts from all over the world, including former Soviet Prime Minister Mikhail Gorbachev, renowned scientist Stephen Hawking, former head of the CIA R. James Woolsey and sustainable design experts William McDonough and Bruce Mau in addition to over 50 leading scientists, thinkers and leaders who discuss the most important issues that face our planet and people.

However, the most powerful element of The 11th Hour is not a portrait of a planet in crisis, but the offering of hope and solutions. Scientists and environmental advocates such as David Orr and Gloria Flora paint a portrait for a radically new and exciting future in which humanity seeks not to dominate the earth’s life systems, but to mimic them and coexist. The 11th Hour calls for a future now within our grasp that is both sustainable and healthier.

Watch the trailer:

Special guests from DEAL Pakistan, the official consultants for Shanghai Shen Gong Environmental Protection Company and architects of the anti-littering campaign Don’t Mess with Karachi will facilitate a discussion on what the future of Pakistan looks like in terms of renewable energies, recycling and waste management.

Our radio partner for this event is Radio 1 FM 91. Thank you for doing your bit to raise awareness about the environmental crisis.

Date: Saturday 14th June, 2008

An Evening with Salima Hashmi

Friday, June 13th, 2008

This Friday the 13th, Salima Hashmi will regale us with tales ranging from her early years and the two men in her life, Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Shoaib Hashmi, to her work in comedy. And on a more serious note, Salima will show a slideshow of her work and also discuss the crucial significance of art education.

salima.jpgSalima Hashmi is one of Pakistan’s most well-known and accomplished artists. She studied in the United Kingdom and the United States, receiving a diploma in Art Education from Bristol University in the UK and a Masters in Art Education from the Rhode Island School of Design in the US. Salima taught at Pakistan’s prestigious National College of Arts (NCA) for thirty years and was the Principal of NCA for four years. In 1999, she received Pakistan’s Pride of Performance award. Salima is now the Dean of the School of Visual Arts at the recently established Beaconhouse National University in Lahore and also runs her own art gallery featuring works of young artists.

Salima comes from a socially and politically active family. Her father was the legendary Pakistani poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, and her mother, the British-born Alys Faiz was a respected journalist and peace activist in Pakistan. One of two daughters, Salima was always active in the arts, performing in plays before taking on painting professionally. Salima Hashmi has also been active in the human rights movement since the early 80s when she was one of the founding members of Women’s Action Forum, an organization dedicated to promoting women’s rights.

Date: Friday, 13th June, 2008

4 Acoustic Performances

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

Join us this Thursday for a live set of acoustic performances

acousticperformers.jpgOmar Bilal Akhtar is the frontman for one of Karachi’s most prolific live acts, The Aunty Disco Project (ADP). Omar has played numerous sold out shows in the city with ADP and has recently released their eponymous debut album. ADP have released two music videos on national music channels, and are scheduled to release a new video for their current single Nazar sometime next month. Despite all his success, Omar refuses to conform and sign up for a gmail account.

Ali Alam is a singer-songwriter. Formerly the lead singer/founder of the band Ganda Banda and the 3D Cats, Ali has also played guitars with the Strings, live acts in Pakistan, and abroad. Ali also hosts a weekly radio show called Musicology on City FM89. Currently, he is working on his first solo album and has recently hired manager, Shama Mohammed. Although there were expectations that his career would skyrocket as a result, it has yet to happen.

Miqdad Mohammed is a talented multi-instrumentalist. He has played the saxophone for various live acts in the city and is an accomplished singer-songwriter in his own right. He shall be featuring some of his originals at the show along with some popular covers.This will be Miqdad’s first solo performance in the city since he started wearing spectacles.

Jahanzeb Sherwani co-founded the LUMS Music Society and has performed with various bands, including Beetlejuice, Euphoria, and Once. Recently Jahanzeb started an American-desi band called Gulab-Jammin’ while a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon. Please visit for more information about something totally unrelated.

Date: Thursday 5th June, 2008

In Their Own Voice: Fawzia Afzal-Khan

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

An evening of readings and music videos

Fawzia Afzal-Khan will read a chapter from her recently-completed memoir, Sahelian: Growing Up with Girlfriends Pakistani-Style.

fawzia.jpgThe memoir charts the protagonist’s adolescent and mature years, criss-crossing with the lives and experiences of her “best” friends in 1970s Lahore, and again, much later, during visits “back home” from the USA. The recollections and continued interaction with her old Pakistani friends who have stayed behind in a monocultural society, prompt complex emotions and analyses of life’s possibilities and limitations. Further complications are caused by her position as a woman of Pakistani Muslim background living in the USA. A complex tapestry of a coming-of-age narrative, the memoir is a paean to the pleasures and the pains of friendship amongst women.

After the readings, Fawzia will present two short music videos, Smokescreen and Sacrifice.

Fawzia Afzal-Khan is Full Professor of English at Montclair State University in New Jersey, USA. She is the author of two books, Cultural Imperialism and the Indo-English Novel (1993) and A Critical Stage: Secular Alternative Theatre in Pakistan (2005), Editor of the best-selling anthology, Shattering the Stereotypes: Muslim Women Speak Out (2005), and co-editor of The Pre-Occupation of Post-Colonial Studies (2000).

A frequent contributer to Counterpunch, Fawzia has written and published numerous scholarly and journalistic essays on feminist theory, postcolonialism and theatre and performance in Pakistan, as well as women and Islam. She is trained singer in the North Indian Classical tradition, and performs with her band, Neither East Nor West in and around NYC, and is a founding member of the international experimental theater collective, Compagnie Faim de Siecle. She is beginning work on a new cultural studies project with co-author Sajid Iqbal, focusing on the life and times of the world-renowned Pakistani singer, the late Madame Noorjehan. Fawzia is currently editing A Monsoon Symphony: The Best of Pakistani English Literature for Oxford University Press, and splits her time between Lahore and New Jersey.

Date: Sunday 1st June, 2008