Karen Mirza and Brad Butler - The Museum of Non Participation

“London and Karachi: both are cities of my imagination, made real only through mortgages, the price of a meal and quality of domestic help.”
– Mohammed Hanif

Karen Mirza and Brad Butler conceived The Museum of Non Participation in 2007 when - during the Pakistani Lawyers movement in Islamabad - they viewed the protests and subsequent state violence from a window in The National Art Gallery. Since then they have pursued ideas connected to their position that day - through conversation, images, activities and narratives following strands of dialogue with different people, places and contexts. The Museum of Non Participation examines how our lives in one space have implications on another.

The scars of colonialism, partition and subsequent post colonialist ventures of improvement run deep in Karachi. This project aims to interrogate the western media representation of Pakistan as a rogue nuclear state suffering from conflict, extremism, natural disaster and sporadic martial law, and seeks to discover the patterns and realities of everyday life to find other languages of representation and other voices.

They have worked extensively both in London and Karachi with a range of participants including street vendors, the cultural elite, architects, lawyers, artists, housing activists and writers. On Fri 25 September, Mirza and Butler will open a temporary museum headquarters and bring The Museum of Non Participation to the streets of Bethnal Green. In a transformed empty storage space behind Yaseen Hairdressers on Bethnal Green Road, The Museum of Non Participation will exist for one month, as a unique and growing collection of visual, aural and experiential art works.

The headquarters will house a varied programme of activities and events, ranging from an intimate film screening of the first ever Pakistani vampire movie Zinda Laash (1967); to Lollywood-style makeovers accompanied by chai; to discussions on Pakistani politics hosted by the owner of the local newsagent; and Urdu/English language classes and script-writing workshops, aimed at developing a pilot for a television soap opera based on Pakistani life in the UK. Programme details, and information about how to participate, are available on the Artangel website.

During the run up to the project’s launch, Pakistan’s foremost broadsheet newspaper, The Daily Jang Newspaper will publish a special edition Museum of Non Participation newspaper supplement. From Sat 20 September, The Daily Jang will distribute to its national readership this 12-page Urdu and English language insert including contributions from architect Arif Hasan, language teacher Hasin Sheikh, and artist Suzanne Lacey. Selected content will also be available to read on the Artangel website.
Karen Mirza and Brad Butler - The Museum of Non Participation


Event Title: Karen Mirza and Brad Butler - The Museum of Non Participation
Further Details:
-Visit the Artangel website
-Visit Mirza and Butler's website" target="_blank"> -Visit the Artangel website
-Visit Mirza and Butler's website
Contact Email: email sarah@artangel.org.uk or Janette@artangel.org.uk or call 020 7713 1400