Museum's look at two years in London and Karachi
by Gemma Collins TUCKED behind a Barbers in Bethnal Green Road, an empty storage space is being used to bring Pakistan to the East End. The unique Museum of Non Participa
TUCKED behind a Barbers in Bethnal Green Road, an empty storage space is being used to bring Pakistan to the East End.
The unique Museum of Non Participation, running until October 25, is the latest work from Artangel and documents a project by Bethnal Green locals Karen Mirza and Brad Butler after they spent two years capturing everyday life in London and the Pakistani city of Karachi.
The idea was born in 2007 after the pair witnessed violent protests from a window in The National Art gallery as they looked down onto the streets of Islamabad during the Pakistani Lawyers movement.
And through conversations, images, activities, discussions with street vendors, artists, housing activists and lawyers grew a living archive raising questions about action verses inaction.
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The museum's new temporary headquarters behind Yaseen Hairdressers may look half empty but it is not meant to be a display of modern art.
And instead visitors are invited to interact with each other and spark debates as they drink a cub of Chai Tea and look at photographs of areas of Karachi, read a collection of newspapers and watch videos of street performances.
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But the main draw of the museum is the programme of salon talks running alongside the main show.
Among the highlights is curator and artist Fatos Ustek who will be talking about the ethics of museum tonight (THURS) and the South Asian Women's Creative Collective which will be leading a discussion about art on Friday October 23.
On Tuesdays there are ongoing discussions just for women with publisher Rukhsana Yasmin and playwright Yasmin Whittaker Khan leading a poetry reading.
The programme then culminates with the premiere of the short film The Exception and the Rule by the two artists at the BFI on October 25.