Afterword II

Kamran Asdar Ali

in Cityscapes of Violence in Karachi

Published in print July 2017 | ISBN: 9780190656546
Published online August 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190848460 | DOI:
Afterword II

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The second afterword to the book by Kamran Asdar Ali returns us to the city, and to the lives of Karachi’s working women and working classes. He draws on women’s poems, diaries, and memoirs to capture some more ephemeral qualities of everyday living and dying. These contrast with the violent suppression of an underclass of trade unionists and labor activists by a coalition of the state, military courts and industrialists, since the fifties. Given the long, progressive erosion of peace in Karachi how, he asks, might we imagine a therapeutic process of social, economic and cultural healing? Through an image of citizens “at work” creating citywide networks and connections, we are offered finally some possibilities of dreaming. Namely, through increased understandings, not of conflict, but also of each other’s intimate everyday lives, the dream emerges of a new political space or public where even intractable disagreements can be managed through gestures of kindness, compromise, and fresh vocabularies of how to carry on and get by.

Keywords: working women; working classes; women’s writing; trade unionists; labor activists; political spaces

Chapter.  5756 words. 

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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