Deemed the largest contemporary art event in Pakistan, the first edition opened on 21 October, under the leadership of art critic and cultural interventionist Niilofur Farrukh. With chief curator Amin Gulgee leading the iteration, 165 participants from Pakistan, the USA, Central Europe and Malaysia, among others, have gathered to explore the biennale’s theme Witness.
The two-week long event invites the public into an active aesthetic, intellectual and emotional discussion about Karachi’s communities and how each individual negotiates its ever-evolving state of social politics. With KB17 indicating that the city is “unburdened by a canon, instead distinguished for a persistently altering memory,” the team indicates that the maritime locale has long embraced independent thinkers, citing its three major art schools and the presence of South Asia’s most dynamic gallery scene as results. "Our collective witnessing will disrupt the limits of our spatial imagination,” the team stated. “Together, we can revisit our histories, rethink our present, and reimagine our future with greater optimism."
KB17 performances, exhibitions, screenings and dialogues are activating 12 venues across the city, including schools, heritage sites, cinemas and public parks.
Karachi Biennale will go on until 5 November. For more information, visit Karachibiennale.org.pk.