Karachi: Cell Phone Videos Tell Stories of Migrant Life

Yaminay Nasir Chaudhri of the Tentative Collective in Creativetime Reports:

This November, the Tentative Collective’s project Mera Karachi Mobile Cinema began gathering cell phone videos from migrants living in Karachi. Produced in response to the question, “Home: What did you do last Sunday—anything fun?” the videos provide snapshots into migrant life in Pakistan’s largest city. When a substantial number of videos has been compiled, we will ask the community to help set up a series of free screenings in various parts of Karachi, using our rickshaw-powered projector to feature every video made by neighborhood residents…

The first communities we are working with are comprised of migrants from Bangladesh and Burma (including many of the persecuted Rohingya minority) and rural Pashtun migrants from the northern areas of Pakistan. Embedded within the Bengali/Burmese community are muhajirs (literally, “migrants”): Urdu-speaking Muslims who arrived from India after partition in 1947, and their descendants. Though the inception of Pakistan was based on the self-governance of a Muslim majority, inclusivity for Muslim migrants, and a space for minorities, the reality of Pakistan is riddled with ethnic and class complexities that divide the land into isolated zones and enclaves. This division extends to the public space surrounding these enclaves—whether they are irregular communities like the ones we are working in, or highly formalized, planned spaces.

More here. And here is one of the videos: