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    Archive for October, 2008

    Rock the Mic

    Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

    Karachi: 28th October 2008

    openmic.jpgIt’s a clear sign – that Karachiites are absolutely starved for entertainment – when what felt like a mad crush of 300 people are squeezed into the cozy space at The Second Floor for Open Mic Night. The revival of the event (which has seen great stand up comedy acts and musical performances in the past) saw over a dozen acts performing in the space of two and a half hours. And it was a perfect dose of musical styles, genres and comedy.

    Read the full story by Saba Imtiaz, reporting for The News (PDF – 120KB)

    I Photograph to Remember

    Monday, October 27th, 2008

    I Photograph to Remember: The Art of Storytelling
    Thursday, 30th Oct 2008 | 7:00 pm

    All photography is “instantly posthumous” Susan Sontag once said. This aphorism seems to beat in each honest scene from life expressed in I Photograph to Remember, which is one of the most significant projects Pedro Meyer has undertaken in his entire career.

    toremember.jpgJonathan Green explains the history of this work and brings to memory Pedro’s intimate story. He tells how at the end of the 1990s, he saw Pedro’s material for the first time and was struck by his enthusiasm to transfer it to CD-ROM, “a format that was just starting to have an impact in the new world of multimedia.” Meyer was also beginning to do digital photography – when most photographers in Mexico were still unfamiliar with it or were rejecting it – and therefore, as Green notes, I Photograph to Remember “is a conceptual bridge between his analog work and the digital work that followed,” where “the expressive and panoramic image of his father flying” invites the metaphor of this transition. The depth of emotion is expressed there, but the curator explores further. He signals how the intense Meyerian story opens by using his images as “innocent family photos” to reach a natural climax, although it seems severe to us; the use of black and white creating “tension between the white hospital gowns and darkness ever on the lurk”; the proximity of his voice and images brought in harmony with music by Manuel Rocha; expressing such compassion and tenderness for each fleeting instant; and like a corollary in the last question uttered by Liesel Richheimer to her son Pedro: “Why couldn’t we be this close all our lives?”

    I Photograph to Remember will be presented by Zaheer A. Kidvai, followed by an open discussion on story-telling, photography, and new media. This event is part of the “Pedro Meyer’s Heresies” exhibition being held at T2F until 1st Dec 2008.

    Date: Thursday 30th October, 2008
    Time: 7:00 pm
    Minimum Donation: Rs. 100
    Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
    Address | Map

    Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

    Pedro Meyer’s Heresies Launches at T2F

    Friday, October 24th, 2008

    Karachi: 21st October 2008

    heresieslogo.jpgPedro Meyer’s Heresies is a retrospective comprising four decades of groundbreaking work by one of the world’s most innovative photographers. T2F is proud to be part of the Heresies exhibition – opening simultaneously in 60 museums worldwide in October 2008.

    The Heresies exhibition launched at T2F on October 21st 2008 and will continue for 6 weeks.

    Dawn | The News | Karachi Metblogs | 3 Quarks Daily | Dawn Gallery

    Open Mic Night Returns

    Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

    The Series Is Back With a Bang!
    Sunday, 26 Oct 2008 | 7:00 pm

    Open Mic Night is the premiere event for amateur and established acts to perform for a live audience. Anyone can do anything!

    This month includes performances featuring:

    7 on 3rd: high energy rock band
    Hamad from Spoonfull: underground rocker gone acoustic
    Sami Shah: highly offensive comedian
    Sara Memon: ultra-talented songbird
    FLAM: awesome new band, not to be confused with PHLEGM
    Waqas Jamshed: soulful guitar man
    Aunty Disco Project: self promoting bastards
    Gunaah: another high energy rock band

    openmic.jpgIf you want to perform at future Open Mic Nights, e-mail and sign up! You can do anything; sing, dance, comedy, acting, poetry, juggling … whatever your talent may be, this is the place to show it!

