Archive for May, 2016

Poetry as Catharsis: Poetry Therapy Workshops

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

17th, 20th, 22nd, 24th, 27th and 29th June 2016 | 3:00-5:00PM

Poetry therapy may be traced back to the Shaman tribes, who chanted epics for the well-being of their clan. The first poetry therapist was a Roman physician in the first century named Soranus, who prescribed comedy for the depressed. Join Mariam Riaz Paracha and Asad Alvi as they combine cognitive-psychotherapeutic approaches with poetic and narrative thought, and theatre/performance practices, to explore how to use poetry as a medium reflect on our own experiences of being alive in a moment — words that express the heat and pulse of feelings, sensations, and emotions, and to employ the creative process to articulate conflicts, manage stress, and achieve greater self-reflection.

About the Instructors:

Asad Alvi
Asad Alvi studied bibliotherapy at the Art Institute, University of Warwick, and is co-founder of Zabaan, a south-Asian literary journal that publishes experimental poetry. His work has been published in a collection of short stories by the Oxford University Press (OUP), The Equator Line in India, in Columbia University’s Journal of Art and Literature, and in an anthology of contemporary feminist poetry titled, We Will Be Shelter. Recently, he collaborated with the Clayman Institute of Gender Research at Stanford University on ‘Uprooted: An Anthology on Gender’. His translations of the Urdu postmodern poet, Sara Shagufta, are forthcoming by Speaking Tiger, India. Asad also makes poetry films and his first feature, Night, premiered at the Athens Film Festival.

Mariam Riaz Paracha
Mariam Riaz Paracha is currently pursuing an MA from Emerson College in Theatre Education with a focus in ‘Theatre and Community’ which uses performance and art to engage with areas of social and cultural policies by healing psychological wounds and barriers, and challenging contemporary discourses. She has been published in UK Poetry Library, Eye on Life Magazine,, Campus Diaries India. She has performed at TEDx Karachi and toured with a devised play on immigration to various institutes in Boston. Paracha is the founder of ‘Spoken Stage’, an organization that allows art to flourish beyond borders, specifically in developing nations, by providing a platform and space for a collaborative community that combines the four sectors of performance, writing, education and freedom of expression for progressive movement.

t2f workshop poster - Copy

When: 17th, 20th, 22nd, 24th, 27th and 29th June 2016
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 3:00-5:00PM
Fee: Rs.3000 (for 6 sessions)

Muslim Comics Roast Donald Trump

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Sunday, 29th May 2016 |8:00PM

From Pakistan with love: three stand up comedians in the country come together for one night to roast one of the most infamous presidential candidates in the world, Donald J. Trump.

There will be jokes, there will be insults, there will be mischief and there will be roasting.

*Note: Trump kee barbq boti banay walee hay is liye tamam ahl-e-watan say guzarish hay kay chotay bacho ko comedy kee pohanch say durr rakhay, wazirhat-e-comedy!

About the performers:

Ali Gul Pir:
The Wadera ka beta himself, Ali Gul Pir is a Saeen, entertainer, rapper, comedian and writer.

Akbar Chaudhry
Founder of LOLWalay, Engineer by day, asleep by night, Akbar is an aspiring comedian from Defence Phase 4 jo fridge se pani ki botal moon laga ke peeta hai but would like his parents to believe otherwise.

Shehzad Ghias Shaikh
Our Roastmaster for the night, Shehzad goes back to his roots with some A grade (and some extremely lame) insult comedy! Shehzad talks about his experience of living in New York and combating Islamophobia by going on Tinder with white girls each night.


When: Sunday, 29th May 2016
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 8:00PM
Entry: Rs.500 (Donations are appreciated)

Three short film screenings by Seemab Gul

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Saturday, 28th May 2016 | 6:30PM

Vasl Artist’s Collective in collaboration with T2F, Arts Council England and British Council present a program of three short films by artist and filmmaker, Seemab Gul.

Seemab Gul is a visiting artist at Vasl and a London based artist and filmmaker. Her films interweave documentary, fictional and performative elements to explore socio-political stories. Seemab completed a BA in Fine Art at Surrey Institute of Art and Design in 2001. After doing a PACE course in Visual Anthropology at Goldsmiths, she completed a Masters in Filmmaking at the London Film School in 2010. She was a fellow at the National Film & TV School Clinic in 2013.

Her 16mm films and videos have been screened and exibited at a fringe event of 55th Venice Art Biennale, Oberhausen Film Festival and other galleries and festivals internationally. Her works have been commissioned by Arts Council England, CBA WorldView, The Founding Museum and Moti Roti Foundation.


