Latest from Anmol Irfan
Finding the Gaps in Stories of Sex Workers in Pakistan
The popularity of the Indian film “Gangubai Kathiawadi” — the story of a sex worker turned brothel madam in Pakistan highlighted the gaps in the representation of sex workers in its pop culture. While “courtesans” are glamorized for representing an old-world charm, the reality of sex work in the country is different.
Pakistan’s Cholera-Hit Town Left to Go Thirsty
As the Pakistani government develops Balochistan’s Gwadar into a deep sea port under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, the problems faced by the rest of the province get brushed under the rug. This year, even before the devastating floods, Balochistan's water needs were sidelined leading to multiple epidemics.
In Karachi, Street Food Tells a Story of Division and Unity
As exiles and immigrants come and go, they leave their mark on the street food. The politics ushers in years of violence, followed by years of peace. Yet the underlying divisions that cut across the city remain the same. Even in its togetherness, Karachi stands divided in its identity.
In South Asia, a Battle Against Taboos on Female Sexuality
Young girls in Pakistan often grow up being told they can do certain things after marriage, and daughters in South Asia are often referred to as guests in their parents’ house until their marriage, waiting to be given away to their husbands at the right time.
The Making of Pakistani Sci-Fi
In her novel “The Light Blue Jumper,” a light-blue, bald alien named Zaaro Nian finds himself caught up in an interplanetary conflict when his work ship collides with a rebel ship. The narrative, which at times can wax satirical, delivers an unflinching critique of Pakistan’s contemporary society.
Pakistan Schools to Re-Open Amid a Controversial New Curriculum Rollout
Under the banner of “One Nation, One Curriculum,” the new curriculum pushes to teach more Urdu, bolster Islamic teachings and, perhaps an unintended consequence, triple the price of textbooks.
Pakistan’s Aurat March and its Unrelenting Feminists
This is a behenchara, a sisterhood that grows stronger with each media attack or attempt to pull it down. Pakistani women have fought the patriarchy for so long and have suffered its consequences too many times. But like before, they have only reemerged stronger for next year.