From Khaipur to Karachi © 2011 sehba_sarwar. All rights reserved.

Video on Art Car

From Karachi to Khairpur

Artist: Haya Fatima Iqbal
Location: VBB Art Car / Space Between

“From Khairpur to Karachi” was the result of another documentary project that I was shooting during the summer of 2011. That project revolved around the issue of ethnic violence between the two largest ethnic groups in Pakistan’s biggest city of Karachi – namely the Mohajirs and the Pashtuns. I was focusing on the lives of the Pashtuns in the present day as they struggle to be heard in a Mohajir majority city. I was also trying to understand how the Mohajirs evolved from a group of people who had left everything behind in India before migrating to Pakistan in 1947 to an entity that practically runs the entire city of Karachi today.

In all of this digging and exploring, what I was continuously overlooking was the hardships the Sindhis face when they leave behind their villages in rural SIndh to come to the urban capital of their province. They form the third largest ethnic group here in Karachi, but in the resistance between Pashtuns and Mohajirs, their stories often go uncovered. When I got to know about VBB’s Living Room Art project, and how it was trying to find stories from the land of SIndh, I took it as a perfect opportunity to document the experiences of a young Sindhi man who has left family, friends and his home to make a living in Karachi. I grew up in Karachi all my life and used to think I know my city and its people the best. However, listening to Saquib’s views on the people of Karachi was a meaningful opportunity for much-needed introspection.

In Fall 2011, while I was studying in New York, I was able to fly to Houston for the exhibition. It was my first ever experience participating in an installation art exhibit and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The content was a mix of journalism, art and personal opinions of artists; something video journalists are not exposed to very often. As a videographer, it definitely taught me to approach the medium of video in many different ways!

—Haya Fatima Iqbal, filmmaker and producer of From Khairpur to Karachi.

HAYA FATIMA IQBAL (KARACHI, SINDH) is a Fulbright scholar from Pakistan, currently pursuing graduate studies in News & Documentary at New York University. She is currently filming an hour-long documentary on ethnic violence in Sindh. Iqbal has written for Dawn, The News, and Daily Times and worked at Geo News during her time in Pakistan. She runs KUMAK Pakistan with her friends and her experimental video works can be watched on You Tube.