One day in Whitechapel | 13 min | Colour Drama 2015

Towards a Militant Conceptualism | 13 min | Black & White Film Essay, 2013

The Student Revolutionary | A Short Documentary, 2011


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When: Saturday, 28th May 2016
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 6:30PM
Entry: Free! (Donations are appreciated)

The Platoon Presents ‘Reporting for Duty before Ramzan’

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Friday, 27th May 2016 | 8:00PM – 9:30PM

For 90 minutes, dear reader, we want to take you to a journey where you see stories come alive, characters showing their true natures and everything made right on the spot.

Before Ramzan comes in, join us at T2F while we attempt to free our demons on stage, and try to lock them in.

The show will feature multiple formats, relying on story-telling, theare and music.


When: Friday, 27th May 2016
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 8:00PM – 9:30PM
Entry: Rs.400

Bargain Books Bazaar + LitLab Open Mic

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Friday, 20th May 2016 | 7:00 – 9:00PM

Book Bazaar: 20th May onwards | Noon – 10:00 pm
LitLab: 20th May | 7:00 pm

Drop by at T2F and browse through our motley collection of bargain books and magazines.

From quirky fiction to collector’s finds, from historical tomes to children’s books, T2F’s Bargain Books Bazaar has something for everyone. Prices start at Rs. 25. A number of wonderful individuals support us by donating books and magazines. Thank you all so much for your generosity. If you have used or new books that you’d like to donate, please bring them over. We’ll take everything! All proceeds are used to fund T2F’s literary programs.


Join us on Friday for LitLab, T2F’s open mic for poets, writers, and spoken word artists.

Come share your poetry, prose, play, or any other piece of creative writing on Friday evening at 7:00 pm. You can read your own work, including work-in-progress, or a published piece by someone else. Each person gets 9 minutes at the mic. Sign up as soon as you arrive at T2F. Everyone is welcome to come and listen …

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When: Friday, 20th May 2016
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)


We’re turning 9!

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Sunday, 15th May 2016 | All Day

The Second Floor (T2F) turns 9 tomorrow! Come, hang out with us.


When: Sunday, 15th May 2016
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: All Day
Entry: Free!

Film Screening: Ashes by Umair Hameed

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Sunday, 15th May 2016 | 7:15PM

Join us for a film screening of Ashes by Umair Hameed Khan.

September 11, 2001 changed the world as we know it. The United States and it’s allies launched a major offensive and called it a War on Terrorism. The war took place thousands of miles away from the homeland and was supposed to promise American citizens freedom and security, however, freedom and security comes with a price. The lives of thousands of people affected by the war and the civil liberties of Americans at home.

“Ashes” is a short film, written by Umair Hameed, a Pakistani-American filmmaker, who also produced and starred in this movie. This film highlights the after effects of post 9/11 America and how the growing suspicion amongst Muslims lead to racism and profiling especially in airports. The story depicts a Pakistani Muslim-American boy who arrives at an airport, dressed in a traditional Pakistani Garb, (shalwar kameez) and is harshly interrogated by the Department of Homeland Security. He is suspected as a terrorist because of his looks, his belongings are scattered across the table and he is questioned about each item he is carrying with him: a book in Arabic, a burnt US flag and suspicious jar containing a white powder. The character, Muhammed Hamza, then answers each of the questions revealing the significance behind each of the items and proving that not all Muslims are terrorists. The revelations of the items leaves the DHS Officer in awe.

About the Actor/Writer/Producer:
Umair-Hameed Khan is a Pakistani-American filmmaker and entrepreneur, who attended TCU and has a triple degree in Political Science, Marketing and Hospitality Management, CHA.

He is an actor from Dallas, Texas USA who took his start from the stage and was a member of the Dallas Shakespeare Club. In 2010, he decided to make a move to Los Angeles and was in attendance at the New York Film Academy (NYFA) where he made the short film, Ashes and studied acting for film and television along with filmmaking.


When: Sunday, 15th May 2016
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 7:15PM
Entry: Free! (Donations are appreciated)

Urban Regeneration: Public Art in Global and Local context

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Saturday, 14th May 2016 | 5:00PM – 7:00PM

The Urban Regeneration Talk Series hosted by Karachi Biennale in May 2016 will present ‘Public Art in the Global and Local Context’. It will highlight the diverse Public Art practices around the world and their impact on community dialogue. In the local context, the focus will be on the history of Public Art in Pakistan and the challenges it faces in the contested public space.

Bios of the Speakers:

Niilofur Farrukh
The many dimensions of Niilofur Farrukh’s career in the visual arts include art criticism, art history, curation, art education and art activism. Her book Pioneering Perspectives (Ferozsons Pvt Ltd) was published in 2006 and since then she has contributed to numerous publications. She is the Founder Editor of NuktaArt, Pakistan’s contemporary art magazine ( ) and has been a columnist with Dawn and written for its Op-ed pages. Currently she writes a monthly column for Newsline, Pakistan. Among the publications she has been writing critical articles for are Newsline ( Pakistan), Herald (Pakistan), Jamini and DepArt (Bangladesh) Art India (India) and Artetc (India) and. Art Tomorrow (Iran) among others.

