Archive for May, 2017

Freelance Ain’t Free! – Writers Unite

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Wednesday, 24th May 2017 | 6:00PM

What’s that word?

The word that’s the opposite of respect for the sweat and tears you drained slaving away from the years of experience of perfecting your craft, the word that embodies the brick wall you constantly bang the head of your creativity against in hopes of having something you love sustain your life? The word that means you’re not getting acknowledged or paid. Again.


Karachi-based writers, Sadia Khatri and Asad Alvi will be talking about how they’ve navigated the freelance world and lived to tell the tale, not before a ton of instances of falling flat on their ‘exposed’ faces first.

Here’s an invitation to anyone who’s wanted to or is currently navigating the world of freelance writing with discussions of shared experiences, client etiquette, challenges and intricacies of the system and how to make it work for your practice.

The second in its series, ‘Freelance Ain’t Free!’ is focused on freelance writing. We will continue these sessions in other disciplines such as photography, filmmaking, graphic design etc. We hope to make them a regular part of the PeaceNiche agenda and community related work.

Sadia Khatri is a writer and a freelance journalist. She has contributed to The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Herald, The Missing Slate, Papercuts Magazine, The Friday Times, Tehelka, The Kathmandu Post, and she also takes on several content writing gigs. Her first non-fiction novel on the life of the late Kashmiri poet, Agha Shahid Ali, is forthcoming by Speaking Tiger Books next spring.

Asad Alvi’s work has appeared in The Equator Line, The International Gallerie, We Will Be Shelter: An Anthology of Contemporary Feminist Poetry, and the Columbia School of Arts’ Journal of Literature. Recently, he served as a contributor at the Clayman Institute of Gender Research at Stanford University’ to ‘Uprooted: An Anthology on Gender and Illness’.In 2016, he became the youngest recipient of the Nasreen Anjum Bhatti Poetry Prize, and was a featured artist at the 2017 Pune Biennale in India.
His debut book, ‘The Rebel Poetess: The Life and Works of Sara Shagufta’ is forthcoming in 2017 by Speaking Tiger Books, India.


T2F FB Page (1)

When: Wednesday, 24th May 2017
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 6:00PM
Entry: Rs. 200

Bazm-e-Urdu aor Moseeqi

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Saturday, 20th May 2017 | 7:30PM – 9:00PM

Urdu Preservation Project and Qissa Khwaan present ‘Bazm-e-Urdu aor Moseeqi’ featuring Tajdar Zaidi. The evening will comprise of readings from classical and modern Urdu literature, both poetry and prose, with the voice over of sitar/guitar.

The readings will also be mediated with a solo sitar performance by Wajih Nizami and guitar solo by Shahdab Younis.

Tajdar Zaidi
Tajdar Zaidi started performing recitals and theatre publicly in 2011 with a theatre group called Theatre Wallay. He conducted the monthly baithak at Kuch Khaas and worked with the Asian Study Group, English Speaking Union, British Council and Academy of Letters to name a few. He composed, designed and performed Khusro Dastaangoi at Khusro Festival at Kuch Khaas with Nighat Chauhdry, and Heer at Teachers Literature Festival. In theatre, he performed plays in Islamabad and lahore.

Since 2015, he has been holding regular Urdu reading baithaks in collaboration with Olompolo in Lahore. The feather in the cap was the performance of “Likhe Jo Khat Tujhe”, a reading of Urdu letters, along with Sania Saeed in Lahore and Islamabad. Moreover, he designed and read Faiz Ahmad Faiz’ letters and poems at the Faiz Evening in Lok Virsa. Also, he read the urdu translation of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai’s Kalam, translated by Sheikh Ayaz, with the voice over of local musicians at Lahooti Melo 2017.

He established Qissa Khwaan, a performing arts group, in 2014 with the purpose of reviving storytelling, theatre and other forms of art.

Wajih ull Hussnain Nizami
Wajih ull Husnain Nizami is a classical ‘SITARIST’ and upholds the tradition of sitar playing handed down to him through eighteen generations of dedication and devotion to music. He is carrying the legacy of the “Senia Gharana” after the name of “Mian Tan Sein Ji”, the court musician of Mughal emperor Akbar.


