'Another Face', Caroline Jaine's Cambridge-Karachi project
Caroline Jaine, a UK based artist, writer, film-maker, with a background in diplomacy and media strategy, had paid a short visit to Karachi a few months ago for her very interesting Cambridge-Karachi project. As author of a book on Karachi's diverse communities (Karachiwala: a subcontinent within a city), I was contacted by her, and I took her around the streets for her to meet people at random and for her friend who accompanied her from the UK to video-tape these discussions. I came upon this piece written by Caroline about the screening of her film "Another Face" in London.
Baudrillard also writes much about reality – and his famous essay “The Gulf War Didn’t Happen” although provocative, was for me a fascinating discussion about the two dimensional “reality” of an event constructed for us by news networks – and very relevant to Pakistan today. I would never suggest to fully know the “reality” of Karachi nor Pakistan, but as Rumana Hussein says in my film, “a city has many layers”. And rather than present a sacharin sweet version of the truth, which many Pakistani newspapers reported that I had unearthered, I hope that my film work, photographs and paintings will show simply a single layer that I experienced during a short visit to Karachi earlier this year. It is no more “true” than a report by a visiting journalist there to dig into terrorism or corruption. I simply dug into ordinary things – talked to students at Karachi University, met business owners, artists, journalists. Witnessed ordinary things – people playing on the beach, shopping, eating.