HAMARE SIYAL RISHTE
However much we may bury and build upon it, the landscape demands to be known. The relationship between the city dwellers of Karachi and the ecology of this land has primarily been marked by violence, both slow and spectacular, and a profound alienation. This course seeks to move beyond this painful disconnect into recognising and inhabiting, with care, our profound entanglements and shared destinies with this ecology.
Karachi has been built on a relentless annihilation and enclosure of land and the continued devastation and displacement of the communities that have long inhabited it. Sustaining this unceasing expansion is a systematic forgetting, erasure and denial of Karachi’s indigenous ecology, indigenous communities and indigenous knowledges. Our course seeks to remember, acknowledge, celebrate and connect with, to sense, this ancient ecosystem we call Karachi.
The course Hamare Siyal Rishte explored a range of ongoing struggles from disappearing rivers and the climate crisis, to the razed shorelines and the contested islands of Karachi. These battles to defend the ecological body of Karachi are an ancient and ongoing pedagogy. We learn from Karachi’s rich history of resistance and refusal, turning our attention towards the dynamic, oceanic webs of relation and responsibility our aquatic landscape implicates us within.
Link to essay:
Notes Toward a Karachi Ecopedagogy: Sensing the Ephemeral Rivers (2020)