Connecting art, the city and its people
The Karachi Biennale Trust (KBT) was founded, in 2016, by a group of visual art professionals and educators as a dynamic platform to promote creativity, innovation and criticality in the visual arts. KBT -a not-for-profit organization- has remained a citizens’ initiative supported by the corporate sector. It works closely with a network of local and international cultural, educational and philanthropic organizations.
Karachi Biennale (KB) is the flagship project of the KBT that has been designed to use art as a vehicle to discover, discuss and respond to Karachi. Its each iteration has a thematic that is relevant to the host city, in 2017, the first KB, artists were invited to respond to the theme ‘WITNESS’, and in KB19 they will focus on the devastating ‘development footprint’ on ecology.
The vision of KBT is to create a public audience for art and its projects offer a chance to revisit Karachi’s past, recognize it’s contemporary challenges and contribute to an optimistic reimagining of its future. KB has been conceived as an international art forum that penetrates the city with improvised exhibition spaces where innovative art from Pakistan and overseas can be showcased.
Educational interventions to engage youth with art, as a transformative experience, is a vital part of the KBT mandate. We believe in discursive exchanges, research and art scholarship to achieve criticality. The Trust aims at creating a strong ‘Public Art presence’ in the city and initiate conversations on its role in vitalizing the environment.
Art, the city and its people will always be at the core of our initiatives.
Almas believes that art in all its manifestations not only reflects society but can provide a vision for its positive development. It should be a harbinger of change in an open society. Involvement in the Karachi Biennale provides him with such an experimental opportunity. Almas has B.Sc and M.B.A degrees from Pakistan and Certificate in International Management from Boston University, USA.
In 2017, along with a group of colleagues she established the Karachi Biennale to instrumentalize art to connect a fractured city to itself, and the world with the country‘s largest international art contemporary art event. She is the CEO of Karachi Biennale and Managing Trustee of the Karachi Biennale Trust.
Niilofur co-founded NuktaArt and served as its Founder Editor for the ten years it was in publication (2004-2014). Her book Pioneering Perspectives on pioneer women artists was aimed at countering the anti-women political narrative of the 1980s in her country.
Niilofur is the President of AICA Pakistan and has served on the International Board of the International Art Critics Association.
She has written extensively for national and international publications. Her second book' The 70s Pakistan's Radioactive Decade: An Informal Cultural History of Pakistan (co-edited with Amin Gulgee and John MacCary will be launched in early 2019. 'A Beautiful Despair', a book on eminent artist Meher Afroz (edited) also expected to be out in the first quarter of 2019. At present, she is researching the art history of Karachi for a book.
As one of the founding members of Mauj, a media art collective in Karachi, Atteqa participated in and jointly organized, a number of workshops and activities related to new media since February 2008. She was on the International Review Committee for ISEA (International Summit of Electronic Art) 2010 held in Ruhr, Germany. Her submission to Imagining New Eurasia Project has been selected to be displayed with 88 artists at the Asian Cultural Center in Korea and online till July 2016.
As Chair, Global Outreach of Karachi Biennale Trust, Atteqa coordinated educational and art collaborations between Karachi institutions and Berlin digital activists Wolfgang Spahn and Stephen Kovats, Manchester Art Gallery, The Tetley and Canadian media artist Faisal Anwar during 2016 and 2017.