Niilofur has served as Pakistan’s Commissioner at The Asian Art Biennale (Bangladesh) (2006), Tashkent Art Biennale (Uzbekistan) (2009) and Kathmandu International Art Festival.
She is a nominator of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize (Dubai) in Pakistan and serves on the Board of Colombo Art Biennale. She is the Co-founder and Co-curator of ASNA Clay Triennial,
Karachi and is regularly invited to present papers and has presented at international seminars on six continents.

Masuma Halai Khwaja
Masuma Halai Khwaja is a freelance artist who graduated with a distinction in fine arts from the prestigious National College of Arts in Lahore. She has been an art educator for over two decades and has taught at some of the country’s most prominent art institutions like the National College of Arts, Lahore, The Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi and the Karachi University’s Visual Studies Department.

Masuma has exhibited her work widely in group shows within Pakistan and abroad and has four solo shows to her credit. She has won many awards including the Sadequain award and the medal for Star Girl by South Asia Publications. Currently Masuma is a part of the core committee of The Karachi Biennale 2017, and is in charge of its public outreach programme.

Gulraiz Khan
Gulraiz Khan, lecturer in design at Habib University, works at the intersection of urbanism, design, cartography and civic engagement. He received his undergraduate degree in Economics from LUMS, and completed a Masters in Transdisciplinary Design from Parsons The New School for Design. Prior to graduate school, Gulraiz worked as a senior sub-editor at the National Desk of The Express Tribune newspaper.

Gulraiz’s core interest are cities and their systems, tangible and intangible. He takes a human-centered design approach to his investigations, and works through collaborations. He is currently working on several cartographic projects centered on Karachi.


When: Saturday, 14th May 2016
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 5:00PM – 7:00PM
Entry: Free! (Donations are appreciated)

A Smarter Healthier You: A session by AKUH experts

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Friday, 13th May 2016 | 7:00PM – 9:00PM

A discussion that explains concepts such as productivity, memory and sharpness in light of the nature of the brain.

Speakers will discuss how to improve one’s productivity, level of
happiness and general mental health.

A Smarter Healthier You is the first of three public awareness sessions being run under AKUH’s 2016: Year of Mind and Brain campaign.

About the speakers:
Dr Saad Shafqat is a Professor of Neurology at AKUH as well as a well-known cricket writer and novelist.

Dr Ayesha Mian is a Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at AKUH and is actively involved in efforts to promote awareness about mental health through seminars, newspaper columns and

Dr Ayeesha Kamal is a leading researcher in the field of neurology and has received grant funding to develop a device to assist in the early detection of stroke.

Dr Gohar Javed is a neurosurgeon who specialises in the treatment of complex diseases of the brain.

AKUHWhen: Friday, 13th May 2016
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 7:00PM – 9:00PM
Entry: Free! (Donations are appreciated)

Dholi Taro: Community, drums, music and movement

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Thursday, 12th May 2016 | 7:00PM – 8:00PM

“Drumming is a path of healing that guides us into experiencing the flow of our mind and emotions so we may grow to experience more about our soul.”

Dholi Taro
Community, drums, music, movement; need more be said? To come together and move to a rhythm, that is the purpose of life. Each of us experiences disconnects in our lives; with ourselves, with others, and with powers greater than us. The exercise of communal drumming is an age old practice to help strengthen these connections. The physical, emotional, mental, and social healing of the exercise is best experienced than read about.

Witness the healing of soul, and the disruption of negative energy. Once a month, bring yourselves, your drums, your loved ones, or come share ours. Let’s move to the rhythm of our hearts with Dholi Taro.

About the Facilitator:
Ibad has spent his professional life in mass communication; design, advertising, film, and event management. After a decade of commercial endeavor, Ibad has chosen to shift to healthcare and development.

He believes in wellness; body, mind, and soul. And it is his understanding that wellness begins with children. In his effort to nurture his inner child, he has chosen to join Imkaan, to help nurture the children of Machaira Colony. His lived experience lends him to mix work and play at Khel.

He volunteers with Taskeen – a mental health initiative, as a facilitator for emotional wellness sessions, and offers support to people with substance abuse conditions.

Through tragedy, he discovered the therapeutic power of drumming. His experience, interest, and passion has led him to practice as a public drum circle facilitator.


When: Thursday, 12th May 2016
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 7:00PM – 8:00PM
Entry: Free! (Donations are appreciated)