Updated: Jan 4, 2022
A wonderful example of a leader of a vibrant social center, connecting artists, activities and entrepreneurs, which often comes to my mind in how I wish to connect my artistic work with social / civic discourse.
Sabeen Mahmud was a Pakistani human rights activist and progressive social worker who in 2007 founded Karachi-based cafe The Second Floor (T2F), a cafe / bookstore / performance space. It gave Karachi a place where discussions - about art, science, politics, anything - could flow freely, and citizens could connect and organize.
From The Economist obituary: “In 2013, she organized a hackathon, the first in Pakistan, where for an entire weekend people brainstormed new ideas and applications to make Karachi run better. not denigrate the government, she said. Take matters into your own hands! Change things! "
Due to his fearless resolution of the controversial social and political issues of his generation,
“Abuses and threats came a lot. She didn't care. Other dissidents left Karachi, but she liked it too much to live elsewhere. Friends said she should put a security guard at the door of the cafe; eat panini and join the conversation. "(The Economist)
On April 24, 2015, she moderated a debate on the Balochistan conflict in which activists such as Mama Qadeer participated. After the event, she was shot dead by a gunman on her way home after hosting a seminar at T2F.
Photo credit: https://he.wikipedia.org/