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A revolution is coming’: Pakistani artist says floods must be catalyst for change

maithil

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A Pakistani artist whose work centres on the Indus River delta, its wildlife and the climate crisis has told of his return to his home village and seeing the devastation its swollen waters had brought.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who is named after his grandfather, the former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, said he met people fearful for what the future may bring and heard the sound of houses collapsing into the water.


“I received infinite calls for help from people in my home province, Sindh, and decided to go to my village near Naudero city in the middle of the rains to be among people,” the textile artist and wildlife activist, a member of the politically prominent Bhutto family, said.

“When I reached my village two weeks ago, every house had fallen, and people were taking refuge on the embankment. While we were walking towards fields, houses were falling. There was the sound ‘boom’ as the houses fell. It sounded like a bomb … it is due to the climate crisis.”

At least 1,250 people have been killed as one-third of Pakistan is under water after the country was ravaged by floods caused by weeks of abnormal monsoon rains beginning from mid-June that washed away livestock, crops, roads and bridges.

Bhutto said his work had focused on gender-identity and queer Muslim culture but the urgency of the climate crisis, the river and its threatened Indus River dolphins had changed him as an artist. He said he believed artists needed to be part of the conversation on the climate crisis.

The awakening came when Bhutto returned to Pakistan from the US in 2020 after graduating in fine arts. Visiting his home village for the first time in six years he said he felt the Indus River was dying.

“I know that sounds strange. But it is true. We have had evidence of other rivers that have died in the past,” he said. “And this is the lifeblood of our country. This is the lifeblood of this nation. About 90% of Pakistan is dependent on the Indus.

“We are bonded by this river and water. It is a sacred link. For me, it felt very urgent,” he said, as he sewed a textile with a dolphin painted on it.

He said that as he visited villages and cities flooded with water, people he met expressed grave concern about the future.

“Most of the people are displaced and are climate refugees but there are also people who are from the middle or upper middle class who survived the floodings – they too are unsure what to do in this crisis,” he said.

He believes the river has been damaged by human engineering, including the colonial-era British-built Sukkur barrage that disrupted the flow of the river to irrigate cash crops for export.

“And after the independence of Pakistan, we continued the same policies of British,” said Bhutto, adding that highways had been built on the Indus’s natural drainage basin and floodplain. He said that this explained why when he was travelling back to Sindh a few days ago, the highways were flooded with water.

“Of course, this is an extreme event, but we’ve completely eliminated the river’s way of healing itself. So it is jarring and it is angry and is breaking and pouring from this side and that side. It’s creating pressure points. We should not intrude into nature and close its paths,” said Bhutto.

Bhutto said that the crisis had made people angry and they were not hiding it. Local people in Sindh told him that their houses had collapsed but that no representatives had come to visit or help them.

A revolution is coming because when people are angry, they’re not thinking about what they’re going to lose as they’ve already lost everything.”

He added that the crisis had highlighted Pakistan’s vast disparities between rich and poor.

“I don’t know if people will ask for land reforms or revolution. Will we go into a state of amnesia and forget all about this next year? I don’t know, but I hope that it’s a catalyst for change,” he said.

Bhutto said his grandfather was the only politician to introduce land reforms in the country, adding that after he was hanged by the dictator Gen Zia-ul-Haq, those reforms were reversed.

“It’s high time we need land reforms and we need equality,” Bhutto said. “We need these reforms for people so that everyone has a say in development and we don’t disturb the course of nature.”

 

Fasbre2

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A Pakistani artist whose work centres on the Indus River delta, its wildlife and the climate crisis has told of his return to his home village and seeing the devastation its swollen waters had brought.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who is named after his grandfather, the former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, said he met people fearful for what the future may bring and heard the sound of houses collapsing into the water.


“I received infinite calls for help from people in my home province, Sindh, and decided to go to my village near Naudero city in the middle of the rains to be among people,” the textile artist and wildlife activist, a member of the politically prominent Bhutto family, said.

“When I reached my village two weeks ago, every house had fallen, and people were taking refuge on the embankment. While we were walking towards fields, houses were falling. There was the sound ‘boom’ as the houses fell. It sounded like a bomb … it is due to the climate crisis.”

At least 1,250 people have been killed as one-third of Pakistan is under water after the country was ravaged by floods caused by weeks of abnormal monsoon rains beginning from mid-June that washed away livestock, crops, roads and bridges.

Bhutto said his work had focused on gender-identity and queer Muslim culture but the urgency of the climate crisis, the river and its threatened Indus River dolphins had changed him as an artist. He said he believed artists needed to be part of the conversation on the climate crisis.

The awakening came when Bhutto returned to Pakistan from the US in 2020 after graduating in fine arts. Visiting his home village for the first time in six years he said he felt the Indus River was dying.

