Museum of Non Participation

supported by Artangel UK


In 2008 Vasl took part in an ongoing London-Karachi collaboration, supported by Artangel UK. The Museum of Non-Participation was a cross-cultural artistic investigation and appraisal of standard forms of representing and experiencing the everyday.

The aim of the project was to encompass a new way of moving through and looking at Karachi.  Karachi is a city with almost no museums and in the investigative process, the city itself became ‘The Museum’. The project questioned the choices and consequences of action or inaction and  Non-Participation itself became a form of resistance. The scars of colonialism, partition and subsequent post colonialist ventures run deep in Karachi. Representations of Pakistan by Western media portrays a rogue state, suffering from conflict, extremism, natural disasters and sporadic martial law, made more fearsome by its nuclear status.

Vasl’s participating artists Karen Mirza and Brad Butler sought to discover the patterns of everyday life, and how to represent them in this environment. Carrying with them their outside perceptions of the city, they investigated the realities of Karachi through its inhabitants and the built environment.