Censorship, State & Society - 530pm Thu 30 Apr 09

Culture SOS is meeting

Please call as many people persons as possible interested in issues related to censorship, state and society. 

Fomma Art Centre
Zamzama Park
Thursday April 30, 2009
Time: 5:30 pm 
Niilofur Farrukh
Yasir Husain
DanvillainSmiley.jpg image by TahTheJedi
CultureSOS members are concerned citizens of Pakistan. CultureSOS takes preventive & curative steps against attacks on Expression, Public life and the Public Sphere. CultureSOS upholds the Freedom of Expression for all. 

CultureSOS has 40 very creative people in it. Please join in the fun !

related post: 

Denmark Pakistan school exchange


please see the Danish contribution at http://globalelangkaer.blogspot.com/ and the Pakistani one at http://karachiaarhus.blogspot.com/

this was a lot of fun! among other things coming out of the discussion, we realized the colourful Danish school bathrooms were actually the work of creative Danish school kids and not administration


The festival that was not to be

Reacting to the events at the Shanaakht festival,

For me personally it is clear that the contested image is unproductive and simply too easy a collage in terms of artistic work. For this I would if Iwere in any way responsible offer a public apology. In all nations, notonly in the East, freedom of speech is debated. In the country I was bornin, Holland - Geert Wilders is stretching his limits and the least we cansay is that does not lead to more cooperation, understanding and trustbetween people of different religions, stories and opinions.

In the West there are also clear boundaries to what can legally be said. The Holocaust is incontestable. If you belittle or deny that charges will be broughtagainst you.The fact that the artist and the head organizer responsible are takingthemselves ( perhaps rightly and certainly understandably) out of thepicture should signal that the persons who take responsibility now can notbe associated with the process of selection, curation, and exhibit.They are concerned with the violent, hostile and irresponsible reaction ofcertain parties that led to the organizers feeling they could no longerensure the safety of the hundreds of children, families, young students,foreign artists and participants in the festival.

It is very unfortunate that the reaction resulted in halting a veryimportant cultural event that people from all walks of life were reallyexcited about.For this reaction has only strenghtened the already global view that theworld has of Pakistan. Here we do not politely discuss (although there isa longer tradition then anywhere else in the Persian region of a realmulticulturalism), here we do not engage in dialogue and maybe first tryto understand the others point of view (although the strong and mightySufi tradition brought the very idea of a pragmatic dualism into theworld), no here we barge in with men and guns, big bullies shoving peopleaside. How brave on a family festival.And although I certainly do not want to belittle the understandable reaction to this picture, I do feel that if this picture had not been there, another one could (would?) have been singled out to give such offense so as to cause this rioting. Maybe there are certain parties who can not stand that people come together for a week through cultures andthe arts and simply have a good time? As if this is possible in thecurrent climate! And it was.

Their irresponsible behaviour has caused that people will stop to wonder very hard if they are again willing to invest so much energy into organizing something positive for all, free for all. What they have probably only contributed to is that artistic events will go undergroundand into the galleries available for an elite. It is very unfortunate as this picture which could have served as the perfect test case. We must for sure take into account that the artist is not Pakistan based but living inan iconic culture in which collages of this kind are being discussed as pure form, any reference to the real living people reduced to a tinysecond shock moment, because nothing in imagery ever seems to get throughto us anymore. I'm certain that had she known that this could have happened, she would have withdrawn it.

The best thing that could now happen is a real open discussion between the party workers that stormed in, the organizers, and the artists. Then the protesters can share their pain and sorrow, the organizers can explain their curatorial philosophy of anything goes as it is a gift, and the artist can express her righteous anger for having to have to live abroad and not being able to work in the counrty of her origin because of the violence and hardheadedness of men who do not want to give up theirpriviliges,

Rob van Kranenburg

Rob van Kranenburg was present at the Shanaakht festival during therioting. He had come to Karachi as a guest of Mauj and Nukta Art Magazine to host a workshop on new media criticism, sponsored by Mondriaan Foundation and ASEF.