    Text: Omar Bilal Akhtar

    Date: Sunday 26 October, 2008
    Time: 7:00 pm
    Minimum Donation: Rs. 200
    Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
    Address | Map

    Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

    Awesomest Donation Box E.V.E.R.

    Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

    We took a 512K Mac (yes, kids, there was a time when memory was measured in kilobytes) and converted it into a donation box for PeaceNiche/T2F. This particular Mac shipped in September 1984; thanks Zak for hanging on to it all these years and for donating it to PeaceNiche.

    Slip money in through the floppy drive slot and two things will happen:

    1. You’ll feel warm and fuzzy inside, having contributed to a non-profit organization that delivers an intelligent alternative to consumption, mindlessness, and television.

    2. You’ll get goosebumps being this close to a vintage Mac. In 1982, at a small party, Steve Jobs got his band of renegade developers to sign their names onto a piece of paper. The signatures were then engraved into the Macintosh mold and the team’s autographs were permenantly impressed into the case of every Mac that rolled off the production line. Check out all the signatures …

    OK, enough Apple folklore, now cough up some cash and help us keep PeaceNiche/T2F running.

    Donate Now

    Tunnel Vision

    Monday, October 20th, 2008

    An Evening with Shandana Minhas, Author of “Tunnel Vision”
    Friday, 24th Oct 2008 | 7:00 pm

    tunnelvision.jpgTunnel Vision is the story of Ayesha Siddiqui, 31 and independent. She proposes to the man she loves; his silence makes her crash through the windshield of her car. In her comatose state, Ayesha floats between Time Past and Time Present. The narrative meanders through her life, throwing up startling facts about her immediate family, relatives and friends. It is set against the backdrop of Karachi – a city where the past, present and future battle it out on billboards, TV and the backs of rickshaws.

    Tunnel Vision was published in November 2007 by Roli Books and short-listed for the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book.

    “The provocative opening to Shandana Minhas‘ debut novel is the perfect introduction to her book – piercingly witty and acutely perceptive, with a strong sense of place and an avid appreciation of the ridiculous … the city is not so much a backdrop but rather an active participant in Minhas’s universe …”
    Dawn Books and Authors

    “Tunnel Vision is written with zest and verve. Minhas’ character portraits are exceptional, especially that of Ayesha and her scheming, victim-playing mother.”
    DNA, Mumbai

    About the Author

    Shandana Minhas was born in Karachi in 1975 and is not dead yet (apologies to Terry Pratchett). In the years since she dropped out of college she has written for stage, screen and print, taught at a high school and a university, and perfected the art of looking very busy while doing very little. Her column Don’t Shoot the Messenger appears in The News on Sunday, her column Djinn and Tonic appears regularly on, her novella Rafina is being adapted into a feature film by acclaimed director Sabiha Sumar, and about twice a year someone is stupid enough to give her money to script a documentary or write copy. Shandana’s first collection of poetry will be published by Chowk Press in San Francisco in early 2009 and she is currently working on her second novel. She considers having had a baby without an epidural her biggest accomplishment to date.

    Date: Friday 24th October, 2008
    Time: 7:00 pm
    Minimum Donation: Anything you like
    Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
    Address | Map

    Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

    Pedro Meyer’s Heresies: A Retrospective – Launches Oct 21

    Saturday, October 18th, 2008

    Pedro Meyer’s Heresies is a retrospective comprising four decades of groundbreaking work by one of the world’s most innovative photographers.

    T2F is proud to be part of the Heresies exhibit – opening simultaneously in 60 museums worldwide in October 2008.

    Mexican photographer Pedro Meyer is as renowned for his powerful and provocative photographs as he is for his pioneering work with digital imaging. Meyer’s photographs consistently test the limits of truth, fiction and reality. With the advent of digital photography in the early 1990s, Meyer evolved from a documentary photographer who created so-called “straight photographs” into a digital-documentarian who often combines photographic elements from disparate times and places to arrive at a different or higher truth.

