City Culture – The Cry of Baldia Victims


“People have been coming to my door asking for a share in compensation money”, A masi told The Karachi Walla in his neighbourhood.

Masi’s son was one of the victims in Baldia Town fire incident. She had not received the paltry compensation money by that time which was announced by a minister.

“I have been telling them so but they don’t believe. They will come back again”

I could not dare look into her eyes. I could not reassure her that it will be okay.

Hell could not be any worse than Karachi at it’s worst.

‘Just another incident’ took 250 lives in Baldia Town Karachi. No one can blame us for forgetting it since it was not the first. It will not be the last.

Tu Khaliq o Aadil hay, Magar Tere Jaha’n main
Hain Talkh Bohat, Banda-e-Mazdoor k Auqat

Post mortems were carried out, Inquiries announced, Penalties imposed, Compensations paid and Investigation reports were filed. And the life got back to the same routine. Sixty or some artists however made sure that the incident was documented, victims remembered and our collective conscience shamed. It was exhibited at Arts Council Pakistan.

The exhibition featured photo collages of the victims and a timeline of major incidents in Pakistan. A heap of planes made out of paper were kept in the middle depicting our attitude to such incidents after a while. A wax face in the centre depicted how it would have looked in the last moments of a helpless victim. The Karachi Walla froze their for a moment. A collection of paintings on newspaper was a haunting depiction. Equally brilliant was a collection of unknown faces. The way Baldia fire victims are remembered now. As a collection of unfortunate beings.

The show closed on 15th February.

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Categories: City Culture

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One Comment on “City Culture – The Cry of Baldia Victims”

  1. February 20, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    i have no hope. we pakistani are ruled by ruthless senseless and heartless people. no hope

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