Reem Khurshid is a visual journalist from Karachi, Pakistan whose work focuses on communicating issues of social justice, politics and feminism.
How has your lived experience shaped your practice?
Growing up and working in Pakistan, under periods of both military dictatorship and fragile democracy, has informed my worldview and defined my work. I think my experiences as a woman have made me sensitive and attuned to abuses of power in both personal and political contexts, and understanding the need to address these issues structurally. I think this is the main through-line in all the work I’ve ever produced, whether as an artist, writer or journalist.
What are some of your biggest influences and motivations in your work? What issues are you passionate about working on?
My motivations are fairly simple: fighting for freedom, justice and accountability. I’ve had tons of influences over the years, but I feel like the graphic journalism of Mona Chalabi and Joe Sacco have been very formative in terms of imagining an interdisciplinary practice for myself. I’ve previously been involved in feminist organising and disability rights advocacy in Pakistan, so these issues are close to me. My journalism has always focused on rights-based issues; recently, for example, I’ve worked on a couple of explanatory features on enforced disappearances in the country. A lot of the advocacy journalism I’ve produced is focussed on freedoms of speech and expression, artistic and academic freedom, and questioning government and corporate surveillance.
Where are you based and what excites you about the creative community around you?
I’m currently based in London. I only recently moved here and I still feel like I’m finding my feet, but it’s the only place I’ve ever chosen to be rather than ended up, and that is in large part because I can’t think of a better example of a big cultural and creative melting pot, and of people actively making communities for themselves. It’s far from perfect, but it is that and more.
See more of Reem’s work HERE