KARACHI: The Karachi Biennale 2017 (KB17) has continued to enlighten visitors with art exhibitions and educational programmes. The last week of the KB17 had been full of educational activities designed to engage visitors, as Karachi’s public visited art installations at the 12 venues across different parts of the city. A major part of yesterday’s programme at the KB17 was a stimulating discussion on the “Reel on Hai” project of the biennale. A large number of visitors, mainly families, got the opportunity to view ongoing exhibitions displaying works of art by national and international artists on the biennale’s theme of “Witness”. Families also engaged in art related activities designed around the themes of “Maa Ke Haath ka Khana” at NJV High School and the “Chaos Art Theory” at the Karachi School of Art. Later in the day, a poetry reading session led by poet, writer and senior journalist Shakil H. Jafri; poet, fiction writer, and translator Syed Kashif Raza; Spoken Stage’s Shameneh Majid; and Aiman Rizvi, was organized at the Pioneer Bookstore. The session, presenting to a packed house, brought the four poets’ original texts on Karachi, exploring the issues of identity, connection, and Karachi’s complex influence on the consciousness of those who have experienced the salty maritime city and its many transitions. There was another educative discussion at the Alliance Française on “Reel on Hai”, Pakistan’s largest public art project, launched by the KB17 over a year ago. The project, supported by Pakistan Cables, premised on the idea of recycling cable reels into artworks to give the public space a creative vibrancy. “Reel on Hai” installed recycled cable reels, transformed by artists, in 20 locations. The discussion at the Alliance was led by a panel that included Fahd Chinoy, Father Mario Rodrigues, Feica, Mariam Durrani, Abrar Qazi, and moderated by Mohsin Sayeed. It traced the genesis of the project and the importance of creative expression engaging the public in a city where public space is increasingly becoming a contested territory. A coffee table book on the “Reel on Hai” project is set to launch next month by the Pakistan Cables. Published in Daily Times, November 1st 2017.