Archive for November, 2015

Save the Tiger… and maybe also the Sarangi – A Spic Macay Perspective

Friday, November 27th, 2015

Friday, 27th November 2015 | 5:30 – 6:45 pm

 Kiran Seth is Professor-Emeritus at IIT-Delhi but is most famously known as the founder of SPIC MACAY (Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth), a non-political, nationwide, voluntary movement founded in 1977.

The society aims to “enrich the quality of formal education by increasing awareness about different aspects of Indian heritage and inspiring the young mind to imbibe the values embedded in it. It seeks to inspire youth through experiencing the mysticism embodied in the rich and heterogeneous cultural tapestry of Indian and World Heritage.”

Through its engagement with academic institutions at various levels, SPIC MACAY advocates “the need for a more inspired and holistic perspective in a world bombarded by too much information.” It also seeks to develop a spirit of service in its young audience, while inculcating worth for values, wisdom and aesthetics embodied in traditional arts.

In 2011, SPIC MACAY was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana award in recognition of its contribution to youth development. Dr Kiran Seth, was awarded the ‘Padma Shri’ for his contribution to the arts in 2009.

The session will commence with a short sitar recital by Shehroze Hussain. A talented, young sitar-nawaz who has been training under his father, the eminent Sajid Hussain and has been performing to much acclaim since the age of 13.

Detailed Schedule:
5:30 – Sitar recital with Shehroze Hussain
5:45 – Introduction of guests accompanied by a short documentary on SPIC MACAY
6:00 – Discussion with Dr. Kiran Seth


When: Friday, 27th November 2015
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 5:30 – 6:45 PM
Entry: Free! (Please support us by donating to Sabeen Mahmud Foundation)


The Other Side: An exhibition by Danial Shah

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Sunday, 29th November 2015 | 7:00 pm

“This journey to me is a pilgrimage that has no start or an end. When you broaden your view of the world, you realize that there is not just one way of living.”

Two of Danial’s relentless passions in life are travel and photography. Allured by the overwhelming beauty of the changing geographical landscapes and sometimes the ugliness of unimaginable suffering and loss in his home country Pakistan, has helped him understand that all of our lives are at once interconnected and individual. 

Experiencing other cultures, meeting people from diverse communities has shaped his compassionate view of the world. His images are evocative, thought-provoking and a poignant reminder of how traveling can sometimes be a brutality and a blessing. 

With this exhibition titled ‘The Other Side’, Danial hopes to showcase the path that is less travelled and share some of the most extraordinary places and experiences that all of the aspiring vagabonds, adventure seekers and wilderness trekkers hope to travel to one day.

Danial Shah is a documentary photographer and a writer. Originally from Quetta, he is now based in Karachi and teaches Photography as a visiting faculty member at the Karachi University and Institute of Business Management.

In 2010, Danial launched the first travel blog of Pakistan,, and traveled all across from south to the north and documented the diverse culture and landscape of the country. Based on his work, Danial was awarded Nishan-e-Azm (symbol of pride) and Travel Blogger of the year in 2011.

His photography portfolio is thematically geared towards travel, landscape, culture and archeology. He contributes stock photographs to Getty Images, and works with various publications like The New York Times, Dawn (Pakistan), Express Tribune Magazine (Pakistan), Herald (Pakistan), Himal SouthAsian (Nepal) and Trek&Mountain (UK).

Event Cover 2

When: Sunday, 29th November 2015
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 7:00 PM
Entry: Free! (Please support us by donating to Sabeen Mahmud Foundation)

Film Screening: The Narrow Frame of Midnight

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Saturday, 28th November 2015 | 7:00 pm

Join us at T2F for the film screening of ‘The Narrow Frame of Midnight’.

The Narrow Frame of Midnight came into being as a script two years after the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. In a post-9/11 world where changes across diverse political landscapes, military interventions and wars in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere have been progressing at a dizzying speed, it has never seemed more important to stand still and try to shake free and clear one’s vision of the world.

In a way, The Narrow Frame of Midnight, in it’s most fragmentary and episodic form, is a film that attempts to not only recount a story about resurrecting vision, and the possibility of seeing as clearly as possible on the lonely path towards finding a place in the world, but is also a film that is a sketching out of a certain type of cinematographic map, where lines constantly shift and change, disappear and reappear in correspondence to a geopolitical terrain that is fluid, and that changes because of events, like wars for example. And so the film exists and reflects back onto an ever changing landscape, and in turn it too changes. It is a film that looks to the past, present and also to the future and acts like a magic mirror of sorts. 

Director: Tala Hadid
Running Time: 1h 33m

This event is initiated by Siraj Ali and will be moderated by Raja Qazi.


When: Saturday, 28th November 2015
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 7:00 PM
Entry: Free! (Please support us by donating to Sabeen Mahmud Foundation)

Book Launch: Ashes, Wine and Dust by Kanza Javed

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Friday, 27th November 2015 | 7:00 pm

Desi Writers Lounge will host the book launch of ‘Ashes, Wine and Dust’ at T2F and will be in conversation with the young author Kanza Javed.

