Announcement from PeaceNiche | The Second Floor (T2F)’s Board

17155613_10155154845228619_4470227105733475263_nThe Board of Directors of PeaceNiche/The Second Floor (T2F) is pleased to announce that Ms. Ellia Khan, previously Program Manager at T2F, has been appointed as the Officiating Director of PeaceNiche/T2F. Ellia took charge of this position from February 1st, 2017. Ellia and the team members, Fiza Khatri, Fatin Umrani, Asad Alvi, Alifyah Imani, and Sana Nasir, will be managing PeaceNiche/T2F operations till such time that a director is appointed at T2F.

The Board and the team are excited to work with Ellia and other team members, to ensure that T2F remains a leading center for cultural development and exchange.

The team looks forward to seeing you soon at T2F!

Important Announcement

It has recently come to our knowledge that a Facebook page of an entity calling itself the ‘Baloch Freedom Front’ contains images of the (late) Sabeen Mahmud and makes references to the organization ‘T2F’, and attributes certain views to the (late) Sabeen Mahmud and T2F as well as references to her murder, for the purpose of propagating the political views and objectives of this entity calling itself the ‘Baloch Freedom Front’

We would like to clarify and categorically state that T2F is in no way connected, nor endorses any views expressed, by this entity calling itself the ‘Baloch Freedom Front’. We would further like to clarify and categorically state that we also do not endorse the misleading references to the (late) Sabeen Mahmud by this entity. We reserve the right to take appropriate action against the misuse of the name of T2F and of the (late) Sabeen Mahmud.

The (late) Sabeen Mahmud and T2F primarily stands for the right of freedom of speech and expression for all the citizens and residents of Pakistan including the Baloch citizens of Pakistan, without affiliation to any particular political ideology or movement.

Our New Chairman

A warm welcome to our new Chairman, Khalid Mahmood who began his new role at PeaceNiche/T2F at the start of January 2017.

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Here is a message from him to the community:

Dear Friends and Supporters of T2F,

I am honored to be appointed as the new chairman of Peace Niche/T2F.

I would like to thank the outgoing chairperson, Ms. Mahenaz Mahmud, and the outgoing managing committee/board for their untiring efforts in keeping T2F running for the past 18 months. Ms. Mahenaz Mahmud’s contributions in helping her daughter Sabeen Mahmud set up T2F, and continuing her work and her legacy after her tragic loss, are an invaluable gift to our city.

I would also like to thank the team at T2F and the outgoing director, Ms. Marvi Mazhar who took up the reins of T2F eighteen months ago, at a challenging time and restored the organization, its programs, and activities through their untiring efforts.

I would like to ensure the community that I will uphold the values and traditions of Peace Niche/T2F, so that it continues to be the space that it was envisioned to be.

With the help of the friends, management, and staff of T2F, I hope to improve the facilities further and continue to meet, and hopefully exceed, the standards of the programs, events, and activities at T2F. Together, we can protect, preserve, and expand the space for democratic dialogue and cultural exchange, and continue to nurture creativity, critical thinking and diversity.

Sincerely,

Khalid Mahmood

Faraar

written by Raania Azam Khan Durrani

I found creative freedom at Faraar.

I stumbled upon PeaceNiche few years ago, at a time when creativity seemed bound by red tape and repetition. As the visual art coordinator at PeaceNiche, I am blessed to work with some of the bravest, sharpest and most sensitive people in the country. At PeaceNiche and at Faraar; our playground for creative expression, we are not afraid to explore energies and take chances. Faraar is not just a gallery, but a multi faceted, multi dimensional space that welcomes and serves positivity and honest efforts. Faraar thrives on the energy, zest and professionalism of the artists that are drawn to it. Art is ageless, and it has no bounds. Faraar has always and continues to welcome those who convey and emote through their work, young and old, emerging or established, painter or potter, our doors are open to creators who wish to share.

It has been quite a journey so far, filled with excitement, sweat and smiles. In 2010 the team at PeaceNiche began questioning the art norms in the city. Who are we as an art space? Where do we stand amidst the crowd of commercial galleries and the high-end arts? What can we do for artists? What is it that defines us best and our beliefs of giving back to the community? These are the questions we asked each other. The same year we decided to make some changes and steered away, if only for a while, from solo art showcases. Why make it formal and exclusive, when we can really reach out and have some more fun? That year sitting in ‘The room that houses the crazy ones’, ‘Jumma Hafta Art Bazaar’ was born, it was not a version of the ‘Art Lootmar’, that Faraar had been hosting, but rather a renewed and more directed offspring of it.

