The Citizens Archive of Pakistan [CAP], a not-for-profit organization dedicated to cultural and historic preservation, has unveiled an exclusive collection of vintage images from their Oral History Project on occasion of the International Archives Day. The images, being shared for public consumption for the very first time, feature prominent historical figures such as Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Fatima Jinnah and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II among others.
Launched in 2008, The Oral History Project is a first of its kind archive of over 45,000 photos and 1,200 hours of audio stories documenting Pakistan’s history, culture and heritage. Through diligent care and effort, the project has successfully archived and digitized newspapers, letters, official correspondences, refugee cards, passports, advertisements and other material, each providing a unique snapshot of Pakistan preserved for all time.
Speaking about the Oral History Project and International Archives Day, Swaleha Alam Shahzada, Executive Director CAP said, “International Archives Day has provided us a unique opportunity to share never-before-seen images from our archives. The images capture memorable historical moments such as when Muhammad Ali Jinnah delivered a speech to a crowd of thousands at Minto Park. The preservation of this content is a meticulous and resource intensive task and we hope that the general public will appreciate this precious content as much as we do! ”
International Archives Day is an initiative of the International Council of Archives, which introduced this day to commemorate their organization creation under UNESCO on 9th June 1948. The milestone event has since been adopted globally and is now widely celebrated on 9th June to raise awareness of the importance of records and archives as a valuable testimony of the economic, political and social development of humanity.
Indeed, CAP serves as the first ever private Pakistani initiative to collect, archive, study, disseminate and exhibit all aspects of Pakistan’s history – both before and after partition. CAP aspires to become the foremost museum of Pakistani history, art, photography, culture, literature and historical documentation, demonstrating the strength and spirit of Pakistan from the citizen’s perspective.
About The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP)
The Citizens Archive of Pakistan is a not-for-profit organization, dedicated to cultural and historic preservation. Established in 2007 with the aim to foster and promote community-wide interest in Pakistani culture and history, CAP believes in giving full rein to the creativity of Pakistanis, allowing them to express and explore their heritage.
Indeed, CAP serves as the first ever private initiative to collect, archive, study, disseminate and exhibit all aspects of Pakistan’s history – both before and after partition. CAP aspires to develop a museum of Pakistani history, art, photography, culture, literature and historical documentation, demonstrating the strength and spirit of Pakistan from the citizens’ perspective.
CAP has come to be known for its diverse, ground breaking cultural initiatives some of which are mentioned herewith: The Oral History Project, launched in 2008, lies at the heart of CAP. It has built a first of its kind archive of over 45,000 photos documenting Pakistan’s culture and heritage, and 1,200 hours of audio stories.
Further, the CAP Shanaakht Festival, held first in 2007, is the nation’s first only free and open festival of art, photography, music, theatre, storytelling and much more. In 2010, CAP initiated the now highly successful Exchange for Change project, which aims to improve relationships between school students in different countries through a sustained exchange of letters, postcards, pictures, artwork and videos. Through this project, CAP endeavours for students to develop a clearer understanding of their history, culture and lifestyles.
Indeed, CAP believes that such interaction will in turn lead to a positive change in restructuring cultural misconceptions and inter-generational conflict. Currently, this project is running between Pakistan, India and the USA. Further, as part of its Outreach Tours Program, launched in 2010, CAP works with low income schools and colleges, engaging their students through film screenings, puppet shows, debates and other interactive activities. The innovative program works with students to inculcate critical thinking skills, tolerance and peaceful values through an appreciation of history.
Indeed, at its very core CAP strives to build bridges and close gaps while trying to enhance the very perception of Pakistan by use of film, the spoken word and photography. Their vision is to develop CAP as the foremost museum and heritage center of Pakistani history, photography, culture, literature and historical documentation demonstrating the strength and spirit of Pakistan from the perspective of a citizen. Each exhibit tells important stories about the country and provides an engaging and thought-provoking window into the nation’s past, present and future.