Once referred to as the “city of lights”, today Karachi is restricted to public spaces shrinking in size merely due to walls and barbed wires. Dictated by apathy and nonchalance, the people of Karachi are blinded by the lack of social engagement that is penetrating our borders, homes and most of all, our lives.

Mera Karachi mobile cinema or Tentative Collective has been a cry and a reflex response against this very restriction of public space. With a “let’s do it mindset” that fuels positivity even among a tumultuous political backdrop, an eclectic group of nomadic intellectuals have come together to produce short films via cell phones using a rickshaw-powered projector. Free screenings are held on the walls of our very city where various levels of society erase their differences and come together for social engagement.

Yaminay N. Chaudhri, the initiator behind this brave and unconventional project wants people to realize that de-materializing walls and property is a tangible and real way of coming together as a wholesome community. By hosting screening parties for both the elite and marginalized communities; the disintegration of walls, barriers and barricaded gates is something that she hopes will achieve the obvious…

Each project has its own identity, theme and participants that breathe life into it. The creation of surreal and transformational situations via this approach is something that has made Tentative Collective a truly novel and fresh initiative.

Instead of a top-down approach, an ad hoc method has been adopted that focuses on successfully bringing together individuals from all strata’s of society as a single unit.

In Pakistan there is a growing appetite for abstract conceptual work with meaning and significance. Tentative Collective is aware that they are not alone in this social movement to bridge gaps and create awareness at large. Groups like Mauj Media Collective utilize technology and art for social practices; however they cater to an audience that is most international. Fortunately though, through a string of individual artists such projects now seem to be springing up everywhere.

Despite the adverse situation in the country, Tentative Collective is serving as a “messenger service” where with the help of blurring faces and edited content they can freely depict what real people are facing in their everyday lives.

The torch continues to burn and help lighten every dark street and alley in the city. Thanks to a little little help from Tentative Collective!