It was young; it was just an idea at the time. I hand picked fourteen artists, mostly painters and potters, we set up shops and we sold work. It was simply satisfying, as the curator to see artists becoming a team and help sell each others works, discussing the art making process, making plans, drinking tea, understanding who we all are as artists. It could not end there. A few months later Jumma Hafta Art Bazaar 2, which by now had become JHAB 2 was in its developing stages.

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The team sat down on the round ‘Pakistan Cables’ appropriated conference table and decided to initiate the ‘PeaceNiche Public Art Project’. We simply wished to cultivate a new audience for the arts. Make art available and accessible to all. The stunning Sabeen Mahmud drafted a stellar document, and the process began. At JHAB 2 we hosted and collaborated with over ninety visual artists, craftspeople and performance artists. The three-day event tested our mettle. It was spread out in two spaces, namely the gallery, the plot next door and pretty much on the street too. I would specially like to thank and mention the truck artists, painters, the Overload band and young students who all came forth and supported the cause, they all believed in the making of a new viewership, and despite our very limited funds worked with us, generously engaging with the crowds, mentoring, teaching and being joyous.

Soon after Faraar hosted the ‘Pyaar Pop-Up Shop’ in early 2013. That was an idea born on the closing night of JHAB 2, we wanted to do something ‘Rangeen’, something ‘Shouqeen’, and so we did.

JHAB 3 took place this summer, a different taste, but the same goal. This time around over 30 visual artists and craftspeople took over the gallery space and set up shops. Yes, I agree it was crowded, a bit crazy even, but it worked. We were not able to use the plot but we did use the ‘Utility Store’ shutters across from us, for street screenings titled ‘ Shutter Down’, an idea first explored by Insiya Syed at JHAB2. This time we screened video documentation of performance art shows by Amin Gulgee, and the sultry and racy ‘Behind the scenes’ of the music video ‘My Punjabi Love for You’ by Adnan Malik Productions. JHAB 3 also hosted street screenings by the ‘Tentative Collective’. Yes, on the closing night of ‘JHAB 3’ new plans were born again, the plan was to mix it up.

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In October we had a show titled ‘Hero-Worship’ dedicated to Pakistani Cricketing stars. The artist, Shanzay Subzwari, is still a student at art school, and worked for several months, producing work, making decisions and learning from doing.

The Faraar Gallery has hosted some wonderful artists this year including Taqi Shaheen who showed his ‘Dhandli’ series in July 2013, Tahir Bhatti who makes fine ink drawings of women and their auras, Craftsmen Jani Soomro and Abdul Majid Soomro of Sindh, JP Chohan, chauffer in the day, artist by night, Raam Laal who made incredibly bright parrots of found objects for the Pyaar Shop – and my personal favourite Pervez Rana, master cinema painter who has painted vivid portraits of luscious icons, my favourite was his Frida, which I now proudly own.

Here we are again, thinking forward, shall we mix it up again? Yes we must. So this year look out for some exciting new projects at the Faraar Gallery at PeaceNiche.

Currently, Faraar is hosting the ‘Paanch Hazaar ki Deevar’, a selection of work all to be sold at Rs.5000/- each, this is also a part of the PeaceNiche Public Art Project.

Following that, Faraar will bring you works of two eclectic and very enthusiastic painters, Nazr-ul-Islam from Hyderabad, and Sarah Bakhtiyar of Karachi. Do follow our facebook page for details.

Bring us your best energy, bring us your ideas, come be free at Faraar.

NOTE: The Faraar Gallery welcomes artists/craftspeople to share their links with the curator at raania@peaceniche.com, please note we DO NOT accept attachments only links. Once reviewed, shortlisted artists are contacted for upcoming opportunities. As per policy Faraar does not exhibit calligraphic/religiously inclined work. The gallery charges a 30% facilitation fee on all sales.

