Nishana: War Games

This series of more than 30 paintings, etchings and animated digital story, transforms the appropriated Karachi map from the best selling video game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, into captivating allegorical maps which attempt to sketch a truer depiction the complexity of “the social and cultural landscape of Karachi”.

The aerial and reconnaissance maps are overlaid and intertwined with the decorative patterns and ancient imagery of the Indo-Persian Miniature. I seek to subvert and re-contextualize these invented military maps of my hometown Karachi. In the painting ‘The City of Lights’ the map zooms onto the aerial location of Karachi. The works allude to the omnipresent satellite surveillance and references the drone operators who are often situated on the other side of the world. I fuse the Indo-Persian miniature tradition, western oil painting and contemporary photography. This hybrid reality underscores how we have chosen to disassociate in our minds, images of our daily lives and happiness with images of war, death, and destruction.