Community Update | T2F Newsletter Jul-Sept 2017

Dear Friends,

We are delighted to share the second issue of Community Update with you.

In the last quarter, we have welcomed several new members to our team, while our range of programming has continued to increase in the outgoing quarter. In July, we revived Jumma Hafta Art Bazaar, followed by several more exhibitions and workshops. In August, we initiated a series of talks to commemorate 70 years of Pakistan, apart from our regular programs which include talks and panel discussions.

We hope you will enjoy our second issue of Community Update. As always, we look forward to your feedback and comments.

Yours Sincerely,
Team PeaceNiche/T2F

Read and download here: Community Update | T2F Newsletter Jul-Sept 2017


Friday 28th July 2017 

PeaceNiche/TheSecond Floor (T2F) is pleased to announce that Zaheer Alam Kidvai (ZAK to most of us) will be the Executive Director of PN/T2F.

He will start in this role from August 1st, 2017, while remaining a regular Board member. ZAK, as many of you know, was the founding member of PN/T2F and a mentor to Sabeen Mahmud.

Please join us in welcoming him!

Make T2F Café Sustainable

Dear T2F Community,

Despite our ambitious belief that it is possible to revive and sustain the café/community space model, the last 2.5 years have proved us otherwise. T2F café is suffering a massive loss.

Run as a social enterprise, the T2F café is a lively extension of our community space, well-placed and set up with the intention to bring people together.

Here is a brief overview of our operations:
• Four full-time skilled café employees who are paid market wages and benefits. T2F café has an employment policy which focuses on job opportunities for minorities. We strongly believe that when a social enterprise has the added bonus of being a café, it means that people are being trained in skills that give them a chance of long-term employment.

• The food we serve is locally sourced and hygienically prepared. We offer a range of fair trade coffees/tea, baked goods, high-quality “made-from-scratch brownies”, salads, sandwiches, bun-kebabs, pizzas and more.

• Our running costs include a full fledge working kitchen, (fridge/freezer, stove, oven, microwave, espresso machine) indoor seating area with 8-9 shared serving tables, 3 split air conditioners, and FREE WiFi. The cost of electricity has increased many fold in the last 5-6 years and running the air conditioners for the duration of time the café is open, is a significantly high expense.

To ensure our operations are steady and sustainable, we strongly believe that a wider ownership of the space is crucial at this point as we are revamping the café with a new look and menu.

The notion of letting customers choose whether they want to order or merely sit-in has unfortunately contributed to our loss. Most people who spend four to six hours in the café, rarely order anything other than a cup of tea or coffee. Hence the tables are occupied most of the time without any purchase and customers who want to come to the café to eat a healthy meal and in the process help sustain our café, don’t find a table or a chair to sit.

This has to change, if T2F is to become sustainable.

We urgently needed to create a system where we can generate revenues, employ people, pay our bills and create more opportunities. The purpose of the café is to be self-funding and to plough profits back into our programming and projects.

We are reaching out to the community to please assist and support us with our sustainability efforts.

PeaceNiche/The Second Floor Team (T2F)




Grow With Us #5K4T2F

Dear Friends,

On 15th May this year, PeaceNiche/The Second Floor (T2F) marked its tenth anniversary. This momentous milestone is an important time for us to address the community that nurtures T2F. We have strived to keep our programming and projects steady over the years, none more crucial and challenging than the past two and a half. We, like countless others, were devastated by the loss of our beloved founder and dreamer, Sabeen Mahmud on the 24th of April 2015. However, in the aftermath of the massive void her death created, we were overwhelmed by the unconditional love and support from our patrons. This act of the community selflessly coming together like a family was awe-inspiring and gave us the strength to face extreme hurdles and hold the fort despite all odds. We began planting the seeds for a stronger creative community as T2F continued to keep its doors and heart wide open.

Our unbreakable resolve in Sabeen’s vision alongside the community’s solidarity led us from strength to strength and in December 2016, PeaceNiche/The Second Floor (T2F) was awarded the much-coveted Prince Claus Award. This achievement was a testament to the enormous struggle that has been our journey since 2007 and the future that awaits us. This future however, is reliant on financial independence and stability and while we are working towards making it a reality every day, it is a continuous process that cannot and never has happened overnight.

We strive to grow and nourish a diverse creative hub for the diverse creative people of this extraordinary city with a strong honor code. This means that in the face of extreme financial adversity, we have still kept 70% of our events free in just the past year because we are determined to keep T2F an accessible and fertile ground for culture discourse and change. It takes hundreds of hours of planning and labor and thousands of rupees a month to sustain a unique space like ours and to keep it free from corporate practices, which is most important to us. The survival and growth of this space with the freedom to function as we do, relies on the generosity of our patrons and the community at large.

#5K4T2F is a continuation of our crowdfunding campaign from 2015, Come Together: Invest in Creative Karachi. We are at a point again where we seek your help as we have done before, to tackle the challenges with this year’s expenses, maintenance and upgrades. We cannot stand the thought of shrinking our scope of programming or quality of work for the community. To enable this space means that we need to serve our community fully.

