Pakistan Chowk | پاکستان چوک

Pakistan Chowk is a landmark heritage site in District South, Karachi. It was once known as the educational hub of the city where institutions such as D.J.Science College and the Sindh College Association began. The area of Old Town is well known for a market of printing presses, especially those in Pakistan Chowk. The Chowk was previously utilized as a literary space, where people assembled to exchange conversations about literature, mainly in the forms of mushairas, baithaks and such. Historically, culture and art were central to the neighborhood, as the residents of Old Town used the Chowk as a public square and engaged in various artistic and cultural activities that strengthened social cohesion within the community.

There were spaces for cultural engagement and markets that catered to this affiliation between the private and the public. Over time, there began a social exclusion of classes from these spaces that previously created  cohesion between communities through art and culture. The horizontal expansion of the city as well as the horizontal concentration of wealth contributed in an exclusion that damaged the framework of society.

The Pakistan Chowk Initiative resulted from the pressing need to bring back art and culture to the people and not let it remain in the hands of the few. In Phase 01 of this initiative, our goal was to remodel a 6633 sq. ft. space in Pakistan Chowk. We remodeled the space with benches, lamp posts, trees, dustbins and a mass cleaning of an area that was previously a garbage dump and a public lavatory. That space now hosts artists, writers and activists from Old Town every weekend. The demographic mainly consists of a middle to lower income class that does not give a lot of credit to the arts. Considering this anecdote, we consider it a huge success for us.

 

 

interning team (june- July 2017)

  • Abiha Batool
  • Abeer Ahmed
  • Ahad Ali
  • Ali Shamim
  • Alina Naqvi
  • Alvina Ahmed
  • Ammarah Salman
  • Arafat Farooq
  • Asad Aly
  • Ayesha Siddiqui
  • Beenish Sarfaraz
  • Maida Zahra

 

  • Munawar Hussain
  • Mustafa Siddiqui
  • Namra Khalid
  • Reeba Tehseen
  • Rida Noor
  • Salik Nisar
  • Sharmeen Talpur
  • Taaram Zehra Cheema
  • Taha Bin Jamal 
  • Umar Ayub
  • Zahra Mukhi
  • Zoha Bundally
  • Zoya Nasir Iqbal