“I know that sounds strange. But it is true. We have had evidence of other rivers that have died in the past,” he said. “And this is the lifeblood of our country. This is the lifeblood of this nation. About 90% of Pakistan is dependent on the Indus.

“We are bonded by this river and water. It is a sacred link. For me, it felt very urgent,” he said, as he sewed a textile with a dolphin painted on it.

He said that as he visited villages and cities flooded with water, people he met expressed grave concern about the future.

“Most of the people are displaced and are climate refugees but there are also people who are from the middle or upper middle class who survived the floodings – they too are unsure what to do in this crisis,” he said.

He believes the river has been damaged by human engineering, including the colonial-era British-built Sukkur barrage that disrupted the flow of the river to irrigate cash crops for export.

“And after the independence of Pakistan, we continued the same policies of British,” said Bhutto, adding that highways had been built on the Indus’s natural drainage basin and floodplain. He said that this explained why when he was travelling back to Sindh a few days ago, the highways were flooded with water.

“Of course, this is an extreme event, but we’ve completely eliminated the river’s way of healing itself. So it is jarring and it is angry and is breaking and pouring from this side and that side. It’s creating pressure points. We should not intrude into nature and close its paths,” said Bhutto.

Bhutto said that the crisis had made people angry and they were not hiding it. Local people in Sindh told him that their houses had collapsed but that no representatives had come to visit or help them.

A revolution is coming because when people are angry, they’re not thinking about what they’re going to lose as they’ve already lost everything.”

He added that the crisis had highlighted Pakistan’s vast disparities between rich and poor.

“I don’t know if people will ask for land reforms or revolution. Will we go into a state of amnesia and forget all about this next year? I don’t know, but I hope that it’s a catalyst for change,” he said.

Bhutto said his grandfather was the only politician to introduce land reforms in the country, adding that after he was hanged by the dictator Gen Zia-ul-Haq, those reforms were reversed.

“It’s high time we need land reforms and we need equality,” Bhutto said. “We need these reforms for people so that everyone has a say in development and we don’t disturb the course of nature.”

How about distributing your land and billions stolen by your mother and father to the poor. How about stopping usurping the countries development funds allocated to your province and into your own offshore accounts and properties.
 

ziaulislam

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Sindh has so much potential..imagine if PPPP had allowed more upstream water projects getting more land to irrigate in the process getting Karachi to heights it deserve and allowing keti bandar and other projects..

Karachi would have been Dubai had we not had PPPP in 1990s

I have lost all faith in Pakistan
They don't care about anything but race.. Pakistani have become racist
They blame their miseries on others and don't believe it n collective richness..

There is no hope for racist ideology

Untill Pakistanis give up racism they will be screwed as no racist quota based system can develop
Pakistani are still stuck in Sindhi Punjabi balochi and pathan issues..

There is no national party no nationalist issues
 
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Maula Jatt

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Sindh has so much potential..imagine if PPPP had allowed more upstream water projects getting more land to irrigate in the process getting Karachi to heights it deserve and allowing keti bandar and other projects..

Karachi would have been Dubai had we not had PPPP in 1990s

I have lost all faith in Pakistan
They don't care about anything but race.. Pakistani have become racist
They blame their miseries on others and don't believe it n collective richness..

There is no hope for racist ideology

Untill Pakistanis give up racism they will be screwed as no racist quota based system can develop
Pakistani are still stuck in Sindhi Punjabi balochi and pathan issues..

There is no national party no nationalist issues
True, even most pakistani nationalists are just ethno nationalist in a different shade

Pakistan's ethnic issues or ethnic superiority along with millitary control, relgious intolerance is keeping it back or else both potential wise and historically it wasn't a poor region
 

jaibi

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The reckoning of the upcoming events via climate change won't be just Pakistan but the entire world.
 

fitpOsitive

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The real issue is the mentality. Bhutto mer bhi jaey tu yeh log Chandio ko pakar laingy.
The urge to no-work and full corruption is so strong that you can not tell a Sindhi to work in a civilized way. That's the reason why only Wadyra system works in Sindh, which just tells the locals to do something, without asking them much, or else, either their women are picked up or they will outright be killed. Pre-partition Hindus also controlled Locals with British force and money. None of Sindhi was allowed to live in Cities. They entered the cities only after 1947.

I am sorry my Sindhi fellows to expose you guys like that. But I can't keep silent on what your lot has turned Sindh into. Specially Karachi is destroyed to the core.
 
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Maula Jatt

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The real issue is mentality. Bhutto mer bhi jaey tu yeh log Chandio ko pakar laingy.
The urge to no-work and full corruption is so strong that you can not tell a Sindhi to work in a civilised way. That's the reason why only Wadyra system works in Sindh, which just tell the locals to do something, without asking them much, or, either their women are pickedup or they will outright will be killed. Pre-partition Hindus also controlled Locals with British force and money. None of Sindhi was allowed to live in Cities. They enteredcities only after 1947.

