A year ago on July 15th, Qandeel Baloch (Fauzia Azeem) was killed by her brother. She was 26 years old when she was murdered. In her short life she held a mirror up to us. Our society's hypocrisies and its blatant hatred of women. She was a woman who had nothing yet fought to live her life on her own terms. Armed with a smartphone and a bold, red lip, Qandeel Baloch winked at us from our laptop screens and then laughed when we responded with venom. She refused to back down and struck back with wit, charm and infinite resilience.
In celebration of Qandeel's life, Girls at Dhabas and Pakistan Chowk Community Centre invited the community to paint a mural of Qandeel on July 15, talk, share and learn while creating something together. Splashing the colors of resilience on walls near Pakistan Chowk, we refuse to forget her, the women before her, the women among us, and we will fight hate with art and solidarity.
The Rang Saazi was followed by a dialogue at Pakistan Chowk Community Center the day after, discussing what happens when people get together to make controversial art in public spaces, about women who decide to live and practise their daily lives differently.
Photo credit: Shayan Khatri