Artists call on Karachi Biennale to stand by Adeela Suleman

Artists call on Karachi Biennale to stand by Adeela Suleman

Collective releases statement signed by artists, academics and activists around the country.
30 Oct, 2019

Artist collective The Creative Process Projects called on the Karachi Biennale and its organisers to stand behind Adeela Suleman, the artist whose work in Biennale was forcibly shut down and subsequently destroyed by authorities and whom the organisers disowned.

"We believe KB's rhetoric is incredibly dangerous because it is creating false divisions between the art, public and politics. We reject KB’s attempts to separate politics from art and public space," said the collective's statement, which was signed by dozens of Pakistani artists, academics and activists around the country.

The call has been endorsed by Sheema Kermani, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Marvi Mazhar, Shehzil Malik, Sophia Balagamwala, Zahra Malkani and Scheherezade Junejo, among others.

"Public space does not lie outside the realm of politics but is at the very core of it. We believe that “the public” is and must always be inherently political. We cannot and will not support a biennale that seeks to divorce artmaking from politics."

The collective's statement also pointed out that the event's actions were not supportive of the very artists it set out to support and platform.

"This city’s artists must also clarify and strengthen its role in representing and protecting the voices of the artists it claims to support. What is entirely missing from this year’s theme of ecology, then, is any attempt to support the ecology of local artists."

Suleman's work was called the Killing Fields of Karachi, where she used 444 gravestones to represent each victim of extrajudicial killings carried out by former Malir SSP Rao Anwar.


Lea Oct 30, 2019 03:22pm
if you win, they win with you. if you lose , you lose alone
SHAHID SATTAR Oct 30, 2019 07:29pm
Who ever was responsible for this action only caused disgrace and damage to the country's rulers. The rulers may not be directly involved, but whoever was responsible should be brought to book, or the blame will be justified.
Abdulsalam Oct 30, 2019 10:22pm
So, they think if they can stop people from talking about the murders then it is as if the murders did not happen. It's like the ostrich putting its head in a hole and thinking everything else has disappeared. Kudos to the artist, more power to her. Stay strong because the righteous always come out on top, maybe not today but definitely tomorrow.
M. Emad Oct 30, 2019 11:31pm
Ali asim Oct 31, 2019 01:46am
Never give up.
Uzay Yazdani Oct 31, 2019 03:19am
Pakistani artists are not respected in Pakistan.
Parvez Oct 31, 2019 11:59am
Classic case of the government shooting itself in the foot ...... this was a local issue handled by the local PPP government how should be blamed but the dirt predictably flew and fell on the PTI ......such is the nature of our politics.