Three boys and a dream to make Karachi’s walls beautiful

Abdoz Arts’ initiative to reclaim public spaces starts with creating art for the people


Photo Athar Khan/saadia Qamar August 11, 2016
Abdoz Arts is painting walls with scenes from Karachi’s street life and national monuments in a bid to reclaim public spaces and bring art to the public. PHOTOS: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

KARACHI: Three young boys launched an art initiative to make the city's walls look clean again, fulfilling their dream and civic responsibility.

Abdoz Arts, an initiative that works to reclaim public spaces, just launched a new project titled 'Meri Shaan - Mera Pakistan'. The three founders, 23-year-old Humble Tariq, 21-year-old Omar Asim, and 22-year-old Wahaj Ali Khan, began by painting walls at Aisha Manzil in Federal B Area and recently moved ahead with their project and painted the walls opposite National Stadium, belonging to the Pakistan Sports Board.

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An entire team is currently working on the wall, painting and drawing scenes of Sea View beach, stalls selling fruit, Minar-e-Pakistan, Mazar-e-Quaid, Khyber Pass and many other Pakistan-themed icons. "We plan to bring to light the street life of Karachi and special monuments of the country, stressing on the various cultures of the provinces on this wall," said Tariq, who is co-leader of the project.



"There is a lot of profanity written on the walls in the city," said art director Asim. "We want to do away with that kind of negativity." He believes the country's walls are a 'medium of propaganda', which allow people to preach their point of view. "We will use another tool - art - as a powerful means to get our thoughts across to the sane minds," he said. Asim believes that one can reach the public through art.

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"We thought about painting the walls a while back," explained Khan, who is the project's co-leader. "We then approached EFU Life Insurance to fund this project, which in turn connected us with Karachi commissioner Ejaz Ahmed Khan, who allowed this activity to be performed on these walls."

With numerous people visiting them and trying to ascertain what they are up to, the young men are frank and honest about their intentions. The team says they will try to paint 'the walls of the city for the next 10 years, from every nook and cranny to every other street and lane'. Beginning from the slums of the city, they want to give all the city's walls a decent look.



"Usually art is not for the public but we plan to bring it to them and really want them to like this gesture," said Tariq.

Talking about the walls opposite National Stadium, they will be completed around Independence Day, as a gift from the young men to the city.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2016.

COMMENTS (6)

Syed Ali Jan | 6 years ago | Reply Great work!
MDK | 6 years ago | Reply Much appreciated efforts.
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