Press Conference | Vandalism @ ArtsCouncil | Mon 13 April

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' Culture SOS ! '

TODAY (Mon 13 April 09):

Press Conference - Vandalism @ ArtsCouncil
Karachi Press Club, 4:30pm


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Come to the Press Conference at Karachi Press Club (KPC) at 4:30 pm, sit in the audience and watch the panel reading out the Statement (petition below) and explaining: what is wrong with attacking a public space, to journalists and the public.

Shanaakht Petition & CultureSOS group

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1. Sign petition, and ask people to sign petition:
Inquiry into Vandalism at Arts Council Khi 08Apr'09 http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Vandalism_at_Arts_Council_Karach/

2. Join, and Ask People to Join the googlegroup CultureSOS at: http://groups.google.com/group/culturesos

Other groups are welcome to take up the petition on their own.

To send messages to the whole group write to:
culturesos [at] googlegroups [dot] com

Please forward to friends.

Media & Activism event in the news

previous posts:

Support for travel of Rob van Kranenburg & Suzanne Hogendoorn

The Mondriaan Foundation has supported travel of Rob Van Kranenburg and Suzanne Hogendoorn to Karachi, Pakistan in the month of April 2009.

The Asia-Europe Foundation is supporting logistic expenses occurring for events organised during Rob Van Kranenburg and Suzanne Hogendoorn's visit to Karachi, the events include:
  • Evening on Media and Activism, 7 April
  • Shanaakht Festival, 8-12 April
  • Writing Workshop on New Media Art, 10-11 April
The Goethe Institute, Karachi has supported Mauj by allowing their premises to be used for the Evening on Media and Activism on 7 April 2009.

T2F has agreed to share their space with Mauj during the Shanaakht Festival 2009, thus resulting in great ideas being explored by Mauj in the public domain.

Conference on Connecting Civil Societies III: an Asia-Europe Dialogue on Economy and Society, Beijing, 17-18 October 2008

T2F at Shanaakht | 8-12 April

|||| ___ Thank you T2F for sharing your space with Mauj ! ___ ||||

Schedule of T2F Events at the Shanaakht Festival 2009
Join us at Karachi Arts Council from 8 - 12 April 2009.

Wednesday April 8

7:00 pm
The Elephant in the Subcontinent: Conversations in India and Pakistan featuring Ethan Casey

Thursday April 9

7:00 pm
T2F at Shanaakht
Sheereenié Guftar: A selection of prose and poetry that highlights the sweetness of the Urdu language, presented by Irfan Sattar

7:45 pm
Unforgettable Cricket Memories: A slideshow of rare images presented by Iqbal Munir and Saad Shafqat

Friday April 10

7:00 pm
Pakistani Poetry Over the Years, curated and presented by Asif Farrukhi and Zaheer Kidvai

Saturday April 11

7:00 pm
One Man Theater Performance of Necropolis by Indian Theater Activist, Parnab Mukherjee

About Necropolis
Necropolis is a riveting photo-performance that provokes, angers, saddens and mesmerises ...
Two men meet on the street. They have to make a deal. Or rather they want to make a deal. One has something to sell and the other needs something to buy. The Dealer is unsure what to peddle or whether he wants to peddle anything in the first place. The Client knows what he has to buy but does not know exactly how to. A cat and mouse game begins between these nameless, faceless, shapeshifters who have to make a transaction which they are not sure why they would make.

8:00 pm
Readings and Conversation with Nadeem Aslam, Author of Maps for Lost Lovers

Sunday April 12

12:00 Noon
Personal Histories: Mrs Zeerak Raziuddin and Prof Manzoor Zaidi

Mrs Zeerak Raziuddin
Daughter of the fabled Dr Ashraf ul Haq of Hyderabad, she was the niece of Shahid Ahmad Dehlavi and played in the lap of Josh as a child. She was one of the first women to drive a car in Karachi, open a boutique, run a business and make a film.

Professor Manzoor Zaidi
One of the leading physicians in the city, Dr. Zaidi headed the Radiotherapy unit at the JPMC. As a young medical student, he vividly recalls the September 47 riots in Karachi and the transition from Delhi.

6:00 pm
Mushaera featuring leading Urdu poets from Karachi

On All Days

, a collective that uses open technology for art, culture and empowerment, will interpret the theme of identity in different projects using helium balloons, a collaborative cellphone photo project with Amsterdam called City Ragas, sounds of Karachi bus conductors and more ...