    Meyer’s oft-expressed contention that all photographs – digitally manipulated or not – are equally “true” and “untrue” has been labeled “heretical” in the orthodox documentary photography community. Hence the title “Heresies”.

    Pedro Meyer - Heresies
    Meyer’s personal innovations in the field of digital photography include creating the first CD-ROM to combine sound and images, creating the first digital prints ever made and in 1994, creating his renowned online photography forum, – the most-visited digital photography content site on the web.

In addition to these artistic and technical contributions, Meyer’s trailblazing work on behalf of Latin American photographers, beginning with his establishment of the Mexican Council of Photography in the late 1970s, effectively organized and elevated photography as an art form across an entire continent.

    Heresies Events at T2F

    • Heresies Part I: 21st October 2008
    • I Photograph to Remember – The Art of Storytelling: 30th October 2008
    • Heresies Part II: 4th November 2008
    • Cell Phones: A Different Way of Seeing – A workshop conducted by Amean J: 8th November 2008
    • Digital Montage: The Potential to Expand Visual Language – A workshop conducted by Farah Mahbub: Date To Be Announced
    • Heresies Part III: 18th November 2008
    • Screening of Truths and Fictions followed by a panel discussion with Karachi’s leading photographers: 18th November 2008

    We are grateful to Sony Center @ Clifton Outlet for partnering with us for the Heresies Exhibition.

    Sabeen Mahmud Profiled by DAWN Review

    Thursday, October 16th, 2008

    Saad Shafqat Interviews PeaceNiche/T2F Founder for DAWN Review – a weekly magazine published by the DAWN Media Group.

    The Dawn Review (PDF – 80KB)

    Gig Featuring “Bell”

    Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

    Join us for a music performance featuring “Bell”, an up and coming band
    Sunday, 19th Oct 2008 | 8:00 pm

    bell.jpgThe 4 members of “Bell” met a year ago at a jam session. They connected instantly and decided to form a band, committed to making the “Bell” ring ;) Their musical influences include Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Ben Harper, The Doors, and Radiohead and the band is currently working on a 2-CD conceptual album with themes of eternity and terror.

    This Sunday, “Bell” will perform progressive/classic rock covers and originals.

    Zeeshan Lalani on Guitar
    Abid Haider on Guitar
    Ahmed Nayani on Bass
    Shahab Hussain on Vocals

    “Bell” dropped by at T2F for an informal jam a few weeks ago and we loved what we heard. Do come and check them out.

    Date: Sunday 19th October, 2008
    Time: 8:00 pm
    Minimum Donation: Rs. 100
    Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
    Address | Map

    Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

    An NRP’s Impression of Social Changes in Pakistan

    Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

    15th October 2008

    wadi.jpgI see people my age very integrated both socially and engaged in purposeful projects. T2F is one example. A social entrepreneurship project it is working on intellectual poverty allevation by providing a community space for dialogue, exposure to art, and the plain and simple hanging out with like minded folks. For those Pakistanis looking for more exposure to culture, art, and discussion this is a great group. Through it I have learned about the Pakistani theater for social change scene in a language I understand. Also for the first time in my life I have heard about the oppression of Zia’s islamicised laws on Pakistani soil as opposed to just reading factual reporting in papers.

    Read the Full Post on Wadiwallah’s Blog

    Road to Happiness

    Monday, October 13th, 2008

    Karachi: 13th October 2008

    hawra.jpgHawra’s work exhibited on the walls of The Second Floor from October 5 to October 15, tells you whatever you want it to say, neither forcing you into a conversation nor bogging you down with mindless chitchat. It eases you in, lets you initiate the conversation, lets you get comfortable, so comfortable that you can talk to it for hours on end.

