Karachi: The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP) and I AM KARACHI have launched ‘Oral History School Tours’ for 3,400 students from 15 schools this April across the city. The project is one of the several activities running under the civil society’s I AM KARACHI campaign that aims to inculcate hope, pride and ownership in the citizens of Karachi to collectively strive for a peaceful city.
The Oral History Project allows students to become oral historians by learning how to use an interactive ‘Oral History Project Do-It-Yourself KIT’ developed by CAP. The CAP team has been conducting workshops in partner schools to teach students how to use the ‘Oral History Project Do-It-Yourself KIT’ to conduct interviews of their elders. Through the process of collecting narratives from their elders, who have lived in the dynamic city of Karachi and have seen the city grow with them, students will be able to trace the former identity of Karachi. The project aims to instil in a sense of pride and ownership amongst the youth of Karachi which is also the primary objective of the I AM KARACHI campaign.
It is expected that by becoming oral historians: conducting interviews, collecting stories, archiving history, and by preserving these in CAP’s oral history archive, the youth will be able to give a voice to the yesteryears and strengthen bonds with their elders.
Speaking about this initiative, Swaleha Alam Shahzada, Executive Director and Governing Board Member of CAP said: “We hope that through this project our children will be able to bond with their elders, help preserve their invaluable stories and be inspired by them.”
Schools partnering with CAP for oral history project include Bay View Academy, Indus Academy, Haque Academy, The Lyceum School, Froebels, AMI, Lecole, Mama Parsi, Nasra Public, Lady Bird Grammar School, Happy Home, The Learning Tree, BVS, Links, and The City School – PAF.
The Oral History School Tours are a part of a project launched by CAP under I AM KARACHI campaign, which collects, preserves and shares stories of Karachi’s dynamic past. CAP aims to encourage city’s youth to explore more peaceful and sustainable possibilities for their city. The project also includes radio programs, mobile museums and a festival.
The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to cultural and historic preservation operating in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad. We seek to educate the community, foster an awareness of our nation’s history, and instil pride in Pakistani citizens about their heritage. CAP has focused its attention on the tradition of oral storytelling in Pakistan, emphasising the importance of such narratives in a dialogue on national identity. Our organization has three main goals: to preserve and provide access to the archive, to build and support educational programmes, and to develop educational products based on the testimonies collected.
We are passionate about sharing Pakistan’s stories through educational outreach programmes and various exhibitions and festivals that are attended by thousands of visitors. Our vision is to develop CAP as the foremost museum and heritage centre of Pakistani history, photography, culture, literature, and historical documentation demonstrating the strength and spirit of Pakistan from the perspective of a citizen.
About I AM KARACHI:
I AM KARACHI is a campaign that inculcates hope, pride and ownership in the citizens of Karachi to collectively strive for a peaceful city. The objectives of I AM KARACHI are as follows.
Reclaim public spaces
Promoting social/cultural activities, reviving existing public spaces and cultural institutions for greater inclusion and engagement and creating fresh, safe public spaces promoting open interaction and positive exchange of ideas.
Bring civil society together
Create a common platform to enhance synergy and collaboration, share and strengthen existing resources, expertise and networks to maximize outreach and impact and Increase interaction and engagement between government and civil society.
Enhance public awareness and advocacy
Create awareness about the socio-cultural causes of violence and advocate for potential solutions, promote dialogues and conversations between people and communities within Karachi, lobby relevant stakeholders including government and media to advocate for peace and enhance awareness about the importance of public sphere/spaces for a vibrant and tolerant city.