Kanza’s debut novel, ‘Ashes, Wine and Dust’ was shortlisted for the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize 2013, making her at the age of twenty-one, the youngest and the only Pakistani writer nominated for the prize that year.

She was a fellow at University of Massachusetts, studying Comparative Public Policy, in 2011 and a scholar at Arizona State University in 2015 with Pakistani Immigrant writing being her primary field of research.


When: Friday, 27th November 2015
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 7:00 PM
Entry: Free! (Please support us by donating to Sabeen Mahmud Foundation)

Exhausted Geographies Talk Series

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Sunday, 22nd November 2015 | 7:00 pm

Artists Yaminay Chaudhri and Fazal Rizvi will discuss the politics of mapping the city through art practice. They will share their research for a recent art publication, Exhausted Geographies, in which they explore themes of desire, longing and belonging in the city.

Exhausted Geographies is a radical engagement with the politics of representation and map-making in order to explore and produce new ways of seeing and imagining cities in the global south. This publication is a collection of 7 maps, each coupled with an essay, contributed by artists, architects, historians, urban planners, geographers and anthropologists working on/in Karachi. It is a coming together of different situated and localized knowledges to enable an exchange of ideas and methodologies beyond the borders of the academy and the art world. Using artistic and interdisciplinary research methods, the contributors subvert mapmaking into an open and critical medium to produce visual representations of space, temporality, politics and human relationships.

Yaminay Chaudhri works with the emotional and physical architectures of longing, drawing on the precarious nature of place, home and cities. She uses multiple media including video, performance and text to recreate situations that are both intensely emotional and unexceptionally banal.

Chaudhri has a degree in architecture from Cornell University, and an MFA in combined media studio arts from State University of New York at Albany. She has taught at Karachi University, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi, SZABIST, Karachi, the Aga Khan University, Karachi, and is the founder of the Tentative Collective.

Fazal Rizvi graduated from the National College of Arts, Lahore, in 2010. With an interdisciplinary practice encompassing painting, photography, installation, video and text, Rizvi explores notions around loss, migration, post-colonial identity and more. He has exhibited in Japan (Moriya), Paris, Moscow, Maastricht, London, Dundee as well as in Pakistan. He was selected for the Arcus Project Residency, Japan, in 2011 and was the recipient of the Charles Wallace Pakistan Trust and British Council Residency at Gasworks, London, 2014, and was in the Vasl International Artist Residency 2015 as the Art Writer in Residence.

For the love of the city, Rizvi initiated a project Chalo Chalo Lahore Chalo in 2012, which took shape of a collective, and after his move back to Karachi he couldn’t help but become part of the Tentative Collective. He currently practices and teaches in Karachi.


When: Sunday, 22nd November 2015
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 7:00 PM
Entry: Free! (Please support us by donating to Sabeen Mahmud Foundation)

German Film Festival

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

20th November, 26th November & 12th December 2015

‘German Film Festival’ initiated by Goethe-Institut in collaboration with T2F brings three outstanding contemporary movie productions that deal with history and storytelling.

The screening of ‘Phoenix’ on Friday, 20th November at 7PM starts the Festival – it is a premiere, as this latest movie by critically acclaimed German director Christian Petzold has never been shown in Asia before. The psychological thriller set in the aftermath of World War II has already won several prizes. Dr. Markus Heidingsfelder, Media Professor at Habib University, will give a short introduction into the work of Christian Petzold before the screening (and moderate the discussion afterwards).

The second movie screening will be on Thursday, 26th November 2015 at 7PM, with the predecessor, ‘Barbara’, a melodrama about the former DDR (East Germany) once again featuring Petzold’s two favorite actors, Ronald Zehrfeld and Nina Hoss. 

The festival closes on Saturday, 12th December 2015 with the monumental 4-hour-movie ‘The Other Home’ by Edgar Reitz. The movie takes place in the preceding century, in the year 1840, and shows Germans on their way to their new home, America; Reitz has filmed this feature in his classic style of Black and White, with only a few scenes in color. When screened at the Venice Film Festival, the movie received standing ovations and was roundly praised in newspapers and blogs. After the movie there will be a concluding panel discussion about ‘historytelling’ in general and the aesthetics of violence and war in particular, centering around Theodor W. Adorno’s famous statement: “After Auschwitz, one can no longer write poetry.”

Dr. Markus Heidingsfelder is a media theorist as well as a media practicioner. He has published books and articles on film, architecture, music and has written and directed several documentaries (“Rem Koolhaas – A Kind of Architect”, “Girls in Popsongs”, “John Cage – 64”). He is currently teaching Media Studies at Habib University.


