We met Vasl Artists’ Association coordinator, head of Fine Art’s department at the Indus Valley School and artist Adeela Suleman at her home full of art. Her collection shows different insights of national and international art positions. Art in Pakistan, art out of a city like Karachi and the neccessary effort for it’s perception is what she is committed to.
There is a lack of organization in regards to the advancement of art, art is taught in institutions without any support from the establishment. There are no museums or art educational programmes where art is taught as art is not considered a constituent of the curriculum. Therefore, the artists took it upon themselves to fill the gap.
The art community is very small in Karachi and in Pakistan, here nearly everbody knows everone. There are just a few colleges where approximately 300 students graduate per year. I AM KARACHI is one platform that was found in order to promote the cultural fabric of the city. Adeela Suleman supported through the participation of Vasl Association.
I AM KARACHI created a movement where artistic painting was used as the essential point in order to get rid of the hate speech one could find on nearly every wall on Karachi’s streets. Art finally won the fight, walls now tell all the stories a city like Karachi has gathered. The project really did make a difference in terms of how the city is beeing used and how people were reacting. Nonetheless the beginning was hard stuff and the worries big.
Karachitees have to negotiate with their city on a daily new basis, with the natural recousses, with the basic needs from electricity, to water, to gas up to security and the mafia.
Adeelas work used to have humor, which as she quotes herself, „is slowly evaborating“. The violence that surrounds Karachi and the country has changed her questions regarding art. The enjoyment of cruelty and unhumanity, the way violence is percieved, the efforts that are made to appear human. Having already witnest too many death’s that occured to human-rights activists like Perween Rahman and Sabeen Mahmud, who have not just evaporated but have been taken away by force.
Karachi and the country need a president so Adeela’s approach who has a clear commitment towards art, which she cannot find with the current government.
Apart from beeing a teacher at the Indus Valley School for Art and Architecture Adeela Suleman also heads Vasl Association which was originally found by artists and curators who launced the organisation with an art workshop as part of an international triangle network. Adeela has joined 19 years ago.
And then it all happened series
Blood will have blood
Enter in Heaven Alive
Below: Work in progress, a visit in Adeela’s studio
Below: The Suleman’s private collection