Karachi Biennale Kicks Off

Pakistan’s Largest Contemporary Art Event ~ Karachi Biennale Kicks Off 

The first Karachi Biennale was announced by the CEO of Karachi Biennale Trust (KBT) Nilofur Farrukh at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Wednesday. The art and cultural festival will run from the 22nd October to 5th November at 12 different venues.

Karachi Biennale 2017 (KB17) is a visionary platform that focuses on innovation, excellence and criticality through curatorial strategies that will bring art from Pakistan and the rest of the world together for a large public audience. The Biennale is set to be Pakistan’s largest international contemporary art event aiming to bring together innovation, excellence and criticality through a multiplicity of curatorial strategies.

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The two-week long program will include art exhibitions from over 140 national and international artists, educational art activities for school and college students and tours for general visitors introducing them to the works on display.

The theme of the Biennale is ‘Witness’ and the focus of the two week program is to connect the art with the city and its people. At KB17, artists will also be rewarded for their outstanding artwork at the event. These include two categories: Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation Art Prize and Shahneela and Farhan Faruqui Popular Choice Art Prize.

The Chief Curator for the event is Amin Gulgee, an award winning Pakistani artist. Speaking to the local media, he said

“[They say] Karachi is a dangerous, dirty city but everywhere in the world I went I received nothing but love. Everybody was willing to come to Karachi. The art exhibitions will be taking place at 12 venues. This includes Karachi School of Art, one of the oldest art schools in the city to Frere Hall. Five of the venues are located on MA Jinnah Road that was once the cultural core of the city.

Lectures and conversations will at the program will be featuring Meher Afroz, Savita Apte, Saquib Hanif, Dr Marek Bartelik, Dr Marcella Sirhandi, Paolo De Grandis, Carlos Aceros Ruiz, Adriana Almada, and Dannys Montes de Oca Moreda, and these will be held at the ZVMG Rangoonwalla Community Centre and the State Bank Auditoriums.

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The biennale is to host multiple book and poetry readings that will be open to public, spectacular performance and installations by Jamal Shah, sound and light Installations, and Dholi Taro (Drum Circle), etc. The entire schedule is available on the KB17 website.

The main venue of the event is the 160 year old, NJV School building. The event will be inaugurated on the 21st of October 2017 and attendance is free of any charges.