Jamal E Hyderi
Ibrahim Hyderi is full of awestruck sights and the beauty of this place is unmeasurable, it has a helpful community and there are many opportunities for outsiders to come in and work. However, sadly this beauty has never been genuinely highlighted through any means. More often than not, the community’s positives are overshadowed by some negative points which have been highlighted by many different mediums over the period of years. This group living in Ibrahim Hyderi knew the nooks and corners of the entire town, and thus decided to become ambassadors of Ibrahim Hyderi and its people to show the world a peaceful, presentable, beautiful and a fun place Ibrahim Hyderi is.
In order to do this, Qambar, a young fisherman who took up photography as a hobby, proposed something that involved the module of Media Literacy. The raw idea was good enough for trainer Fatima Brohi to work on, however she was unsure of the skills and potential held by Qambar and his batch-mates. For this reason, Qambar decided to demonstrate his photographs that he clicks during the time he spends on the ocean. To Fatima’s surprise they were extremely well and she started mentoring Qambar, Ahmed and their team mates on the possible ideas they could work on for this project.
The group proposed the idea of a photo exhibition, which can demonstrate Ibrahim Hyderi in it’s true colors, rather than the stigma it holds due to a very few volatile groups, most of which have already disappeared or are inactive in the modern day. The idea was further enhanced and a Photo Walk was proposed, where photographers from Ibrahim Hyderi and all over Karachi were invited and put together in a photo-walk throughout Karachi. It would become an interesting idea for both to learn from one another. While young photographers from Ibrahim Hyderi would get to learn tips and techniques from photographers from rest of the city, the outsiders would get to learn a lot about the community from the locals. Furthermore, help many outsiders witness Ibrahim Hyderi first hand, and allow for the promotion of many small businesses, open doors for the development of their own community, and provide opportunities for community youngsters outside of their own town to be able to become prides for their communities.
Hence the team started planning this Photo-walk, the identified the routes all photographers will take, and called in all the local photographers no matter how skilled or unskilled they were, briefed them and gave them guidelines on how to take photos. Project Officer Muzammil Elahi also helped the group in delivering this session. The team then decided to start a Facebook event campaign by the name of Jamal-e-Hyderi Photowalk, and started publicly sharing it on social media. Trainer Fatima Brohi and Trainer Khaleeq Kohistani also aided in making this page reach more people. Program Coordinator Fahim Shad also participated with them to reach out to more and more photographers and film makers, as he personally knows many. Soon many people demonstrated their interest in attending the photo-walk. Personal handmade invitations were given to local stakeholders and local photographers of Ibrahim Hyderi to promote the culture of documentation within the community, and be able to look at their very own community with a different eye. Everyone was clarified that this would lead to a photo-exhibition, where everyone’s photographs would be displayed.
The Jamal-e-Hyderi Photo-walk was scheduled on December 2, 2018, during the second half, for which the team worked zealously in invitations, mobilization, one on one stakeholder meetings and promoting the event on social media overall. It was a pleasure to see 50 photographers from all over Karachi arrive at 4 PM for this grand photo-walk. Many young enthusiasts from Ibrahim Hyderi, who wanted to learn photography also joined in to this project. With the entire team, Qambar and Ahmed led the photographers through Ibrahim Hyderi. Many different places were covered, including the smaller colonies within Ibrahim Hyderi, Fishermen colonies and even harbor fronts. The team also took photographers across the ocean touching Ibrahim Hyderi on boats, where the photographers were shown a different view of Ibrahim Hyderi altogether. The walk was complete by 7 PM the same day, after which all photographers were asked to submit their photos by December 5, 2019.
To a further delight of the group the photo-walk was a grand success. All individuals who had participated, submitted their photographs by the deadline, and thus the process of selection began. There were many beautiful pictures that were clicked, however, due to the limited budgets there were only a limited number of photographs that could be printed. Since not many people within communities like Ibrahim Hyderi understand the skillfulness of photography, and do not consider art as an important income source, the funds collected were very little, and after the walk was over, the budgets that remained were even less. However the support and the confidence of the photographers who participated was further admirable. With everyone’s consent, the team decided to display only 20 best photographs at the exhibition. While this was an idea generated to save budget, it became a source of promotion as well, for all the other photographs, one now needs to visit the Jamal-e-Hyderi social media accounts where all photographs of all photographers would be uploaded. This would help Jamal-e-Hyderi build their fan base and would attract people from within the community who appreciate art.
Finally the photographs were printed on large photo-paper, and the exhibition was opened for the community and outsiders on the December 15, 2019. The venue selected was Mall Jetty. As Ibrahim Hyderi is a Fishermen’s colony, it made complete sense to set up the exhibition at a place the community can and would own. There were three other project announcements that took place the very same day, the Jetty School was inaugurated before the exhibition started, an activity of Hyderi Musawari was conducted with the attendees including community members of Ibrahim Hyderi and a small concert for Music for Social Change project also took place to keep the crowd hooked on to, and promote the message of peace, unity and diversity. All of this eventually led to the photo exhibition. Even the community members saw their community in a new light. Many stakeholders and organizations asked the group to involve within the positive workings of Ibrahim Hyderi and document the stories through photographs or documentaries to promote the community of Ibrahim Hyderi. While many others, especially youngsters demonstrated their interest within learning the skill.
Jamal e Hyderi Contributed to raising awareness of a community of Fishermen over 500 people. Directly contributing to 100 individuals.
With the exhibition, the youth group established a wonderful relationship with the fishermen community of Ibrhaim Hyderi, many stakeholders also have supported the idea and asked the team to work on displaying the positive side of Ibrahim Hyderi as well as the case studies of Ibrahim Hyderi. Over 150 individuals had participated within the exhibition and many CBOs also took part within the activity. All who participated within the activity shared their view on the importance of such activities within the future. This really inspired the youth group and they decided to take part to make Jamal-e-Hyderi a formal working group within Ibrahim Hyderi. For this reason, they partnered with Azme Naujawan Youth Center and Mehrdar Art and Production.
Though there are not many resources the group has, they still have managed to set up a small editing system which is placed within the Azme Naujawan Youth Center Ibrahim Hyderi. The group often meets at the center where they have taken up a few projects of highlighting the positive aspects of Ibrahim Hyderi, including sports activities and are currently working on a documentary on community philanthropists who have passed away.
Mehrdar art and production along with Awaz Youth Group are in complete support of Jamal-e-Hyderi. Many youngsters also want to learn from them. However with lack of resources there is only so much they can do. Jamal-e-Hyderi has been providing a platform for some young designers, editors, photographers and videographers to join hands with them in order to promote Ibrahim Hyderi as a holistic community.
The participants of Jamal E Hyderi have been highlighting community stories. They have been visiting individuals, clubs and stakeholders of Ibrahim Hyderi to either build case studies or working on small documentaries on positive activities happening within the community.
The current space is set within the Ibrahim Hyderi Youth Center, where the team of Jamal-e-Hyderi comes and also learns the skill further from pros like Abdul Rehman, Nouroz Ghani, Muzammil Elahi and the head Fahim Shad himself. Qamber, has dedicated himself to photography and continues to participate within many Azme Naujawan events as a photographer. While Ahmed is now the center coordinator for Azme Naujawan Youth Center, and is demonstrating skills of management, and event organizing. The team plans on starting photography and media journalism classes, and repeat the process of Jamal e Hyderi, exploring new places however this time promoting young photographers from Ibrahim Hyderi.