    The Daily Times

    A Special Gift From Ardeshir Cowasjee

    Monday, October 13th, 2008

    On the day of Alice Albinia’s book launch (grab your copy of Empires of the Indus before we run out), Mr. Ardeshir Cowasjee arrived at T2F in his signature toga, carrying a large frame. The event had already started and I was sitting up front with Asif Farrukhi and Alice. Ardeshir always creates a stir wherever he goes and this time was no different. Everyone was also rather curious about the frame he was carrying. He handed it to me and I handed it to Aleem behind the counter and went back and sat down to avoid further disruption. When the event ended, I dashed off to retrieve the frame and figure out what the fuss was about.

    Mr. Jinnah

    ardeshir.jpgWow! We’re absolutely bowled over by Ardeshir’s thoughtfulness and generosity. This is a very rare photograph of Mr. Jinnah and the message below gives us a lot of courage to keep plugging on, in especially trying circumstances. Thank you Ardeshir. You Rock!

    Please do swing by and see the original photograph at T2F, right near the entrance. It’s worth the effort. And once you’re there, you may as well grab a coffee :)

    BTW, Ardeshir comes to T2F often and once he’s there, he stays for hours nursing his sugar-free traditional cold coffee. So if you want a “real” history lesson, stop by and hang out with an icon of our times.

    Theatre in the Time of Jihad

    Sunday, October 12th, 2008

    Karachi: 12th October 2008

    theatre.jpgLeading up to Ajoka Theatre’s mini festival in Karachi, T2F hosted Madeeha Gauhar, Shahid Nadeem, Sheema Kermani, Sania Saeed, and Savera Nadeem.

    DAWN Images | The News

    iPhone Magic at T2F

    Saturday, October 11th, 2008

    Karachi: 11th October 2008


    Jahanzeb Sherwani is Pakistan’s first iPhone developer to get his app accepted into Apple’s AppStore. T2F recently hosted an evening with him where he shared his story with an audience of geeks and aficionados.

    The Daily Times | Windmills of My Mind | In the Line of Wire

    Theatre in the Time of Jihad

    Thursday, October 9th, 2008

    An Evening of Conversation with the Directors of Ajoka Theatre
    Sunday, 12th Oct 2008 | 6:30 pm

    We are delighted to welcome Shahid Nadeem, Madeeha Gauhar, and the Ajoka team to Karachi and to The Second Floor this Sunday. Join us for a conversation with the Directors of Ajoka, on the role of theatre in the time of Jihad and Talibinization. Sheema Kermani, Sania Saeed, and Savera Nadeem will also share their thoughts on theatre as a tool for activism and advocacy.

    ajoka.jpgAjoka has been part of the struggle for a secular, democratic, just, humane and egalitarian Pakistan for the last 25 years. Few cultural institutions have been able to thrive, even survive, in the climate of hostility and apathy towards performing arts that has existed in Pakistan. Ajoka is an exception. Set up by a small group of cultural activists in 1983, during General Zia-ul-Haq’s repressive regime, Ajoka has struggled with determination against very heavy odds. It has dealt with bold subjects, experimented with technique and blended contemporary reality with traditional form. Today, Ajoka is an internationally respected name in the world of theatre and its contribution to the promotion of art and culture, and the struggle for social justice and peace in Pakistan is well regarded.

    Ajoka Theatre is coming to Karachi after a long gap of 10 years and will be performing at the Arts Council on the 14th and 15th of October. Free passes for Hotel Mohenjodaro (15 Oct) are almost finished. Tickets for Burqavaganza (14th Oct / Rs. 800) are still available at T2F but are going fast.

    Date: Sunday 12th October, 2008
    Time: 6:30 pm
    Minimum Donation: Rs. 100
    Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
    Address | Map

    Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

    iPhone Magic Featuring Jahanzeb Sherwani

    Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

    Join us for an exciting evening devoted to developing apps for the iPhone
    Saturday, 11th Oct 2008 | 7:00 pm

    jaadu.jpgJahanzeb Sherwani is Pakistan’s first developer whose application has been accepted into Apple’s iPhone App Store. Jaadu is a groundbreaking application for the iPhone and iPod touch that lets you control your computer from wherever you are in the world.

