The Gadap Sessions was a site-specific, research-based course carried out in Gadap Town using visual research methods to study, document and understand this historical township and its indigenous communities in light of contemporary processes of development, displacement and climate change. We took as our starting point the ongoing real-estate mega development project of Bahria Town, which is violently transforming over 35,000 acres of land in Gadap, dispossessing indigenous Sindhi and Baloch communities to whom the land belongs. The course brought together an inter-disciplinary team of 13 artists and researchers to collect and produce multiple forms of documentation, mapping and witnessing Gadap as it struggles against erasure – its disappearing and emergent ecologies, new architectures, erased histories and persevering struggles. The Gadap Sessions were organized by the Karachi Art Anti-University in collaboration with the Karachi Indigenous Rights Alliance from February to July 2016.
One project that emerged from the Gadap Sessions is www.ofstruggle.com
This website is work-in-progress – a web-based archive emerging from the 6 months of research carried out in Gadap. The browser-based artworks attempt to grapple with the ongoing struggles around development, climate change and the marginalisation of indigenous peoples, knowledges and histories in Karachi – as well as the struggles, the possibilities and limitations of solidarity, research and representation.