When: Saturday, 20th May 2017
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 7:30PM – 9:00PM

Entry: Rs. 400

May 2017

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

[The Express Tribune] Outsiders in the art world: Three emerging artists display work at Faraar Gallery

Happy Tenth with E-Sharp!

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Monday, 15th May 2017 | 7:30PM – 9:30PM

PeaceNiche/The Second Floor (T2F) is turning 10 this year and we are celebrating with a live concert by E Sharp, one of our favourite indie bands from Karachi.

This is indeed a milestone for us, from where we first started. We are humbled by our wonderful community who continue to support us through the years.

~ Bring some good vibes everyone ~


When: Monday 15th May 2017
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 7:30PM

Entry: Rs. 300 (Please support our vision of intellectual poverty alleviation by donating generously)

Future Communities: A two day Symposium

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Saturday, 13th May  – Sunday, 14th May 2017 | 4:00PM – 7:00PM

Since the inception of our space in 2007, The Second Floor (T2F) has been at the core of PeaceNiche’s commitment to community development. We have designed and executed countless projects to foster intellectual discourse and creative expression, and to address the critical issues of our time. This year marks our tenth anniversary.

We believe that there is much to offer and we want to continue to provide a working platform where conversations and alliances can ensue across boundaries and divisions, and all can work together to create possible ways forward.

We have conceived the various themes of this symposium to engage and address current developments, exchange ideas, and define possible solutions with T2F as the common platform. We want to collectively imagine a strong foundation for the future, and identify concrete steps towards it. Our focus is on innovative cultural programming geared towards benefiting our society, communities, democracy, public health and well-being, urban life, and local as well as regional growth.

Join us, so together we can imagine a better future!


MAY 13 | 4.00 – 4.55 pm | State of the Arts: Contemporary Art Practices

May 13 | 5.00 – 5.55 pm | Words, Worlds: Towards a More Inclusive Literary Sphere

May 13 | 6.00 – 6.55 pm | Infrastructures of Support for Emerging Artists

May 14 | 4.00 – 4.55 pm | The Community Space Model

May 14 | 5.00 – 5.55 pm | A Platform for Community Building

May 14 | 6.00 – 6.55 pm | Behenchara Corner: Personal is Political




When: Saturday, 13th May – Sunday 14th May 2017
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 4:00PM – 7:00PM

Entry: Free! ( (Please support our vision of intellectual poverty alleviation by donating generously)

Outsider Art

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Wednesday, 10th May – Wednesday, 24th May 2017

Faraar Gallery is pleased to present Outsider Art, an exhibition of new works by Rijah Chhapra, Hamza Iftikar, and Asad Kamran. The show brings together three emerging artists’ diverse interests, influences and art practices.

The works in this show are varied in their expression. From Asad’s intuitive, gestural, and whimsical handling of paint on canvas; to Rijah’s intricate worlds within human organs; to Hamza’s inward reflection through self-portraiture, these three artists share an urgency to create something. They draw upon abstraction, illustration, fantasy, representation, design, and other visual forms to make sense of the world around them. In order to counteract the business of their daily, perhaps more “practical”, career pursuits, they turn to art as a constant source of strength and grounding. Their creative practices provide solace from hectic life commitments, and room for play in the face of rigidly prescribed work structures. Each of them feels compelled to create art as a means to explore themselves and their lives on a deeper level.

Rijah Chhapra is currently enrolled at the Aga Khan University. While she is immersed in puzzling pathology and fazed by the human body, art enables her to escape and invent her own surreal reality. In the worlds she creates, laws of science do not have to apply. She is free to put pen to paper and imagine her own intricate systems. She warps and transforms anatomical forms to her will, merging fantasy with reality.

Hamza Iftikar is currently enrolled at the Aga Khan University. Hamza is a visual artist and spoken word poet, and juggles art and science on a daily basis. He draws from the frustration and magic of letting his different interests and pursuits collide. He believes that a daily creative practice helps to express suppressed feelings and beliefs, which are useful in the attempt to navigate the adult world. Ideas of self-representation, gender and sexuality emerge through his work. This is Hamza’s second show at Faraar Gallery. His recent shows include Rang Saazi, the visual art installation at LMM 2017, and Alter Ego at Faraar Gallery in November 2016. Two of his pieces ‘Gnarl’ and ‘Getting Closer’ are part of Forever South’s ‘The HotCues Series’.