I am sorry my Sindhi fellows to expose you guys like that. But I cant keep silent on what your lot has turned Sindh into.
Sindh was the crown Jewel of our Indus basin historically, richest and stable region even during the last 800 year's of Turkic invasions

If pakistan is to grow, it can never ever grow without Sindh

Hating on em for societal flaws won't help anyone
 

Olympus81

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Karachi has been systematically destroyed by everyone.

The Sindhi men from interior are known to be lazy. They’d send their wives to do a maid’s job while they’d be jobless and do nothing except for producing kids. Not stereotyping but there are a huge number of cases like that.

The feudals suck the money out of bonded labour, and with extra cash invest in Karachi property. The big shot ones would collude with the Karachi businessmen and Generals to construct plazas. Getting green light for their construction would be not a problem with corrupt bureaucrats and judges.
 

-blitzkrieg-

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Queer inqalab.

A Pakistani artist whose work centres on the Indus River delta, its wildlife and the climate crisis has told of his return to his home village and seeing the devastation its swollen waters had brought.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who is named after his grandfather, the former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, said he met people fearful for what the future may bring and heard the sound of houses collapsing into the water.


“I received infinite calls for help from people in my home province, Sindh, and decided to go to my village near Naudero city in the middle of the rains to be among people,” the textile artist and wildlife activist, a member of the politically prominent Bhutto family, said.

“When I reached my village two weeks ago, every house had fallen, and people were taking refuge on the embankment. While we were walking towards fields, houses were falling. There was the sound ‘boom’ as the houses fell. It sounded like a bomb … it is due to the climate crisis.”

At least 1,250 people have been killed as one-third of Pakistan is under water after the country was ravaged by floods caused by weeks of abnormal monsoon rains beginning from mid-June that washed away livestock, crops, roads and bridges.

Bhutto said his work had focused on gender-identity and queer Muslim culture but the urgency of the climate crisis, the river and its threatened Indus River dolphins had changed him as an artist. He said he believed artists needed to be part of the conversation on the climate crisis.

The awakening came when Bhutto returned to Pakistan from the US in 2020 after graduating in fine arts. Visiting his home village for the first time in six years he said he felt the Indus River was dying.

“I know that sounds strange. But it is true. We have had evidence of other rivers that have died in the past,” he said. “And this is the lifeblood of our country. This is the lifeblood of this nation. About 90% of Pakistan is dependent on the Indus.

“We are bonded by this river and water. It is a sacred link. For me, it felt very urgent,” he said, as he sewed a textile with a dolphin painted on it.

He said that as he visited villages and cities flooded with water, people he met expressed grave concern about the future.

“Most of the people are displaced and are climate refugees but there are also people who are from the middle or upper middle class who survived the floodings – they too are unsure what to do in this crisis,” he said.

He believes the river has been damaged by human engineering, including the colonial-era British-built Sukkur barrage that disrupted the flow of the river to irrigate cash crops for export.

“And after the independence of Pakistan, we continued the same policies of British,” said Bhutto, adding that highways had been built on the Indus’s natural drainage basin and floodplain. He said that this explained why when he was travelling back to Sindh a few days ago, the highways were flooded with water.

“Of course, this is an extreme event, but we’ve completely eliminated the river’s way of healing itself. So it is jarring and it is angry and is breaking and pouring from this side and that side. It’s creating pressure points. We should not intrude into nature and close its paths,” said Bhutto.

Bhutto said that the crisis had made people angry and they were not hiding it. Local people in Sindh told him that their houses had collapsed but that no representatives had come to visit or help them.

A revolution is coming because when people are angry, they’re not thinking about what they’re going to lose as they’ve already lost everything.”

He added that the crisis had highlighted Pakistan’s vast disparities between rich and poor.

“I don’t know if people will ask for land reforms or revolution. Will we go into a state of amnesia and forget all about this next year? I don’t know, but I hope that it’s a catalyst for change,” he said.

Bhutto said his grandfather was the only politician to introduce land reforms in the country, adding that after he was hanged by the dictator Gen Zia-ul-Haq, those reforms were reversed.

“It’s high time we need land reforms and we need equality,” Bhutto said. “We need these reforms for people so that everyone has a say in development and we don’t disturb the course of nature.”

 

Goritoes

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We Pakistani's are chicken, we are only brave for killing innocents, butcher people over blasphemy, or show courage to Indian/Israeli's/American's but when it comes to bigger Oppressors within home, who are killing us, looting us, destroying our future generations, we are Pu%%y.
 

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