Karachi, once known as the city of lights has now assumed a trajectory of destruction that has been seared into the public mind as that of violence, chaos and doom. In these dire times, the civil society of this great metropolis decided to take it upon themselves to partake in a greater ownership; of their city, their home and their pride, Karachi. From this vision, I AM KARACHI was born. I AM KARACHI is a platform of Karachi’s very best , both organizations and individuals committed to promoting socio-cultural activities and campaigns as vehicles for re-building society, eradicating divisiveness and promoting peace and harmony. This is done through arts, culture, sports and dialogue, appealing to the soul of the people and the softer side of the city. The aim of this campaign is to re-ignite hope, pride and ownership in the citizens of Karachi and collectively restore its vibrancy and cultural heritage. Karachi is known both for its philanthropy and business acumen, which IAM KARACHI aims to align strategically to ensure a greater, more sustainable impact.
AIMS & OBJECTIVES
Reclaim Public Spaces:
Public Spaces are those that are open and accessible to people, but are used within the concept of larger social space referring to both physical and intellectual spaces. Karachi has had a history of vibrant culture and avenues for exchange of ideas, art, music, theatre cinema, sports etc. However over the years, these public spaces for social & cultural exchange, debate & interaction have continually diminished. I Am Karachi believes that shrinking of such public spaces is a significant factor in contributing towards intolerance, fragmentation & polarization in the city. Therefore, I Am Karachi aims to reclaim public spaces by:
- Promoting social & cultural activities in Karachi that encourage positive exchange of ideas, dialogue, sports, arts, theatre, music, heritage preservation etc.
- Reviving existing public spaces & cultural institutions for greater inclusion & engagement.
- Creating fresh, safe public spaces promoting open interaction & positive exchange of ideas.
Bring Civil Society Together:
Civil society plays a pivotal role in strengthening a society’s social & cultural fabric by advocating for the interests & rights of the people. It also acts as a bridge between the government & the people for provision of basic services. However, Karachi’s civil society is fragmented, polarized & unable to effectively synergize & work together for creating a peaceful city. Therefore, by bringing civil society together, I Am Karachi aims to:
- Create a common platform to enhance synergy & collaboration.
- Share & strengthen existing resources, expertise & networks to maximize outreach & impact.
- Increase interaction & engagement between the civil society & other relevant stakeholders in the city including the government, media, business/private sectors etc.
Enhance Public Awareness & Advocacy:
The increasing violence in Karachi is a symptom of a larger societal problem that is weakening the social fabric & diverse cultural make-up of the city, thereby reinforcing negative values of hate, intolerance & extremism. Moreover, there is little or no understanding of how social & public spaces play an integral role in protecting & preserving a city’s social fabric for achieving peace. Therefore, I Am Karachi aims to lobby & advocate for:
- Enhancing awareness about the importance of physical, social & intellectual public spaces for a vibrant & tolerant city.
- Promoting & supporting arts, sports, culture, literature, dialogue by engaging all stakeholders in the city including media, government, civil society, private sector etc.
- Increasing public entitlement & access to public spaces in the city to while preserving existing public spaces, and creating new ones
- facebook.com/iamkhi/videos/622221254638864 – IAK Talks Video
- youtube.com/watch?v=5bkwyBbMWAA – IAK Founders Documentary