anticolonial maps
for lost lovers
Ayesha Alizeh and Yashfeen Talpur

Putth: Looking Backwards

alizeh | we are both taking a walk for a language, in search of a greeting.
yashfeen | we are both lost lovers, and our mothers are our lost lovers.
alizeh | we are negotiating burdens and borders.
yashfeen | there is a round shrine floating in a lake named after a woman and many other places about the lives and experiences of sindhi women | noori’s shrine |moomal’s mari | sateen jo astaan.
alizeh | I want to visit my nani’s grave, and the place where everyone gathered when I was young.
yashfeen | my mother and father arrived in Karachi, so when I was born, the arrival was in the past, had only happened, and I was to live in its aftermath |going to their hometowns was going ‘back’, when I had never had a back.
alizeh | it’s really hot | should we go to the lake? | what does google say? | Are you hungry?
yashfeen | sometimes I think that my mother never arrived | she was never in this city, but always going backwards |this is why she is still looking to arrive |this is why we are both prepared for flight or refuge or flight or refuge or flight or refuge
alizeh | have spent so much time in the car on these roads | always in transit, point A to point B | always looked out at the sides of these roads, beyond the fields, out to the sky, and tried to capture them in my mind's eye but always failed.

let’s stop and draw here.

Ayesha Alizeh

Ayesha is a writer, architect and artist and is interested in questions related to space, politics, and gender. Alizeh’s work is an attempt to express the psycho-spatial aspects of the experience of gender and being. From a decolonial and materialist perspective, she seeks to think about how collective memories are made and imagined. Women, memories, monuments, landscapes are recurring motifs in her work. Her pedagogical process focuses on connecting different modalities such as activism, research, art and architecture together. She has been involved in political organizing work related to feminism, housing, and ecology. She was an artist resident at The Many Headed Hydra’s House of Kal Karachi (District Berlin) in 2021, where she developed her research on gendered parks and neoliberal development in the coastal areas and peripheries of Karachi. Her current work is looking at mapping and cartography with respect to Sindh, migration, gender and public spaces. She graduated with a BA in Architecture from Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in 2019 and was part of the curatorial team for the Karachi Biennale 2022.

Yashfeen Talpur

Yashfeen is an architect, visual artist, and writer, whose work attempts to recover and feel through ways of relating that have otherwise been obscured or lost. Tracing her way back and forth along lines of lineages, borders, identities, cities, and ecologies, her techniques revolve around writing in, forging, recovering, and connecting the white, marred spaces of colonial rupture, both on and off paper. In her work she explores the location of identity, family, love, and belonging in the family home, a space marked with a permanent sense of loss and losing, and goes on a journey of walking, discovering, and drawing with a friend to discover new meanings.

Based in Karachi, she graduated with a BA in Architecture from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in 2020, and has since been developing her artistic practice along with teaching Human Geography at the Al Akhawayn University in Morocco.

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