Authors are solicited to contribute to The Karachi Collective by submitting articles and works that focus on the development of critical inquiry and exploration in Pakistan, South Asia and related trajectories that extend from these beginning points of access.

Through the platform we aim to share research, academic, and creative works that further the goals of The Karachi Collective as a tour de force in Pakistan for critical engagement. The essays, articles, reviews, photo essays, creative work et all focus on engaging scholars and creatives in all areas of interrogation listed below with Karachi as the epicenter. Of particular interest are interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and exploring the past, present, and futures of Karachi and beyond. The goal is to bring together researchers and practitioners from academia and industry to focus on areas of Art, Design, and Interdisciplinary Humanities for a cross cultural exploration and subsequent innovations and collaborations in these areas.

We seek works that investigate, identify and fill gaps between critical writing and artistic production. Those that construct debate and dialogue through intellectual, political, and cultural discourse.

The topics below are neither exhaustive nor should jeopardize any area of study through exclusion:


The predecessors and pioneers of Modern Art in Pakistan, and the influences of western art and ideals on the twentieth century landscape of Art in Pakistan:

  • Activism and Multiplicity
  • Political narratives
  • Political cartoons
  • Cataloguing and Exhibition
  • Abstract representation and its positioning within the cultural realm
  • Censorship and censuring
  • Marginalization of historical conventions of art


The relationship of contemporary art with socially engaged practices, pluralism and globalization:

  • Interdisciplinarity
  • The gallery as a space of knowledge dissemination and active learning
  • The practice of art in global communities
  • South Asian diaspora in the global art discourse
  • Critical significance of Queer art in South Asia and its diasporas
  • Transnational diasporic communities and the placement/displacement of national art in a transnational world
  • Political objectives and ethical responsibilities
  • Questioning censorship and censuring
  • Calligraphy and/or text as vernacular or abstraction


A phenomenological examination and exploration:

  • Evolution and contemporary manifestations of design
  • Philosophies influencing and underpinning design in South Asia
  • Histories and narratives around objects of design
  • Documentation


Past and existing conceptions of design practice, ‘doing’, and directions for the future. To explore the practices of the past existing at the fringes now, and both those that seem to be disappearing as well as those metamorphosing into new or have emerged anew:

  • Developments in practice – the process, outcomes, future possibilities
  • Design and interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary design
  • Disappearing practices and or Emergent practices
  • Design Authorship, Design Patent, and Design Intellectual Rights
  • Debate around Design and Craft
  • Indigenous design practices


Conversations around issues related to design and its practice in South Asia:

  • Design as tool for social change: looking at the overarching ramifications of design in building communities and instigating social change.
  • Intellectual responsibility: ethical practices within the design industry.
  • Sustainable design: Digital versus Print design, carbon footprint, design materials, etc.
  • The Design and Art debate: exploring boundaries between art, graphic and product design.
  • Decolonizing Design and South Asia
  • Design and Modernity
  • Ontological Design
  • Design Epistemology
  • Design Education

Critical and creative inquiry around past and present practices. Production associated with navigation and transitioning of textiles and craft practices, collaborations and power narratives:

  • Juxtaposition of critical concepts with making practice in Pakistan:
  • Creative explorations on process – autoethnographic, phenomenological, writing as inquiry, other
  • Pedagogical engagement within the field of textiles & fashion
  • Material Culture & mass consumption
  • Heritage craft / textiles / fashion
  • Roles of contemporary and /or traditional craft
  • Embodied & tacit knowledge of craft / textiles / fashion
  • Textiles & craft as ritual and/or gift economy
  • The perception/relation of gender and craft roles
  • Methods of craft development/facilitation
  • Discourse on the interpretation of ‘Creativity’ or ‘Creative’
  • Methods of collaboration (e.g. design thinking, action research and participatory design).
  • Discourse on privilege and power narratives effecting craft production or craft development
  • Taste and aesthetics in dress in Pakistan
  • Sartorial Activism
  • Impact of foreign fashion on local consumption and taste
  • The role of image and appearance in contemporary Pakistani society
  • Gender and dress – femininity and masculinity in dress in the region for example
  • Identity and Craft
  • Any other debate about theory and practice of craft, textiles or fashion

Investigation and translation of interdisciplinary information and processes highlighting and featuring crucial works in humanities:

  • Critical Aesthetics
  • Culture, Society, and Literature
  • Philosophical approaches
  • Literature and the historical and cultural contexts
  • Literature and other arts (music, film, visual arts, etc.) or sciences (linguistics, psycholinguistics, psychology, history, sociology and political sciences, internet and new technologies, etc.)
  • Creative Writing
  • Translations
  • Cross-cultural studies
  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Literature
  • Performing Art
  • Philosophy
  • Religion
  • Visual Arts
  • Anthropology, Area Studies, Archaeology
  • Culture and Ethics Studies
  • Economics, Ethics, Geography, History
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies, Geography
  • Industrial relations, Information Science, International relations
  • Media studies, Methodology
  • Performing arts (music, theatre & dance)
  • Political science, Philosophy
  • Psychology, Population Studies,
  • Religious studies
  • Social welfare, Sociology
  • Women studies

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