About the Issue
Note: Friday, 24th April, was the day Papercuts Vol. 14 was supposed to go up. Instead, it became a day of heartbreak.
We dedicate this issue of Papercuts to our friend Sabeen Mahmud, Director of The Second Floor (T2F), who was murdered in cold blood on Friday evening. A restless soul, brimming with ideas that were well ahead of our time, Sabeen had a fraught relationship with Karachi, a city that could give and give, and then take away so easily; a city that she believed in with all her heart, but was so often frustrated by; a city that inspired her and drove her to be her best, against all odds. The space she created, T2F, was a veritable safe house for the arts and for intellectual inquiry, and an incubator for so much of Karachi’s young talent.
Sabeen, this is for you.
Vol. 14, the ‘Home is Not a Place’ issue, has thrown up a motley selection of poetry, fiction and essays. As expected, many people addressed the theme directly, choosing to deconstruct their idea of home and question its relation to place. Others approached the theme more obliquely, dissecting their personal relationships, loyalties and notions of belonging. Our online edition showcases diasporic voices as a natural frontrunner for this theme, and also makes space for other, marginalised, voices: women, the aged, the poor. This is the first online edition in which our readers will see material that is more consciously geared towards web publishing, with more multimedia pieces than ever before. For long form essays and art-heavy content, we encourage you to purchase our very reasonably priced print magazine.
The cover image for Vol. 14 is a photograph by Moazam Rauf, a photographer whose work we’re all very enamoured by at Papercuts, and who has recently joined our staff as official photographer. Moazam’s image is gorgeous in its simplicity, and invokes nostalgia so effectively that one can’t help but be transported by it, regardless of where one is based. We considered many images for this issue’s cover, but there was none that captured that feeling of home, memory and familiarity the way this one did.