An amazing essay on loitering in the city-the rights to loiter and its gendered construction:
also on the medium of representation
excerpted from https://pad.ma/
Rowdies watching a film (Haasil):
One of the more interesting films to be released in 2003, Haasil is about college politics in the University of Allahabad. This scene captures for me an interesting facet of the different ways in which people interpret the idea of the modern. This is a good example of a ‘vernacular modernity’ that defines itself against metropolis cities like Bombay and Delhi.
“Look sonnie, this is the magic of Bombay
Arey, they have weapons which are English- type, which is why the cars fly up in the air like that
But here no matter how many bombs you throw, nothing ever happsn
The society there is different, because everyone there is modern
Even the thugs there, they travel everyday, Bombay, Dubai, Engaldn
Should we also go there
Just retain your pride, and watch the film quietly
There, its all about money, give me money or I will take your life, but here its give me power or I will kill you
Theres a big difference
They are a small industry, we run the country”
An amazing essay on loitering in the city-the rights to loiter and its gendered construction.
Bani Abidi was born in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1971. She studied painting and printmaking, earning a BFA from the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan, in 1994. She later attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, earning an MFA in 1999. She completed residencies with the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine (2000), Fukuoka Art Exchange Program, Japan (2005), and DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program (2011–12). Her early engagement with video, beginning at the Art Institute, led to the incorporation of performance and photography into her work. These mediums have provided Abidi with potent, sometimes subversive means to address problems of nationalism—specifically those surrounding the Indian-Pakistani conflict and the violent legacy of the 1947 partition dividing the two countries—and their uneven representation in the mass media. She is particularly interested in how these issues affect everyday life and individual experience.
Yahan Se Shehr ko Dekho…
YahaN se sheher ko dekho to halqa-dar-halqa
Khinchi hai jail ki soorat har ek samt faseel
Har ek rahguzar gardish-e-aseeraaN hai
Na sung-e-meel, na manzil, na mukhlisi ki sabeel
Jo koi tez chaley rah to poochta hai Khayal
Ke tokne koi lalkaar kyuN naheeN aayee
Jo koi haath hilaye to Wahem ko hai sawal
Koi chanak, koi jhankaar kyuN nahiN aayee?
YahaN se shehr ko dekho to saari khalqat meiN
Na koi sahab-e-tamkeen, na koi wali-e-hosh
Har ek mard-e-jawaN mujrim rasn ba gulu
Har ek haseena-e-raana, Kaneez-e-halqa bagosh
Jo sayay duur chiraghoN ke gird larzaaN haiN
Na janey mehfil-e-ghum hai ke bazm-e-jaam-o-saboo
Jo rung har dar-o-deewar par pareshaaN haiN
YahaN se kuch naheen khulta yeh phool haiN ke LahU
– Faiz (Karachi, 1965)
“Yahan Se Shehr Ko Dekho… | Karachi Metblogs.” <i>Yahan Se Shehr Ko Dekho… | Karachi Metblogs</i>. Web. 31 Jan. 2015. <http://karachi.metblogs.com/2006/05/05/yahan-se-shehr-ko-dekho/>.
(English translation by Naomi Lazard)
If you look at the city from here
You see it is laid out in concentric circles,
Each circle surrounded by a wall
Exactly like a prison.
Each street is a dog-run for prisoners,
No milestones, no destinations, no way out.
If anyone moves too quickly you wonder
Why he hasn’t been stopped by a shout.
If someone raises his arm
You expect to hear the jangling of chains.
If you look at the city from here
There is no one with dignity,
No one fully in control of his senses.
Every young man bears the brand of a criminal,
Every young woman the emblem of a slave.
You cannot tell whether you see
A group of revellers or mourners
In the shadows dancing around the distant lamps,
And from here you cannot tell
Whether the color streaming down the walls
Is that of blood or roses.
Farrukhi, Asif. “The Color of Blood or Roses Visual Imagery in the Poetry of Faiz.” <i>NuktaArt</i>. Web. 31 Jan. 2015. <http://www.nuktaartmag.com/Nukta/GeneralContent/View/199>.