    After Jahanzeb shows us how Jaadu works, he will talk about life as an indie iPhone developer and his experience in selling applications through the App Store. Jahanzeb would especially like to guide other budding developers and entrepreneurs who are interested in pursuing similar opportunities.

    Jahanzeb is a final year PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University and is working on speech interfaces for emerging markets in South Asia. He believes speech interfaces can be a revolutionary medium of interaction for a massive cell-phone consumer base that has, for the most part, not been able to tap into the digital revolution. Over the past year, he has worked with HANDS (a Pakistani NGO) to design, develop and test a telephone-based spoken interface in Sindhi for health information access by low-literate community health workers. Jahanzeb received his undergraduate degree from LUMS, where he studied computer science and social sciences, and also co-founded the LUMS Music Society. He was last spotted at T2F playing John Lennon’s “Imagine” on his guitar.

    This event is brought to you in association with TiE Karachi. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, become a member of TiE and gain access to networking and mentoring opportunities. Forms will be available at the event.

    Date: Saturday 11th October, 2008
    Time: 7:00 pm
    Minimum Donation: Rs. 100
    Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
    Address | Map

    Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

    Empires of the Indus – Book Launch and Reading

    Saturday, October 4th, 2008

    Join us for an evening with Alice Albinia, author of “Empires of the Indus”
    Tuesday, 7th Oct 2008 | 7:00 pm

    empiresoftheindus.jpgOne of the longest rivers in the world, the Indus rises in Tibet, flows west across India, and south through Pakistan. For millennia it has been worshipped as a god; for centuries used as a tool of imperial expansion. Today it is the glue of Pakistan’s fractious union. Empires of the Indus follows the river upstream and back in time, on a voyage through two thousand miles of geography and five millennia of history, through a landscape where the past still resonates today.

    About the Author

    Alice Albinia graduated from Cambridge University with a first in English Literature in 1999. She moved to Delhi, where she worked for the next two-and-a-half years as a journalist and editor. She edited and wrote for the Centre for Science & Environment, was Assistant Editor of Biblio: A Review of Books, India’s leading literary magazine, and worked as a part of the team that started Outlook Traveller, India’s best-selling travel magazine. It was during this time, as she travelled all over the country researching and writing newspaper articles and features, that she had the idea to write a history of the river Indus. In 2002, Alice moved back to London to take an MA in South Asian history at the School of Oriental and African Studies. She researched the religious and political history of the Indus region and wrote a dissertation on the British colonial imagination of the river.

    Empires of the Indus is Alice’s first book, for which she won the Royal Society of Literature / Jerwood Foundation Special Prize for Non-fiction Work in Progress. It has also been long-listed for the Guardian First Book Award 2008.

    Date: Tuesday 7th October, 2008
    Time: 7:00 pm
    Minimum Donation: Anything you like. [Please support the PeaceNiche platform for open dialogue and creative expression generously]
    Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
    Address | Map

    Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

    The Road to Happiness

    Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

    An Art Exhibition by Hawra Harianawala
    Launch: Sunday, 5th Oct 2008 | 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

    hawra.jpgHawra, a Peshawar native, trained at NCA, and started her career in Toronto. This body of work is a collection of mindscapes that recount her tumultuous adjustment to Karachi, where she now makes her home.

    Surrealist in style, Hawra’s work is the result of an expedition into the subconscious mind – and the awe, enigma and infuriation that follow – emotions that the artist so enjoys. This progression is continual. Hawra’s canvases develop in layers – each one helps her discover something new about herself, each canvas holds a clue to the next one …

    Date: Sunday 5th October, 2008
    Time: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
    Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
    Address | Map

    The exibition will continue till 15th October 2008. T2F’s opening hours are noon to midnight, every day except Mondays.