IntroductionKaravanKarachi Heritage Streetfests
Using the Inheritance of the Past to build a Meaningful Future
A series of 23 Heritage Street Fests were a component of the KaravanKarachi 2001 Karachi Festival and were conducted to celebrate the diverse heritage in the form of buildings that Karachi inherited.
The Heritage Street Fests were planned, for starters, around 60 of the over 600 historic buildings identified by the Heritage Foundation (The parent organization Of KaravanPakistan) and designed to not only raise awareness about these heritage buildings but also to help in their preservation and maintainance. The Heritage Street Fests started from March 11, 2001 and were conducted every Sunday thereafter until the end of August 2001.
In each Street Fest events were planned around a different group of historic, notified buildings. Famous personalities were invited to grace these Streetfests and the list includes venerable names like Mr. Jamiluddin Aali and Fatima Surraiya Bajia apart from guests representing all the religious and ethnic communities of Karachi. For this purpose certain roads in front of the historic structures were blocked for traffic from Saturday evening to Sunday evening. The blocked streets were hence converted into pedestrianized zones and became an arena for a host of activities ranging from tree planting to skits and tableaus performed by school children, interactive activities, theatre performances, Art, Photography, Music, Crafts Workshops and Martial Arts Demos by volunteers. Needless to say this array of activities catered to all ages and tastes and created a fun filled atmosphere while deeply ingraining amongst the participants and onlookers alike a sense of pride and ownership for Karachi- the rainbow city. The Pakistan Navy Band further livened the proceedings with their performance at these venues. A very important activity at these Streetfests was the Signature Roll that contains the signatures of VIP’s and ordinary citizens of Karachi. The signature roll was started on the first Heritage Streetfest held on March 11. The signature roll was joined together for easy display along public spaces of Karachi during the festivities of September.
The Heritage StreetFests brought the diverse communities of Karachi together by celebrating the heritage of each and compelled the residents of this city to embark upon a voyage of rediscovery and renew their ties with this most amazing city.
The Heritage Streetfests highlighted heritage buildings that were built by people from the diverse communities of Karachi and belonging to different groups to show how unity can exist in diversity.