On Thursday, a report titled ‘A haven for free-thinkers: Pakistan creatives mourn the loss of progressive art space’ came out in the British news and media website, ‘The Guardian”.
The report highlights that T2F in Karachi, which is late human rights activist Sabeen Mahmud’s brainchild may close as per the board’s decision. The decision is what has been termed as ‘tragic’, however, necessary as “donations, income from the cafe, gallery and programs dried up” during the lockdown, and it has become “difficult to maintain its physical and online activities till the situation improves”.
The country’s most famous television news presenter, Hamid Mir, tweeted saying, “Shocking news. The board running late Sabeen Mahmood’s T2F in Karachi has decided to close it, in a move that has been called “more than a tragedy”.”
“Dear Karachites, please save this haven for free-thinkers.”
Shocking news. The board running late Sabeen Mahmood’s T2F in Karachi has decided to close it, in a move that has been called “more than a tragedy”. Dear Karachites please save this haven for free-thinkers. https://t.co/KBYwo11MZI
— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) June 24, 2021
Following Mir’s tweet, many on Twitter mourned the loss of progressive art space in Karachi as there aren’t many open spaces for community or conversation
Sabeen Mahmud's T2F was a space that truly became all she wanted it to be: a haven, a refuge, a place to breathe and think and be. It seems we'll lose it, as we lost her. https://t.co/a5C8iT4paR
— Asad Hashim (@AsadHashim) June 24, 2021
"the board running T2F has decided to close it” This is a great loss to KHI and to all of us. https://t.co/65tmgXDq0A
— Manan Ahmed (@sepoy) June 24, 2021
People who often visited T2F shared their last memories when they were there watching Sabeen walking around different spaces and rooms from time to time
I spent an ungodly amount of time in T2F when Sabeen was alive, I used to see her walking around different spaces and rooms from time to time. This space meant so much to me, this hurts. https://t.co/GLOVgQjbla
— Maazah_M_Ali (@Bookish_Brain) June 24, 2021
What utter heartbreaking news. @thesecondfloor was the starting space for so many people, like @SaadHaroonSays and @samishah and those like me who went and just hung out with Sabeen over the NA250 bun kebab and chai.
What a loss to Karachi. https://t.co/ytJ7zh8Adm
— Alia Chughtai (@AliaChughtai) June 24, 2021
“Tragic’ closure of #SabeenMahmud’s community venue T2F in Karachi comes as PM Imran Khan accused of fostering censorship and intolerance”
— Lateef Johar Baloch (@LateefJohar) June 24, 2021
What? I didn't know it was closing. Anything we can do, fund raising? It's just so sad. And it's not just Karachi, there is no other place like T2F in Pakistan. https://t.co/lL3XizKdAc
— Tania Saeed (@taniasaeed) June 24, 2021
Shakil Jafri, T2F’s director, told The Guardian that “Due to the pandemic, T2F could not generate revenue to meet its expenses. Therefore we have decided to suspend its services. The board will decide the future of T2F in a few months.”
After social media uproar on Thursday, director Shakil Jafri cleared with Images that closure really is the suspension of services and not complete closure of the space. The suspension is not new – it was implemented in May. Comparing the NAPA and Arts Council situation, he said that T2F is complying with the government’s directives.
Pakistan’s First Shop Selling Craft Items Made by Disable Artists Opens its Doors in Karachi. Read the full story here:
Pakistan’s first shop that sells craft items made by people with disabilities opened its doors in Karachi. The shop called “Jiddat” (which means loyal and compassionate in Urdu) connected to Karachi Vocational Training Center (KVTC) in the Defence House Authority neighbourhood.
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