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Cityscapes of Violence in KarachiPublics and Counterpublics$
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Nichola Khan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190656546

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190656546.001.0001

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Afterword II

Afterword II

Chapter:
(p.213) Afterword II
Source:
Cityscapes of Violence in Karachi
Author(s):

Kamran Asdar Ali

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190656546.003.0013

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

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