The Second Floor’s (T2F) Facebook page describes it as “a community space for open dialogue, T2F features a coffeehouse, bookshop, and exhibition gallery.” T2F certainly doesn’t disappoint as far as their projected image goes. Founded by PeaceNiche, a non-profit NGO, it is one of the most well respected establishments in Karachi and a hotbox for creative and personal growth. Located at a modest corner in Defence, T2F has a bustling calendar of various events ranging from poetry readings and music nights, to yoga classes and lectures. So it comes as no surprise that T2F found itself becoming one of the centers of artistic and academic expression in Karachi.
A core part of their vision is that growth should not be limited to people who can afford it; which is why all of their events are free entrance. People are asked to donate however much they feel comfortable parting with, but the process is subtle and entirely up to the customer. A person can walk into their café and enjoy board games, books and free Wi-Fi, all while sitting in an air conditioned room and without having to pay a penny. Common courtesy would recommend you at least buy a drink, but that’s not much of issue on account of the very honest prices on the menu.
This could perhaps be a reason why, after 7 years of beloved existence, PeaceNiche is reaching out for help. They have started a crowd-funding campaign by the name of “Support a Creative Karachi”, since they are no longer able to keep their doors open without the support of the community they aim to help build. The campaign asks people to understand their vision and make an annual contribution of Rs. 3000.
T2F is a sanctuary for many, and at Rs. 3000-a-year to keep it alive we have a responsibility not only to PeaceNiche, but to the burgeoning creative youth of Karachi who need this!
“How could we become agents of social change if our theater practitioners had no rehearsal spaces, if our underground musicians had no venues to perform in, if our emerging artists had nowhere to hang their work? How could creative dissidents even learn of each other’s existence, let alone build and cultivate a community, without physical spaces where people could talk politics” – Sabeen Mahmud, Founder T2F.