KARACHI: An approximately 457-foot-long wall, located opposite the Karachi Club and falling under land belonging to the Pakistan Railways, has been beautified under an initiative by ‘I Am Karachi’, titled ‘Walls of Peace’, which aims to reclaim the walls of the metropolis.
So far, 200 walls have been painted under this year’s ‘Walls of Peace’ project.
One can see images of birds flying high up in the sky, the sea, the Kothari Parade, Quaid-i-Azam’s mausoleum and Karachi’s evolving skyline on the painted wall.
“Our main idea was for hate graffiti to be removed and the hatred in our society to be side-lined,” said Vasal Artist Collector coordinator and Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture’s fine arts head Adeela Suleman while sharing details of the campaign. The total length of the wall that was painted is 456.75 feet approximately, she informed.
“I did one sketch and it got selected,” shared Shahana Munawar, one of the artists whose design was selected via an open call made earlier to the public and artist community to come forward with their designs and paint the city’s walls. “I started my work on the wall last Friday and it is now complete,” Munawar told The Express Tribune.
Aside from her, art groups Phool Patti and Phul Jee were also involved in this campaign and worked on the same wall. Both groups occupied a small portion of two separate ends of the wall. However, Munawar’s stretch was the longest one and she had a team of seven dedicated artists working under her.
“By painting this wall, I hope the culture of wall chalking ends and the public becomes aware that this is not [something] to spit paan [on],” said Munawar, adding that Karachi’s walls need to be done away with graffiti and wall chalking to allow them to become beautiful. “One could have easily felt depressed by looking at the previous condition of these walls,” commented Munawar’s husband, artist Munawar Ali Syed. However, now these artistic colours make one feel good, he said.
“The city needs a major uplift. Art changes ones mood and leaves imprints on your personality,” said Munawar, while giving credit for the ongoing campaign to the ‘I Am Karachi’ team and their implementing partner, Vasl Art, for taking up the task to remodel the city.
“In places and ventures like these the country’s corporate sector must step forward too so that the entire city can look colourful,” urged Syed, lamenting that sadly, the corporate sector is too involved in promoting commercial entertainment ventures and fails to support such initiatives.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2016.