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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Good work kiddo

from the daily times

If these walls could talk, they would say the WSF begins today

Staff Report

KARACHI: The walls were annoyingly coarse, the sun was mercilessly hot, and there were too few hands to fill them up. As the final countdown to the World Social Forum (WSF) 2006 began, a group of young men and women painstakingly created graffiti and murals on a long series of bare walls at one of the sprawling grounds of the KMC Sports Complex-the venue for the event that starts today.

The murals and graffiti included a multiplicity of slogans and symbols characteristic of WSF themes-democracy, peace, equality and love. Most of all, they advocated dissent-dissent from all that is unjust in the world: imperialism, dictatorship, and wars fought in the name of terror. Asma Shabab and Madiha Waris, graduates of IBA, Fatima Zehra and Quratulain Siddiqui, graduates of the University of Karachi, Saad Jamal, a student of Sir Syed University and Shahjahan Bhutto, an Indus Valley design student comprised the team that added vivid colours to the bare Kashmir Road for two days.

They have been working under the scorching sun, trying to fill empty walls with hope. Pedestrians and traffic often stopped by as the public, excited and curious about the young group covered in paint, asked questions about the forum also. A smiling father brought his two little girls to apply a few strokes too, which they did with great excitement.

The group also painted a welcoming statement for the participants of WSF 2006 on a bright red background. Some of these students have been working at the WSF for the past six weeks. Getting mounds of work done before the mega event in limited time and with funds, plus trying to start a buzz around the city in order to generate the kind of enthusiasm and fervour that an event like WSF deserves, hasn’t been easy.


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