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KCR (Installation)

KCR is a nine-channel, nonlinear installation that explores the path of the defunct Karachi Circular Railway, blurring the boundaries of documentary and art, and still and moving images. It immerses viewers in the fastest-growing megapolis of the 20th century - Karachi, Pakistan - taking a meditative journey through one of the world’s most complex and conflicted megacities and exploring its urban and human landscape.

Leveraging interactive features in constrained but highly original ways, the viewer is transported through the city's neighborhoods, sub-cultures and topographies. Digital stills, ambient sound, text, video and unique aerial footage of Karachi shot from a drone combine to unveil a side of the city that defies the dominant media narrative of extremist violence and terrorism.

Over the past decade, political violence has killed thousands of people per year in Karachi. Yet this horrific toll isn't the story of most of the city's 24 million residents. This project looks at the daily landscape through which they travel. Sigal visited and photographed the entirety of the abandoned railway line, walking through many of Karachi's most dangerous neighborhoods and probing stereotypes about the city's insecurity. The resultant footage, and accompanying text, recreates the journey through the space of the railway.

The project's narrative is a constructed maneuver through the space of Karachi, mixing order and random encounter. Every image captures an aspect of the railway's tracks, stations, inhabitants, and current usage: walkway, trash dump, playground, makeshift factory, informal housing settlement, returning wilderness, abandoned station, encroaching buildings, foliage, wetlands, markets, and long-haul trains that still run along some of the tracks. The images also capture the movement and noise of remaining inter-city stations and trains, a counterpoint to the stillness of the abandoned commuter stations. In a narrative is driven by geographies, its characters are the visible elements of the city.

Film Details

Title: KCR (Installation)
Year: 2015
Director: Ivan Sigal
Producer: Ivan Sigal
Country: United States
Runtime: 20 mins
Category: Storyforms

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