Now at T2F: The Last Word

The Last Word has brought you the most exquisite books available anywhere in the world. We have painstakingly selected the finest literature, most topical non-fiction, and cutting edge books on Art and Culture. The Last Word caters to a sophisticated readership that thrives on ideas, creativity and explosive concepts.

Please support T2F’s vision of Intellectual Poverty Alleviation
by purchasing books from our bookstore. All proceeds are used to fund our literary programs.

TLW2

Jumma Hafta Art Bazaar 3.0

written by Talha Kehar

The PeaceNiche team works tirelessly to organize and structure events, be it an evening of music, a lecture or an art exhibition. Each event is the result of the cohesive effort of our staff. We attempt to make each event enjoyable, interactive and informative. We also make it a point to enjoy ourselves as we do this- all work and no play makes T2F a dull place! Every now and then, we have an event that tests our teamwork whilst giving us an opportunity to let our hair down. Jumma Hafta Art Bazaar (JHAB) is one such event.

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JHAB is one of the most popular recurring events at T2F. This July, JHAB had its third instalment, a two day event featuring 21 artists including Saad Irfan, Nyla Talpur, Fatima Zaidi and Raania Durrani. PeaceNiche also invited craftsmen from interior Sindh, who exhibited traditional, vibrant pottery, shawls and bangles. Their handicrafts, being a rare sight in Karachi, flew off the shelves, and it was surprising to see that they still had anything left to sell on day two!

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Pottery Workshops had also been organized with Khalid- a traditional potter/kumbhar from Karachi. Children made and decorated their own pots and carried them proudly around the bazaar, like brightly coloured trophies.

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Adnan Malik at JHAB 3.0

In order to engage the community around T2F, Yaminay Nasir Chaudhri of The Tentative Collective, showcased a number of short films made by community members on the topic, “What I do on my day off”. Filmmaker Adnan Malik screened the music video (with a behind-the-scenes segment) he made for Bumbu Sauce’s song ‘My Punjabi Love for You’. These films were screened on the walls outside T2F.

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Even in this jumble, it was integral that our team kept track of the goings on, as difficult as it might have been not to spontaneously break into dance to a Bollywood song. We managed to keep a check on our bopping tendencies but in such events it’s hard not to lose track of one’s surroundings. A quote from one of our team members sums up this sentiment

I’d be in my corner, but there’s no space for me there!”

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JHAB 3.0 left people exhausted, yet amazed, with so much to see and do in such a modest space. From the explosion of culture and colour on the walls to the energetic bazaar environment; it was impossible not to get sucked into the madness. Art, craft, music and culture all combined to create an exuberant ambiance that was enjoyed by participants, spectators and ourselves. We, at PeaceNiche, definitely look back at JHAB 3.0 as one our favourite events of this year.

The Hudd Ho Gaee Podcast: Episode 3

The Hudd Ho Gaee Podcast: Episode 2

Sabeen Mahmud sits down with Zakir Thaver and Omar Vandal, producers of an upcoming documentary on Dr. Abdus Salam, to talk about the making of the film. As all three of them are solemnly devoted to tangents, this episode goes all over the place, attempts to ‘come back’, and fails. Please don’t use headphones to listen in because the sound editors threw in a bonus background track that will make you think your phone is going to ring any second. It will drive you crazy. Oh, tell us which of the following three songs you like best:
1. Crazy by Gnarls Barkley
2. Crazy by Icehouse
3. Crazy by Seal

The Hudd Ho Gaee Podcast: Episode 1

Shooting the breeze from the heart of #NA250.

Ode to Brownie and Ice-Cream

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“I eat brownie ice-cream whenever I want to feel better.” – Shahnaz Imdad, Customer

“A gift from the gastronomical gods: that is the only way to describe T2F’s Brownie. When you bite into the crunchy, bitter chocolate, you’re transported to surreal world. When paired with sweet vanilla ice-cream, the flavour and richness is intensified; the perfect balance of hot and cold, bitter and sweet, chocolate and vanilla. You haven’t really experienced T2F till you’ve indulged in the brownie ice-cream combination.” – Talha Kehar, Admin Coordinator at T2F

“Chewy
, moist, perfectly chocolatey, not too bitter, not too sweet. Reminds me of old movies
.” – Sarah Fariduddin, Customer

“An amazing mixture of the cold and the warm, the brown and the white, the soft and the smooth.” – Hasan Shahid, Customer