Sunday, January 24, 2010

Environmental degradation : Karachi sinking in its own waste

The environmental degradation and humiliation in ghetto areas and other parts of the metropolis was contemplated as the great concern for the artists who exhibited their self-made illustrations and short documentaries of devastating ecological conditions in 'Mai Kolachi' site at the exhibition of seminal art on ecology held on Saturday evening at Karachi Arts Council hosted by NuktaArt Magazine, visiting Arts UK and AICA Pakistan.
It was the first exhibition of its kind in Pakistan that extensively focused on the ecology of Karachi attended by several students, art lovers, environmental experts and other progressive figures of the society.
Nukta Art for its project 'One Mile Square' invited the four visual artists from Karachi including Arif Mahmood, Adeel-uz-Zafar, Faraz Abdul Mateen and Nameera Ahmed in an attempt to engage them with issues that pertain to human and environmental context within the coastal belt. Participant artists displayed their artistic work and documentaries pertaining to different ecological issues resulting its rapid devastation.
The devastated conditions of mangroves, discharging of solid water resulting contaminated water, loss of biodiversity, severe health hazards for the nearby residing people and the entire dilapidated condition of the Mai Kolachi site was radiantly depicted at the event in form of art pictures, while the destruction of natural habitats and other loss of biodiversity in various outskirts areas of the metropolis were screened on small projectors that bagged the attention of visitors.
Exhibition was aimed to create cognizance among the viewers to make them realize their ethical responsibility towards environment and become a focal figure in reshaping and betterment of ecological conditions in the city as well as the entire country.
Mai Kolachi is today a barren wasteland exposed to devastating ecological and urban degrdation, linking the localities of Sultanabad and Hijrat colonyon one side, and chinna creek on the other, to karachi's financial center and the port, its strategic location has made it victim to callous and devastating and reclamation projects.
Over a period of six weeks, the artists team studied the effects of the ecological disasters that can be created by the disappearance of the mangroves, such as exposing the city to tsunamis and raising the water table of the coastal residential areas due to sea and land pollution. A major source contamination is the untreated sewage, which empties into my kolachi through three main drains (nullahs).
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Shehri, Urban Resource Center and the Shirkat Gah assisted the artists in providing the necessary resource material to grapple with the immensity of Karachi's environmental crisis.
The body of art-work created in this short time reflects diverse artistic voices, both in terms of the material and conceptual content. Focusing on the intersections of ethics and aesthetics it pushes the artist to think outside the box, as it also hopes to challenge the viewer to rethink their collective responsibility of the city. (PPI)

(This news article is also published in Daily The Nation)

No comments: