The ‘Tentative Collective’ is a collective of people who share resources to create collaborative works of art in everyday urban spaces. We started this collaboration in Karachi, Pakistan in December, 2011.


We hit the road on November 1, 2012 and will hopefully keep going for several years with public funding and support. This collaborative mobile cinema has set up free screenings in various parts of Karachi, using homemade cell phone films and a rickshaw powered projector. We collaborate with residents of various marginalized, migrant and other residential colonies across the city to gather 2-5 minute cell phone videos in response to, ‘What do you do on your day off?’ This project encourages participants to produce self generated media using locally available technology in a culture heavily dependent on consumption. A series of free screenings in the everyday urban spaces of the neighborhoods where the videos are made, then forge connections between people, create intra-ethnic dialogue, transform expectations of public and private space, and create new zones for collectivity and conviviality.  The Mobile Cinema Rickshaw that projects these videos on walls and  buildings was designed using the local vernacular of transportation and decoration in mind. It is recognizable, yet contemporary in its use of design language, becoming an additional metaphor for the re-thinking of existing spaces and identities. Mera Karachi Mobile Cinema works within the limitations and opportunities provided by the tentative nature of Karachi as a complex urban landscape. The group of Tentative Collective organizers involved in this project embrace nomadic assimilation, criticality, and a desire to be—joyful. Please join us in making this project a success and support us by volunteering your time, submitting a video or by making a donation.

Donate to Mera Karachi Mobile Cinema here

We have been featured in various publications and blogs including Creative Time Reports, ArtAsiaPacific, 3Quarks Daily, Mashallah News,  and Asian Urbanisms Blog. We also presented our work at the first International Karachi Conference. Updates are posted on our facebook page.
Mera Karachi Mobile Cinema’ is a sponsored project of Artspire, a Program of NYFA. ARTSPIRE is a 501(c)3, tax exempt organization founded in 1971 to work with the arts community throughout New York State to develop and facilitate programs in all disciplines.

Contributing members: Yaminay N. Chaudhri (principal), Nausheen H. Anwar (principal advisor), Khadija Abdul Lateef (research assistant), Zebunissa Ahmad (community leader), Tariq Baluch (community leader), Sadia Khatri (winter session coordinator+ blogger), Talha Sabri (summer intern), Sarah Kazmi (summer intern), Mohammad Saddique Khan (driver).

Posted at 4:07am.

A Pakhtun Memory

On December 28th, 2011 we held our second event in Shirin Jinnah Colony/Sikanderabad: an informal Pakhtun, migrant settlement and underserved neighbourhood not far from the Walls project. Migrants from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (North Western Pakistan) form one of Karachi’s largest migrant communities. A large proportion of these migrants live in squatter settlements or informal housing like Shirin Jinnah Colony or Sikanderabad facing a constant threat of being displaced. The Pakhtun migrants in colonies like this one account for a large percentage of domestic and physical labour in Karachi. Our project used Pakhtun folk music and memory to temporarily privilege a subaltern population, allowing it to own a contentious public space. The ensuing series of events were unexpected and exciting! Special thanks go to the Pakhtun band from North Karachi that made this event possible.

Project Team:
  Rasheed Khan, Mohammad Saddique Khan, Yaminay Nasir Chaudhri

Winner of the juror’s prize award at the Mohawk Hudson Regional Exhibition, University Art Museum, UAlbany. 2012. Selected for screening at the Syracuse International Film Festival. 2012.

Posted at 12:00am.

Beyond Walls

To acknowledge the divisions between communities in Karachi and to suggest that these divisions are artificial, a group of us from different parts of Karachi performed a social action and sat on the boundary wall around Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park, Boat Basin, for one hour starting at 4:00pm on Sunday December 18, 2011. Some 50 people from different parts of the city including the nearby migrant Colony of Sikanderabad joined us. We enjoyed the weather, drank chai and had wonderful conversations about being there, together.  This social action was the Tentative Collective’s first event, organized in response to the ethnic violence and instability in Karachi, a city of diverse migrant communities now plagued by walls, hedges and barbed wire, as well as the policing and sale of public space. 
Our actions coincided with the International Migrants Day. People from around the world made performances in solidarity with the various migrant communities in their cities. The documentation of our actions was tracked by Immigrant Movement International led by artist Tania Bruguera in Queens, New York.

Project Team: 
Rasheed Khan, 
Mohammad Saddique Khan, Babar Sheikh, Usman Malkani
, Shalalae Jamil
, Aarij Hashimi, 
Faraj Jamil, 
Huria Munir, Noman Quadri, 
Yaminay Nasir Chaudhri. With pictures by Shalalae Jamil and Nadir Siddiqui.

‘Going “beyond walls”‘, was covered by Dawn, a nationally recognized newspaper in Pakistan. Essay and photography by Nadir Siddiqui.

Posted at 12:00am.