February issue 2012

By | Arts & Culture | Society | Published 12 years ago

The Institute of Architects of Pakistan (IAP), Karachi Chapter held an exhibition of photographs, Once Upon a Time in KARACHI to launch their calendar on January 9, at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. The exhibition featured photographs of iconic buildings of the city by renowned photographer Amean J. The calendars and photographs were on sale to raise funds for the IAP House fund. Many notable architects including Tariq Hasan, Tariq Qaiser, Habib Fida Ali, Shahab Ghani and Akeel Bilgrami were in attendance.

From the Edulji Dinshaw Charitable Dispensary to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the photographs highlighted the legacy of British colonial rule, and the abundance of architectural landmarks they left in Karachi. In most of the photographs Amean J. focused on architectural details such as the intricately carved archways of the Trinity Church or the corrugated tin roof of Empress Market. The chairman of the IAP Karachi Chapter, Arshad Faruqui, was of the view that the calendar was a celebration of the artisans and craftsmen of the era, and emphasised the importance of preserving these historic buildings as a part of our cultural heritage. One part of the gallery had archival footage of old Karachi playing on loop. Shot by an unknown British soldier, the sepia film provided glimpses of a bygone era and reemphasised the importance of preserving and promoting our rich cultural heritage.


This article was originally published in the February 2012 issue of Newsline under the headline “Colonial Legacy.”

Zehra Nabi is a graduate student in The Writing Seminars at the Johns Hopkins University. She previously worked at Newsline and The Express Tribune.