Join us for an exclusive screening of ‘The Rebel Optimist’, a documentary based on the life and work of architect, planner, and human rights activisit, Perween Rehman. She dedicated her life to helping Karachi’s poor, and due to the magnitude of her work in bringing justice to victims of land and water mafia, was shot by armed assailants in March 2013.
She was the director at Orangi Pilot Project- Research and Training Institute and in light of the governments neglect towards informal settlements, she took the responsibility on herself to develop systems for sanitation, water supply, and low-cost housing. In doing so her aim was to not rely on outside expertise and aid, but to empower residents of impoverished areas to build these systems themselves given the resources they had. She had an alternate vision for the development of Karachi; she did not believe that megaprojects were the solution to the city’s social and economic problems.
"The situation in Pakistan is indeed very tough - the bombs, the violence, the disasters. Yet everywhere we look, there are signs of hope. And we need to see these signs of hope with eyes of respect, to support them, to link them, to make them strong, and to see what new can be done. The links that we make with each other are a powerful way to do that." ~Perween Rahman
The documentary took two years to film due to ongoing security threats to other members of Perween’s organisation. It was eventually released in 2016 and has been screened at numerous fillm festivals since then, most recently winning an award at the Istanbul International Architecture and Urban Film festival.