Current research on houses in Karachi
From Friday 5 July 2019
Chelsea Café Project #32 showcases the work of Veera Rustomji, current MA Fine Art student at Chelsea College of Arts.
Rustomji has grown up and lived for the past 27 years in Bath Island, Clifton, one of the oldest residential areas developed in Karachi. She gradually witnessed most of the houses which were built in the early 1900s, most of them belonging to the entrepreneurial diaspora Parsi community, being torn down and replaced with towering apartments. Unfortunately, due to a massive population increase in Karachi, there is a heightening demand for affordable residential spaces resulting in many of these old homes being erased for the use of the land.
As part of this project, I have conducted interviews with owners as I am interested in listening to the stories which revolve around a home. It has been amazing to hear how multifunctional these structures have been for a family and how there is a narrative behind each item. While the photographs overtly emulate a sense of nostalgia, I am more interested in capturing the way the homes stay static in their current condition. Today, the homes are cornered by a new visual language of residential and commercial spaces and I wonder how lonely the homes can be. While I’m not absolutely sure as to what the outcome of these photographs will be, I continue this strange anthropological study in an attempt to create an archive which could possibly garner public interest.
– Veera Rustomji
About the artist
Veera Rustomji is a visual artist from Karachi, Pakistan and is currently studying a full time Masters in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts in London, UK. She has a Bachelors in Fine Art from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture (2015) and worked as a Project Coordinator with Vasl Artists Association in Karachi from 2016-2018.
Her practice tends to examine traditions and oral myths from South Asia with an interest in the parallel dialogues of migration and heritage.
About the project
The Chelsea Cafe Project is a series of displays of work by students and staff from Chelsea College of Arts. These changing displays are a chance to see some of the talent here at Chelsea from across a diverse range of disciplines. The series is curated in collaboration with CHELSEA space (opposite) as part of the Public Programme.