Single channel video 2.55 minutes
Near and far sights/ sites converge was shot through a homemade telescope at Manora beach on a monsoon afternoon in 2014. A circular space was glimpsed, a war ship from the Pakistan Navy fleet, figures amongst the waves in abandonment and freedom. This sense of intimacy and freedom in a public space is shrinking, like the sea itself. Manora is a restful anchor for the turbulence of Karachi, a space for non-elite leisure. Crossing the harbour on public taxi boats, visitors come to experience the expanse of horizon, a sight they often miss within the dense, congested spaces of the inner city. Working simultaneously in two disparate yet intrinsically connected landscapes within the city of Karachi gives me a sense of the malleability of the urban space. Projecting this video within the dense labyrinth of galis in Golimar was like an inversion of both spaces/spheres. It was like reaching through the lens of the doorbeen, pulling the ocean inwards, and bringing the horizon line into the dense mohalla.
Single channel video 6.10 minutes
In The Observatory, the narrator voices weather reports of storms and depressions across British India from the India Weather Review, 1939.
The strangely intimate specificity of the historical weather report takes on a different tone when mapped onto the current decay and ruin of the decapitated Observatory building on Manora Island. It opens up the space, narrative and geography of a larger terrain, and points to the dichotomy between imperial mapping and everyday lived reality. The disrupted landscape within the building is a metaphor for disruption on a much larger scale.
Single channel video 13.10 minutes
In Homage, Khan focuses on a pile of broken school furniture in a rubble-strewn site on Manora Island. She intervenes by painting the furniture in the sky-blue color of painted gravestones nearby where children, who died from the collapse of a school wall, are buried. She is assisted by local residents, who describe their everyday concerns with resigned pathos. The video grapples with the question of everyday marginalization, displacement, and disenfranchisement as alluded to in these unscripted parallel conversations. Here the process of memorialization is continually punctuated by lived subaltern concerns, suggesting that the transformation of Manora is apprehended only in its immediacy, not in its larger socio-political totality.
Dr Iftikhar Dadi 2010