When: 20th November, 26th November & 12th December 2015
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 20th & 26th Nov | 7PM – 12th Dec | 3PM
Entry: Free! (Please support us by donating to Sabeen Mahmud Foundation)

Poets Translating Poets

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Monday, 16th November 2015 | 6:30 pm

Two Urdu, two Sindhi and two German poets have met during a five-day workshop in Karachi, translating each other´s poems. This evening, moderated by literary critic Asif Farrukhi, will present the outcomes of this workshop as they read their translated poems, discuss their experience of translating each other without knowing their languages, the difficulties faced in the process and the insights gained.

Poetry Reading and Panel Discussion
German | Daniela Danz, Andreas Altman
Sindhi | Attiya Dawood, Amar Sindhu
Urdu | Afzal Syed Ahmad, Ali Akbar Natiq

On the Panel | Dr. Thomas Wohlfahrt (Director, Literaturwerkstatt and International Poetry Festival Berlin) and Stefan Winkler (Director Goethe-Institut Pakistan)

“Poets Translating Poets” is a project initiated in July 2015 by the Goethe-Institut Mumbai, with an aim to create a platform for poets from South Asia and Germany to translate each other´s works. Contemporary poetry from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka will be translated into German by German poets, while German poetry will be likewise translated into South Asian languages. By bringing together 48 poets from across 19 languages through literary meetings in several South Asian locations, this project promises to stimulate new literary networks and open new avenues for transcultural understanding. The project will include readings, photo essays, a book publication and a sound installation in South Asia and Germany, and will culminate in the Poetry Festival in Berlin 2016.

A Project by the Goethe-Institut in collaboration with Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, the German Commission for UNESCO and The Second Floor (T2F) in Karachi.


When: Monday, 16th November 2015
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 6:30 PM
Entry: Free! (Please support us by donating to Sabeen Mahmud Foundation)

Film Screening: The Yes Men Are Revolting

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Sunday, 15th November 2015 | 7:00 pm

Join us at T2F for a film screening of ‘The Yes Men Are Revolting’.

For 20 years, notorious activists The Yes Men (Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum) have staged outrageous hoaxes to hijack public dialogue about the issues of the day. In their third cinematic outing (after “The Yes Men” and “The Yes Men Fix the World”), they’re well into their 40s, and mid-life crises are threatening to drive them out of activism forever – even as they prepare to take on the biggest challenge yet: climate change. Their latest film is as much a character study as it is a thrilling ride depicting their latest interventions against corporate greed. From villages in Uganda, to toxic oil fields in Canada, these iconoclastic revolutionaries take on big oil, lobbyists, and the U.S. government, armed with nothing but thrift-store suits. Overcoming personal obstacles to deliver uproarious actions of global significance, the Yes Men deliver a hopeful message about ordinary people taking back the planet.

Directors: Jacques Servin, Igor Vamos, Laura Nix
Running time: 1h 31m

This event is initiated by Siraj Ali (Admin of Eqbal Ahmad Fan Page – Unofficial) and will be moderated by Raja Qazi.


When: Sunday, 15th November 2015
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 7:00 PM
Entry: Free! (Please support us by donating to Sabeen Mahmud Foundation)

Encounters with the City

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Saturday, 14th November 2015 | 7:00 pm

Join us at T2F on Saturday evening for an exhibition featuring the work of students at Habib University.

This body of work is the outcome of a five-week class in documentary photography. In this project, the students of HU, encounter small fragments of the city; producing, reproducing and modifying the chaotic world of Karachi into a set of still images, infused with insights of urban life.

“Walking along a street in the city, we encounter countless signs, sounds, smells, materialities, people, and movements. Encountering places in everyday life, one engages the place with all senses, interacting with others, with the materiality, and with the atmosphere of the place. By moving these encounters with urban places into the focus of attention, we are coming to terms with the materiality and aesthetics of the place, the body, the perception, and the representations of the place.”

— Lars Frers

Naila Mahmood | Instructor and Moderator

List of projects and student names:
1. Crumbling Memories: Arqam Khan and Unzila Bilal
2. Paan and the City: Saadia Pathan and Meher Malik
3. Kayee Baar yeh bhi hua hai – Rehan Karim and Talha Kehar
4. The Keepers of the Keys: Zoha Jabbar and Sakina Ijaz
5. Ramzan Dyers: Rida Mohammad and Misbah Azhar
6. A Dog in the Fight: Mohammad Hamza Alam, Anoushey Husein and Rija Ahmed
7. All that Glitters is not Gold: Ali Rizvi and Hira Wasim
8. Meena Bazaar: Anis Punjwani and Hamna Umar


When: Saturday, 14th November 2015
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 7:00 PM
Entry: Free! (Please support us by donating to Sabeen Mahmud Foundation)


ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Friday, 13th November 2015 | 7:00 pm

Join us this evening for a selection of poetry films presented by Goethe-Institut Pakistan.

The ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival came into being in 2002 and was the first and is the biggest international platform for short films based on poems – poetry films. Every two years it offers poets, film-makers and festival organisers from all over the world a platform for creative exchange of ideas, for generating ideas and meeting with a broad audience.


When: Friday, 13th November 2015
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 7:00 PM
Entry: Free! (Please support us by donating to Sabeen Mahmud Foundation)