If T2F has brought joy and inspiration into your life, if it has helped you celebrate and empower yourself, if it has provided you with a sanctuary in spirit and space, please consider contributing towards our shared future. Your gift will help us go a long way.
There are several ways to help us, find out what you can do by visiting:

Coming together in times of struggle is one of the strongest acts that define you, our vibrant community, and strengthens the bond that connects us all as the T2F family.

And at T2F we promise, there will always be room for family.

Ajay, Alifiyah, Binyamin, Chand, Ellia, Fatin, Fiza, Hassan, Majeed, Mamu, Mukesh,
Sana & Zarar
PeaceNiche/The Second Floor (T2F) Team

#5K4T2F #GrowWithUs #WeAreFamily #T2Ffam #Crowdfunding #CommunityPower
#CommunityLove #CommuntiySpace #SpreadTheWord #Repost #ComeTogether
#KeepOurDoorsOpen#CreativeKarachi #BringYourBrain #OpenYourHeart
#YourSecondHome #T2F #PeaceNiche #Karachi




Dear Friends,
T2F cafe will remain closed during Ramzan on account of maintenance and renovations.

Hope you all have a great summer!

PeaceNiche/The Second Floor (T2F) Team

Executive Director PeaceNiche/The Second Floor (T2F)

The Second Floor (T2F) is one of the major projects of PeaceNiche. A community space for open dialogue, T2F features a coffeehouse, bookshop, exhibition gallery and holds regular programs and events. T2F also provides citizens with a platform for social change through rich cultural activities, scientific and literary programs and activism using new media. PeaceNiche/T2F is committed to becoming a vibrant center of Pakistan’s developing civil society. PeaceNiche has a vision to expand T2F and excel in all areas in which it is currently serving, with a possibility to operate in more than one location.

It is against this background that we are opening up the position for an Executive Director to work with the PeaceNiche/The Second Floor (T2F) team, to implement artistic vision, creative and strategic leadership of the organization, and provide a unified and cohesive direction to sustain and grow T2F towards an exciting future.

The primary goals of the Executive Director will be to:

  • Develop programming that impacts audiences in profound and unpredictable ways in order to foster a spirit of inquiry and openness in our community.
  • Grow the annual operating budget to support the increased potential of our on-going projects, programmatic vision and audience engagement ambitions.
  • Oversee and manage a team of qualified and passionate full and part time staff in addition to interns, consultants, vendors and volunteers.
  • Oversee our integrated system of support for artists and ensure it is effective at creating positive impact for our artists.
  • Oversee all aspects of T2F’s audience engagement efforts including pre-event and on-site contextual materials or activities.
  • Develop and oversee partnerships with aligned institutions in and outside of Pakistan for collaborations, co-commissions, co-presentations and touring.
  • Be responsible for the operations budgets, finances and regulatory issues.


This is a full time position, and will entail some national and international travel. The candidate must not be engaged directly or indirectly in any other business or major consultancy. The position reports to the Chairperson and the Board of PeaceNiche/T2F.

Qualifications and Experience

Given the position’s significant responsibilities, PeaceNiche/T2F’s Executive Director should possess the following skills, experience and personal characteristics:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of museum arts and management, theatre, literature, design and publishing, social media, film, journalism, technology and related areas.
  • Proven fundraising ability and experience managing programmatic and operational plans to meet budget and capacity.
  • Excellence in spoken, written and public communication.
  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in related fields (Humanities, Arts Management, Social Sciences, Media Arts and Cultures). Minimum of eight (8) years of combined work experience with a minimum of three (3) yeas in senior or leadership position preferably in the arts and/or nonprofit organizations. The candidate will preferably be in the age bracket of 33 to 44 years.In particular, the right candidate will have:
  • Demonstrated success in implementing a compelling vision and strategic direction by managing multi-disciplinary teams and resources.
  • Creative thinking and problem solving; entrepreneurial spirit; strong determination with a clear focus on strategic goals and ability to respond quickly to opportunities and issues.
  • Decisive yet highly collaborative leadership capabilities with an inquisitive mindset, and a passion to discover, experience and learn new things.
  • A passionate dedication to free expression, diversity and independent thought.
  • A genuine desire to support staff, artists and audiences as they push their boundaries.

Compensation, Timeline and Application Instructions 

PeaceNiche/The Second Floor (T2F) is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applications will receive equal considerations. Salary and benefits will be commensurate to the current remuneration package of similar organizations and positions.

The ED position is slated to commence by July 1st, 2017.

To apply for the position, please submit your updated résumé, a detailed cover letter and three professional references to, with “Application for Director” in the subject line. The deadline to submit the application is May 30th 2017.

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.

khalid portrait
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.


Khalid Mahmood


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.

jhab 2 - 3

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.


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, 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.