IVS graduate’s artwork portrays city’s dark side
Karachi: The fear of being mugged or kidnapped, which plagues the people of Karachi and forces them to keep cheaper mobile phones as alternatives to hand over to muggers, is evident in the work of Fatima Munir, who topped her Fine Arts class at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture this year.
Munir’s deeply personal fine art thesis, now on display at the school, is a testament to the terror that grips one’s heart when a motorcycle is too close for comfort or when the rear view mirror shows that persistent figure.
On car screens and fabric, Munir displays her fear and wish to “protect her children without the conventional ways of guards”.
A T-shirt in camouflage print bears the name tag ‘Innocent civilian’ and car screens are embroidered with pleas such as ‘jaanvar mat baniye’ [don’t become an animal] and ‘Please do not loot, shoot or abduct’.
Munir chose car screens in particular since she feels “most vulnerable” when in a car, and as a social experiment, she put them on her vehicle to gauge the reaction. A dress shirt has several similar pleas stitched on it, emanating from Munir’s concern for her husband, a businessman who travels a fair bit, and how she is a “wreck” every time he leaves for a trip.
“It is a common practice to harness children’s energy by giving them creative tasks like needle work. In Pakistan it is specially practiced because it brings calm as well as trains little girls’ patience, focus and eventually beautifies their home.
“Fatima Munir has therefore used this technique to sing the songs of her mind. About the compromise of living and raising a family in one of the most dangerous cities of the world. About the frustration of the state of her country, Pakistan. About the despair that stares her face everywhere she looks and about the grief that we must all overlook to survive…,” said a statement.