Lyari, once known as a ‘no-go-area’ and home to lawlessness, politically motivated violence and crime in the financial capital of Pakistan, Karachi has organized its first Literature Festival today.
Mehrdar Art and Production, a Karachi-based film production company has organized the two-day-festival in the premises of the Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University Lyari (BBSUL) located between Mola Madad Chowk and Cheel Chowk to provide peace promotion and social harmony through art and literature.
“This festival in Lyari will provide an opportunity for the local writers, artists, and performers to have a platform at their home to represent their work,” stated LLF’s official Facebook page.
The two-day-festival features panel discussion, storytelling workshops, qawaali night, documentary screening, theater performances and a poetry session.
The festival invited different people from all across the country to promote their creativity through different stalls of handicrafts, paintings, books and traditional clothes.
Mismaat Soomri Bhatti, came all the way from interior Sindh, Jacobabad to place her stall in the festival told Dialogue Pakistan that,
“This festival has given me an opportunity to promote my work. I have a whole group of women who help me to make all the products which are displayed here to earn money from home,” said Soomri
“This festival is empowering all the small town women to come forward and earn money through their creativity and skills. There is nothing that can stop women from doing anything.”
The vice-chancellor of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Univeristy Lyari, Prof Dr Akhtar Baloch told Dialogue Pakistan that they want to show the reality of Lyari through this festival. He said,
“Lyari was once known for its famous poets but from the past years it is known as the most dangerous place in the country. People are afraid of coming to this place but through this festival we will change people’s perspective about Lyari.”
Residents of Lyari want to promote peace and to change the negative image of Lyari through this festival.