The PCCC Story:
In December 2016, with a vision for the forgotten public courtyards of the old city and a shoestring budget we rehabilitated an ignored, neglected, dilapidated Pakistan Chowk. This was the rejuvenation of a Public Urban Square in the heart of Karachi's Old Towns Publication Quarter, on Kutchery Road, for the use of the people that lived around it and for a larger integration with other urban dynamism of a pluralist culture like Karachi.
On 16th August, 2017 we opened the doors of Pakistan Chowk Community Centre in Sultani Mahal Building-This is the engine to drive activity back into the Chowk itself and connect it to other cultural events by hosting them here. It is the centre which provides a space for local and larger community engagement, along with formal and informal meetings. The centre, like a “cultural lab” aims to facilitate arts and writing workshops, classes and be a space for literary events with discussions.
In a short period of just a year, we can say with pride that PCCC has grown into its own; a space that supports and nurtures interdisciplinary dialogue of all scales, a diverse set of events, activities and cross urban cultural interventions. Looking back at this journey, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the community and civil society of Karachi who helped us build Pakistan Chowk Community Centre.
It was through these learnings and understandings that we were able to achieve 90 events in one year and 4 major projects like: Heritage Walk Karachi, Sarak Chaap (Old Town Mapping), Ghair Sarkari Tareekh (Oral History Project), and Postervism ( PCCCs first Poster Design Conference and Competition). We would like to celebrate this milestone with you, and continue to work on our research and documentation projects.
These are small steps for a city like Karachi, a city which has clearly expressed its need, desire and appreciation of the work we have brought to the surface. It’s a start. You have all been a part of all these nuclei in the larger framework of our vision.
19 Music and Art Classes
12 Round Tables and Talks
11 Open Mic Nights
4 Video Screenings
2 Meet and Greets
5 Music Performances
4 Book Launches
5 Literary Readings
10 Work Shops
5 Story Telling Events
7 Art Fairs & Photography Exhibitions
Needless to say, the work will continue and will scale up using this last year as a an opportunity to test ideas. We have all been a witness to the success of these programs. The logical step to expand into similar forgotten spaces in the city and start bringing the lights back on in them too is the direction of this vision.
We hope you will continue on this journey with us as this project redefines itself and grows into something bigger next.
We would like to acknowledge and thank so many people for this incredible 2 year journey from Chowk to Community Centre:
Chowk Rehabilitation Team :
Nadir Ali- (NED University-2016), Muhammad Zubair- (NED University-2016), Shahaan Mustikhan- (National College of Arts-2016), Faris Aftab- (NED University-2016),Farishta Pirzada- (Mehran University of Engineering and Technology- 2016)
Developing & Researching Pakistan Chowk Community Centre :
Alvina Ahmed - (Karachi University - 2017), Munawar Hussain - (Karachi University - 2017), Maida Zehra - (Karachi University - 2017), Taha Bin Jamal - (Karachi University - 2017), Ammarah Salman - (Karachi University - 2017), Asad Aly- (Habib University - 2017), Umar Ayub - (IVSAA - 2017), Reeba Tehseen - (IVSAA - 2017), Alina Naqvi - (IVSAA - 2017), Sana Gondal - (Habib University - 2017), Asad Hammad - (Lyceum - 2017), Beenish Sarfaraz - (Karachi university - 2017), Ayesha Siddiqui - (Karachi University - 2017), Ahad Ali - (Sarah Lawrence College-2017), Namra Khalid - (Parsons-2017)
PCCC Advisors :
Marvi Mazhar, Zain Mustafa, Mustafa Zafar, Kiran Ahmad, Saad Khurshid, Muniba Rasheed, Shahana Rajani, Fawad Khan, Shehrazade Sheikh, Sohail Zuberi, Arif Belgaumi, Khaula Jamil, Insiya Syed, Rafique "Feica" Feica R-a, Fiza Khatri, Zahra Malkani, Akhtar Baloch, Safiah Shah, Veera Rustomji, Asif Alam Farrukhi, Haider Ali
PCCC Management & Design Team :
Vishaal Singhara, AR Touseef Ahmed Memon, Mah e Neema Rao, Mariam Hanif Mymini, Sabahat Z. Aziz, Khushbakht Memon, Saad Rabbani, Azeemah Owais, Shaheen Nauman - A big thankyou to Sabahat Z. Aziz for working very hard and putting everything in order.
PCCC Friends & Supporters :
We would like to thank Goethe Institut (Karachi), I AM Karachi, Renaissance Foundation and all the participating individuals for their unconditional support.
Farrukh Naseem, Ahmed Anver, Hafeez Goharjee, Tarik Tonki, Amin Kasmani, Khalid Saba, Amir Jamil, Hidayat Raheem, Tahmina Anwer, Amjad Minhas, Ahmed Nasim, Faisal Qayyum, Sohail Tayyab Ahmed, M. Jamal Muhsin, M. Aamir, Abbas Kamangar, M. Ashraf Chandio, M. Iqbal, Shahzad Qureshi, Muneeb Vohra, M. Rizwan Rahimo, Sundus Khan, Ozma Noor