Asad Kamran is currently enrolled at the University of Edinburgh, where he studies Architecture. Art making for him is a cathartic experience to deal with the challenges and changes of life. He has tried, a few times, to determine the fate of his canvases before he puts paint on them. But this has hardly ever worked out. Instead, he now allows the paintings to develop organically. His process is whimsical and intuitive, allowing him to express himself without constraints. The resulting paintings are a collective expression of all that he feels in the moment when he is faced with the canvas. When architecture feels too structured and practical, painting allows him to stumble and slip. He drips and leaks color onto canvas in order to shake up the logical rigidity which academia and life sometimes envelop him in.

Please contact the gallery at or 021-35389033 for more information.


Opening: Wednesday, May 10th 2017 | 6:00PM – 8:00PM
Exhibition Dates: Wednesday, May 10th – Wednesday, May 24th 2017
Regular Gallery Hours: 12:00PM – 10:00PM
Where: Faraar Gallery

Dance Mandala with Alizeh!

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Monday, 8th May 2017 | 7:00PM – 8:30PM

Dance Mandala with Alizeh Valjee! 

A One-day Walk-in Workshop

About the Workshop:
Dance Mandala is a method of moving meditation that encourages authentic self-expression, cultivating bliss, and stillness. Through free-form movement, music, and gentle guided instruction, the participants are exposed to motion to confront the rigidity and tension of their own bodies.

About the Instructor:
Alizeh Valjee holds a BA. in Psychology & Religion from Mount Holyoke College; an Advanced Diploma in Humanistic Integrative Counselling from CPPD, UK; and is a certified freeform movement meditation facilitator. Valjee is the co-founder of CareForHealth and Taskeen, the Karachi-based mental and emotional health initiatives, teaches yoga and meditation classes at AQ Fitness, and also runs her own private practice as a therapist.

Dance Mandala May 2017-01-02

When: Monday, 8th May 2017
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 7:00PM – 8:30PM

Entry: Free! ( (Please support our vision of intellectual poverty alleviation by donating generously)

Health & Safety:
Dance Mandala is an alcohol & drug free space. It is not recommended during pregnancy. If you have a history of mental illness please email prior to coming.

Note: Limited space available. Entry is on first come first served basis.

Investigation Cell: A Play by Kulsoom Aftab

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

Saturday, 6th May – Sunday, 7th May 2017 | 6:30PM – 8:00PM

Three suspects are brought into an Investigation Cell: a rebellious, young female playwright hiding a fragile girl within her, a runaway man from Lyari who claims to be Barack Obama, and a conservative ‘Burqa-posh’ whose alter-ego is that of a man – her own father.

The Investigation Officer claims to know everything about the suspects. As the evening progresses, he psychoanalyses them into admitting their hidden fears and desires. What ensues is a violent drama of opposing ends: reality and illusion, battling it out in desperate pursuit of truth, in this stellar first-production by Kulsoom Aftab.

Starring: Kulsoom Aftab | Vajdaan Shah | Asia Alam | Mohammad Zamaan | Mujtuba Rizvi | Sabiha Zia | Faraz Ali

Assistants: Muntazir Mehdi | Salman Ahmed

Written & Directed by:
Kulsoom Aftab


When: Saturday 6th May  & Sunday, 7th May 2017
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 6:30PM – 8:00PM

Entry: Rs.400

Irfan & Moaaz: Live in Concert

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

Sunday, 30th April 2017 | 7:00PM – 9:00PM

“The Chitrali people are very music-oriented. If we are sitting and I start playing a guitar, someone else would join in with the tabla.” – Irfan Ali Taj in The Express Tribune

Join us at T2F for an evening of regional, folk and mainstream fusion. Take away the heavy guitar riffs and what one is left with is the pure vernacular sound of the stunning Chitrali mountains and the collective soul of its dwellers!

About the Featured Artists:

Irfan Ali Taj and Moaaz Afridi’s sound is best described as multi-folkloral urban experimental music. It is determined by an intermingling of tradition and modern approaches, in an effort to bring Chitrali music to the fore. Their work includes a collaboaration with Zoe Viccaji, Ashiqi Angar (2016), and the recent singles, Ishq Darya (2017) and Dunya Ju Basu (2017).


When: Sunday, 30th April 2017
Where: The Second Floor (T2F)
Time: 7:00PM – 9:00PM

Entry: Rs.250