Second phase of ‘Walls of Peace’ kicks off
KARACHI: After having painted as many as 1,800 walls across the city from MT Khan Road to Gulistan-e-Jauhar in its first phase in 2015, ‘I Am Karachi’ has kicked off the second phase of their street art project.
The purpose of the initiative’s second phase, titled ‘Walls of Peace’, is the same as the first – reclaiming the walls of the metropolis. Vasl Art, an organisation that promotes platforms for the growth of young artists, is the implementing partner for the project’s second phase. An open call has been sent via Vasl Art to all the citizens and artistic community to come forward with their designs and paint the walls of the city so that everyone can contribute and be truly represented, said ‘I Am Karachi’ founding member Rumana Husain, adding that the second phase will continue till October.
“In the second phase, we have painted the walls at Cantt Station and the inner L-shaped wall of the Governor House,” Husain told The Express Tribune. Currently, she said, they are involved in painting the Rustomjee Bagh area located near St Joseph’s Convent in Saddar. The Governor House inner walls, which have only been seen by a select few, depict the life and times of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
According to ‘I Am Karachi’ staff member Hijab Tufail, public wants diversity and abstract art to be depicted in these images. “We are presently in the process of finalising the designs, many of which have come from the public itself,” she said.
People insisted that different communities of the city and their key elements, for instance, ajrak, be incorporated in the wall paintings to boost diversity, tolerance and acceptance, shared Tufail. “The idea is not just to paint the walls clean but rather to end the ethnic strife and divide that has left a negative image in the form of hate graffiti on our city’s walls,” she said.
“I came to know that there were walls that needed uplift while conducting road trips and wall surveys,” said Vasl Art research manager Hira Khan. There was graffiti that needed to be brought down, she said. Apart from the Rustomjee Bagh area that was based on featuring diversity and promoting hope, some stencil work is also in progress on MT Khan Road, said Khan.
Husain shared that as the project moves ahead, they plan to paint the walls of Arts Council and the images of the city’s true heroes and heroines, who are ‘the stars who left a massive impact on the city and its dwellers’, at other locations.