The Un-Burning

These paintings and 3-minute animation, reference the growing ethnic violence in Pakistan, leading up to the May elections, 2013, namely the burning of 1000 homes of Pakistani Christians.

Looking out at Karachi, the narrative is shifting, like a sniper’s gaze I move in a daze from one event to another. Yet there is the ebb and the flow of time. The trees grow bigger; the crimson sunset turns into a midnight blue. Leaving home, I look back at my world through my canvas and my Google screen, mapping out a virtual space, painting this shifting, this transformation. I chart the chaos, the political mafias and the land grabbers, stealing the ground from underneath us, until there is nothing left and we become magical birds hovering in the sky. Our houses burnt, our memories charred with the violence of a mob banging at our door. Displaced and alone, I build a tree house in the sky. Maybe in my painted maps I can find a route out, a place of refuge. Can I rebuild my home out of charred rubble; turn smoke into trees and burnt bark into the four livings walls of my home. I reach down for my ladder, from my tree house and pull it up, and I wait..

Jaali Screen, 3-min looped animation, in Urdu, translates as screen or partition, usually a perforated stone lattice found in Islamic architecture. The geometric patterns break up the visual field between, inside and outside, lightness and darkness, the ancient and the now, the feminine and the masculine, the powerful and the powerless.  This animation explores the in-between frames, of these various dichotomies.