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The Launch Of The Karachi Files: Electro From Berlin To Pakistan
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The Launch Of The Karachi Files: Electro From Berlin To Pakistan

Picture of Sarah Coughlan
Updated: 12 January 2017
In May 2015, an assortment of electronic musicians from Pakistan, the Maldives, and Germany followed the footsteps of brothers Hannes and Andi Teichmann, otherwise known as Gebrüder Teichmann, the Forever South crew and the Goethe-Institut, to meet in Karachi; Pakistan’s industrial capital, harbored on the Arabian Sea. A house was remodeled into a temporary recording studio. It would become a place to meet, inspire and be inspired, record, play, eat, and sometimes sleep. Musicians, together with a photographer convened, and the outcome of two weeks would transpire into the making of the Karachi Files.

Karachi Files is a collection of music which fuses different cultures, offering a variety of tracks, from electronic club music, to electro acoustic experiments.

Countries and culture, and the traits are often unfoundedly attached to them, are a focal part of the music. This is particularly true of Pakistan, which is associated with terror, religious fanaticism, corruption and chaos. Overall, a place that has little in common with ‘rationality’ western culture. This project aims to make clear that there is far more that unite Germany and Pakistan than divides it, even in techno music.

Image courtesy of Pablo Lauf

As part of the exhibition “From Inside to Way Out” at the HAU Berlin, Karachi Files confront these common misrepresentations with the transculturality of contemporary Pakistan. Taking cultural representations and placing them in different physical spaces avoids these stereotypical attributions. To paraphrase Homi K. Bhabha, one of the earliest post-colonial theorists, it is only in such spaces thatintercultural “play of differences” can unfold.

Image courtesy of Pablo Lauf

Released on 23 May, Karachi Files represents a significant achievement, bringing together artists from Berlin, Moldova and Pakistan in a cross-cultural collaboration. For those interested in learning more about contemporary Pakistan, HAU Berlin’s three-day event offers an introduction to the work that have occupied the artists for some time.

Karachi Files will be performing live in Berlin on the 14 May during “From Inside To Way Out“. The exhibition has a special focus on Pakistan including the works of musicians, filmmakers, photographers, journalists and artists.