Art Activities for School Children

Thank you CAP for providing T2F with a space at the Karachi Arts Council.

Writing New Media Art | 10-11 Apr | Nukta & Mauj

Nukta Art Magazine and Mauj Collective
present a

Writing Workshop on
New Media Art
by Rob Van Kranenburg
10 & 11 April 2009, Karachi

identity, interactivity, networks. future trends, co-creation, resonance, the blurring of arts and design in the Internet of Things, the role of the artist in an ever more complex world full of radicalism - what does this mean for the disruptive qualities of art if disruption becomes the default?

by registration only.

inquiries: maujmail [at] googlegroups [dot] com

Mauj interprets Shanaakht | 8-12 April + 5-7 pm

Shanaakht Festival
shanaakht | identity

City Ragas
'Mein Kaun Hoon' & 'Borders'
Eye Balloon
helium balloons and mobile cameras
Bus Conductor Chants
urban culture
8-12 April | @ 5-7 pm | Arts Council Karachi
We will be there, a little earlier on 12th Sun, the last day
Come see us there !

Media & Activism | Tue 07Apr | Goethe & Mauj

Invitation to an evening on
  media & activism 
07 April 2009
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Goethe Institute
2 Brunton Rd, Civil Lines, Karachi
(Brunton Rd is the lane next to CM House near the Sheraton)
Students, journalists, activists, artists, technologists 
& mediaworkers are especially invited. Please forward.
on facebook

+ + + +


Welcome by Goethe Institute
Introduction by Mauj Collective

On the Need of Bureaucracy: slowing things down in the age of acceleration
Rob van Kranenburg

'We will block you'  (documentary film)
Suzanne Hogendoorn & Mark Kulsdom


Tracking the Long March
Awab Avi

Journalists will join in
Open discussion 

+ + + +

An evening on Media and Activism
Do media and activism always go together. How does an activist media fill the gaps. How do the new technologies fit in this picture. What does this increased access to information mean for our complex culture and society.
In a timely note Rob van Kranenburg observes the present age of acceleration. Concerning the role of the artist in an ever more complex world full of radicalism, he dares to ask: what
does this mean for the disruptive qualities of art if disruption becomes the default?
Suzanne Hogendoorn presents her film on European activists at the G8 Summit 2007.
Awab Alvi gives us a behind-the-web look at citizens covering the Long March in March 2009 using internet & cellphones.
We hope to involve journalists in the discussion. Open discussion will follow.

Rob van Kranenburg graduated cum laude in Literary Theory at Tilburg University (Nl). He went to work with Prof Ronald Soetaert in Ghent, in the Educational Department, developing online learning modules, methods and concepts drawing on the idea of multiliteracies. In 2000 he went to Amsterdam to work as programmer on media education at the centre for culture and politics de Balie and as teacher-coordinator of the new media program in the Film and Television Studies Department at the University of Amsterdam. Feeling it was to young a field to predominantly historize it, he moved to Doors of Perception and co-programmed with John Thackara Doors 7, Flow, the design challenge of pervasive computing. In 2003 he mentored a postgraduate course in performance, theatre and the arts at APT, Arts Performance Theatrical. He has also been associated with The Virtual Platform (nl), the Waag Society (nl), Transmediale Festival (de) and Sarai (in).

Suzanne Hogendoorn is an international documentary filmmaker from The Netherlands. Her documentaries are usually associated with activism and have aired on channels such as Holland Doc. She is a member of the Mauj Collective and is making a documentary on the same. She made the documentary with Mark Kulsdom 

Awab Alvi is the most well-known blogger in Pakistan. He is also an activist and a practicing dentist. He has broken a number of stories to the media in the past and is an advocate of citizen journalism using the internet in particular. Awab's blog at http://teeth.com.pk/blog/ was selected the Best South Asian Blog for 2008
by the Brass Crescent Society Jury .

The Mauj Collective is engaged in art, technology and empowerment of people. It wants to introduce larger numbers of people in Pakistan to new media art. It wants to explore ways in which the interplay and interstices of art and technology are also socially engaging and empowering.